Unlike many other parishes, the school was built before the church building demonstrating that Catholic education is the mission of St. Vincent de Paul Parish.  Msgr. Robert Livingston, St. Vincent de Paul’s founding pastor, offered the first Mass on July 1, 1962 in the school gymnasium.  In September of 1962, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School opened with grades first through fourth.  The Dominican Sisters from Springfield, Illinois taught at the school in the early years with Sister Eugenia serving as the school’s first principal.  During the next four years one grade level was added per year with two classes per grade and enrolled over 700 students.  Kindergarten was added in the 1981-82 school year.  The Dominican Sisters continued to serve at SVdP for 23 years until they departed in 1985 due to a lack of personnel. After worshipping for fifteen years in the “gymnasium chapel,” a new church was dedicated on October 30, 1977.  St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School currently serves preschool through eighth grade students with an enrollment around 400 students. 

A major addition to the school including a preschool, additional classrooms, computer lab, science lab, library, and parish hall was completed in the spring of 1999.  Another major renovation and expansion of the school building occurred in 2008.  The renovation work improved school safety, added air conditioning, and improved energy efficiency. Classrooms received electrical and technological upgrades. The school added on space for a new gymnasium, stage, and music room.

The physical improvements to the school building complimented other educational improvements in the 2008-2009 school year. St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School took advantage of its renovated facility to organize a more effective middle school program with additional opportunities for foreign language and fine arts. St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School was one of the first groups of Catholic schools in our region to be accredited through North Central Association’s Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (currently AdvancedEd). The school continues to uphold its accreditation and strive for continuous improvement.

In 2010, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School was selected as a National Blue Ribbon School.  St. Vincents was the first Catholic school in Peoria to achieve this prestigious award demonstrating the school’s excellence in academic achievement.  This could not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our parish administration, faculty, students and parents. 

Throughout our history, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School has prided itself on teaching the Roman Catholic Faith and providing its students with a quality education centered on Gospel values.  By instilling the values of Jesus Christ and the Roman Catholic Church, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School is dedicated to outstanding achievement that establishes students as effective leaders with a positive and moral impact on the community.

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