Trinity Catholic School came into existence in 1969. However, its roots go back to the two schools that consolidated into Trinity. Both St. Joseph’s and St. Anthony’s Parishes had their own schools.
St. Joseph’s School opened in September, 1905. It was run by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary until they were called back to the Mother house in 1921. At that time the Sisters of Notre Dame took over. The School included a high school until 1922. The 1940’s saw the children work for the war effort, and they actually raised enough money to buy a jeep for the soldiers. Enrollment in the 1950’s reached 170 students in grades 1-8. In 1951, St. Joseph’s began the first hot lunch program in Catholic Schools. By the 1960’s the building was in need of major repair, and St. Joseph’s began to seek a school with which to combine. In 1969, a consolidation of schools was agreed upon with St. Anthony’s; and “Trinity School” was born.
St. Anthony Parish was formed in 1909 when the Bishop of Seattle came to Spokane (in those days he was also Bishop of Spokane) and was concerned because so many Catholics lived forty to fifty blocks from the Church. The original and official name of the church is “Holy Ghost and St. Anthony Catholic Church”.
Plans were formulated to build a school, as early as 1917. However, the onset of World War I and lack of funds delayed this dream until 1928. Bishop White had received a gift of $10,000 and offered it as the first contribution toward the school, on the condition that the congregation raise at least $15,000. The challenge was accepted, and the school opened on September 4, 1928 with 58 pupils. The school was originally staffed by four sisters of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. The school continued to operate and was consolidated with St. Joseph’s in 1969, when it was renamed “Trinity Catholic School.”
The enrollment for the first year, 1969, was 243 students. The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and the Notre Dame Sisters worked together in a new experiment in education. The Montessori method was used to teach Kindergarten, and the entire school was ungraded. In 1984, the Educare was started and a preschool program was established. The seventh and eighth grades were discontinued in 1987 due to declining enrollment. During the 1990’s Trinity enjoyed an increase in school enrollment. In 1995 and 1996 the seventh and eighth grades were reestablished. In 1995 Trinity was the first of the small Catholic schools of our Diocese to become accredited. We are accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and the Western Catholic Education Association.
Our staff today consists of eight lay teachers. The Holy Names sisters continue to be present at Trinity. Our students participate in a music program, art classes, drama classes, and a band program. From preschool through eighth grade Trinity provides an outstanding and full program of preschool, day care, and elementary education.
A special area that needs to be remembered is our memorial playground. This area was created by the hard work of the parents, family, friends, and classmates of Shane Torrison for use by the children of Trinity Catholic School.
Immediately east of Trinity Catholic School you will find “Shane Playground”. Shane Torrison passed away when he was a first-grader at Trinity school, in February 1977. His parents, family, friends, and the students of Trinity School designed and built a “creative playground”, which was dedicated September 9, 1977.
Although Shane was only six years old when he died, he had already proved himself to be a budding athlete. He learned to snow ski when he was only three, and was water skiing when he was four. He loved to play football, basketball, and baseball.
In school, his favorite class was religion. At the first-grade level, Jesus relates to children as a brother and a friend. Shane related back to Jesus in the same way. Shane was a member of a large and loving family with three brothers and four sisters.
In November, 1976, Shane was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. He continued to attend school up until he passed away in February. His cheerful attitude was an inspiration to all who came in contact with him.