On May 15, 1954, the Most Reverend Eugene J. McGuinness, third bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oklahoma City-Tulsa, established St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Parish. Fr. Charles A. Beckman became the first. The Parish hall is named for him.
Construction of the combination Church, School, and convent began in November of 1954. Mass was celebrated for the first time in the original Church, which now serves as Beckman Hall and two classrooms. On Pentecost Sunday, May 29, 1955, the School began its continuous education work for the community in September of 1955 with three Carmelite Sisters teaching 115 children in four classrooms. The first Principal was Sr. Elizabeth of the Carmelite Order. In 1956, four Sisters of Charity took over the teaching assignment at the School. The first 8th graders, 15 in number, graduated on May 27, 1957.
A School addition of five more classrooms, library, "clinic", and full basement was started May of 1959 and completed four months later. The faculty rose to six sisters and two lay teachers with an enrollment of 290 students. From the beginning, Catholic education has been one of the prime considerations of the Parish.
By the mid-1960s, six sisters and four lay teachers were on staff. Classes were large with almost 400 students enrolled. The Parent/Teacher Committee, the PTC, was very active, and a book fair, art competitions, spelling bees, organized athletics, and fundraising were in full swing.
In 1970, the Carmelite Sisters returned to staff the School as they had that very first year it was established. Four sisters filled administrative and teaching positions along with five lay teachers. The enrollment was about 200 at this time. The School gained momentum and enrollment stabilized.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the School saw the addition of an enrichment center, new library, and learning lab. More improvements were accomplished due to the hard work and dedication of the School patrons. Among these improvements were the first kindergarten, air-conditioning of all the classrooms, the "Big Toy" on the playground, the first computers, and more extra-curricular activities. All of these improvements allowed the students to enjoy many accomplishments in speech tournaments, spelling and geography bees, art, history, music competitions, and athletic endeavors.
In the 1990s and 2000s, new programs were developed to help in growth. Such programs include a full-day Preschool, a half-day Preschool, a band program, an extended-day program from 3:00 until 6:00 pm for our working parents, a computer lab, and a children’s choir. During this time, in 1995, the Parish also developed a construction plan to expand and improve facilities for the Church and School. A new activity center was built, which included a new entry to the Church and School offices, a gym, a concession area, three meeting rooms, a youth room, and new restrooms. It was at this time that what had been the gym -- the original Church -- became Beckman Hall as well as two new classrooms.
As the School continues into the 2010s, a new resurgence of improvements had been made. The upper grades went with a true middle-school concept, and lockers were installed. An updated computer classroom was created along with all Middle School students having an Apple iPad™. A gym divider was installed in order to provide better use of the space. Other more subtle improvements include work on heating and air-conditioning systems as well as new roofing spaces and replacement of the original tile flooring throughout the School. With the assistance of all stakeholders of our community, the School looks forward to many more years of successful Catholic education, which will produce well-learned students who are in touch with Christ.