On opening day, Monday, September 20, 1937, 170 children registered at the school which was directed by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The school, property and supplies cost $64,500 to build. The new parochial school had six classrooms (two were not yet completed), a music room and teachers’ office. School began with the first grade and continued through the eighth. Initially, there were six teachers, all religious sisters, headed by the first principal, Sister Mary Philothea, BVM. The boy’s playground was located in the rear and the girls’ playground was at the east side of the school building. The Church had a school bus at the time; the route went west to Pacific and east to Geneva and back .
The school was dedicated on Halloween 1937 before the 11 AM Mass; the original school auditorium was the church. Monsignor John Cawley,Vicar-General of the Archdiocese officiated at the dedication of new building. More than 40 priests attended the ceremonies and a congregation of parishioners filled the church to overflowing. The pastor was Monsignor Michael Carvill at the time. For fifteen years, the school’s spacious auditorium continued as the church until the current church was built in 1952.
In six years, the school’s enrollment doubled to three hundred, and the faculty to seven Sisters. Sister Mary Wilhelmine, BVM, then took charge of the school. On April 4, 1949, the east wing of Incarnation School was formally opened, and the seventh and eighth grade took possession of the new classrooms. In the postwar period, with the population of southern California booming, it became necessary to provide even more space for parishioners and church staff. The total plan included building a new church, convent and rectory, and enlargement of the school to make better accommodations for the upper grades. In August 1949, Sister Mary Mauricine, BVM, became principal. By 1952 the enrollment was over 450 students.
Sister Mary John, BVM, arrived on the scene during the year 1955. At the end of Sister’s administration, 1961, construction of the six class room addition was started. The two-story brick building on the north side of campus had outside corridors on both floors to maximize current safety standards. Two of the classrooms were left temporarily unpartitioned to serve as a parish meeting hall. Another classroom was used as the first library. One of those rooms is still used for after-school care.
Sister Mary Bertilla, BVM became principal in 1961. “Education Under God” 1963 was the title of the project to collect the $80,000 needed for construction. The funds were also used to purchase the remaining two houses at the corner of Central and Dryden Streets, to pave the grounds, and to complete fencing of the play yard. When Sister Mary Leonita, BVM became principal in 1967, a library was established with a full time librarian. In 1970, a media center was opened and staffed by parent volunteers. Incarnation has always relied on the the volunteer work of parents.
Incarnation Parish School has continued to change and develop. Religious sisters no longer live at Incarnation; the staff are mostly lay people. Incarnation has kept up with the current digital media with a computer lab and computers in every classroom. There is now a staffed and equipped science lab and an art room. There is an annual science fair and art show. The school’s athletic teams, known as the Incarnation Eagles,are award-winners whose trophies are displayed at the entrance of the school.
On July 30, 2006, Incarnation Parish acquired the property of the nearby North Glendale Methodist Church. This acquisition included a chapel, a gym, a professional kitchen, room for a preschool and a large education building along with outdoor recreation facilities. The campus required over $300,000 in safety and structural improvements. Incarnation now enters a new era with significantly greater space for its growing ministries. The school now has a new gym, a location for school programs and dinners and in August of 2009, Incarnation opened a certified preschool in the newly dubbed “Incarnation Community Center”.
Over the years, over 30,000 students have attended Incarnation School. It has a wonderful reputation in the community with top ranking in the Glendale News-Press and local area high schools. Many of our graduating students earn scholarships and honors at entrance at local Catholic high schools. The combined efforts of teachers, parents, and students makes attendance at Incarnation Parish School an “advantage for life”.
123 W. Glenoaks Blvd.