History

HISTORY OF

ST. AMBROSE CATHOLIC SCHOOL

          

  The first Mass of newly formed St. Ambrose Parish was held in the auditorium of Deerfield Beach Junior High School on September 22, 1962, celebrated by the first pastor, Father Sebastian Loncar.

Attendance was around 450 people each week, and, after only two months, Fr. Loncar secured the use of two stores on Federal Highway (the present site of King Toyota). Several men of the parish volunteered their time to renovate these stores and erect a chapel, furnished with wooden folding chairs and donated statues. The first Mass in this temporary Chapel was offered on the first Sunday of November 1962. At this time about 970 people attended and 700 families registered. The new parish continued to grow by leaps and bounds and in September 1964 the Church was completed and dedicated.

  The years since the first Chapel was built in 1964 saw the evolution of a rapidly growing parish community. In 27 years the first Church was built, the rectory purchased, renovated and enlarged, a convent purchased on Southeast 4th Court, the erection of the present Church, the tennis and basketball courts completed, and most recently the building of the Community Club Rooms. The parish grew to over 3,000 registered families.

            The first school year began in 1964 in the main circular building with grades one through five. Each year another grade was added. In 1967 a second building and covered walkway were built, which presently accommodate Pre-K and Kindergarten. Presently occupying the main building are grades one through six, guidance office, teacher lounge, foreign language room, kitchen, and school social hall.

In 1980 a third building was completed which now houses art, science lab, music room, changing room for physical education, and coach’s office. Soon after, a fourth building was erected and it now contains grade 7 and 8. One portable unit accommodates the drama department and also serves as the reading resource room.

In March 2001, ground was broken on a new Media Center and Administration building. The center contains the Library and the Computer classroom, as well as, the administrative offices and clinic. This building was completed and occupancy took place in June 2002.

No history of Saint Ambrose School would be complete without mention of parent/parish volunteerism and fund-raising. The fund-raising activities to benefit the school are numerous. The Book Fair benefits the school library, and many other projects such as the Women’s Guild Luncheon, jewelry and book sale all bring money into the school. The annual parish carnival is also a major fund-raiser for the school. The Home and School Association sponsors Santa’s Workshop and the annual Pumpkin Sale. Through efforts of this association, the canopy for the Early Childhood playground was installed and a new marquee erected in front of the school entrance. Messages announcing up-coming events are now posted periodically allowing parents and visitors the ability to remain informed about school news.

Funding enabled the computer lab to be fully equipped with Dell computers. Internet access is available in all classrooms and offices. Teachers post homework assignments and class news on a regular basis. In this way, parents are able to keep up-to-date on the important school events as they happen.

The Early Childhood playground was upgraded in 2006/2007. At that time rubber mulch was put down as a ground covering in place of the wood chip mulch. A canopy covering was erected over the playground area as sun protection for the children.

St. Ambrose Catholic School is recognized for its excellent faculty and curriculum. All students benefit from the curriculum which has grown to include a program of computer technology, art, music, and two foreign languages. St. Ambrose has also expanded in programs available to their student body. Students now can enjoy membership in the National Junior Honor Society with its members actively involved in various school enrichment programs, along with the long standing Student Council. It also annually hosts cultural and community programs, such as International Day, Evening of the Arts, recitals and Christmas Programs. D.A.R.E./Safety Patrol has been experienced by all students. The music department has expanded to include school choir and student bands.

The Junior High students have the opportunity to participate in various sports programs provided by the school, which emphasize Christian principles and good sportsmanship. They are competitive in softball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, and boys’ and girls’ volleyball.

The graduates of St. Ambrose Catholic School have made many contributions to the community and Catholic Church. Included among those graduates are National Merit Scholars, educators, and business and service personnel (police and fire). Third generation children are now students at the school. For the graduates now enrolled in area Catholic schools, the opportunity is provided to complete their service hours by helping at many annual activities.

The spirit of community, dedication, perseverance, and a shared religious vision has resulted in creating and maintaining a quality school for all to enjoy. Members of St. Ambrose pride themselves in the “family atmosphere” which is continually promoted, and all adhere to the adage “To teach as Jesus taught”.