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Under the direction of Father Lacey, the first request to build a school in Saint Leo the Great Parish was made in 1947, and within a year, the school was completed. The school was opened in October 1948 with kindergarten through 5th grade classes. A grade was added every year until the school finally incorporated an 8th grade.
The first teachers were the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters (American Congregation of the Most Holy Rosary). They maintained their service to the school until 1989 when the last Sister completed her teaching career. An active parent group and parish-school organizations were formed to support the school and parish activities and needs.
In 62 years, the diversity of social, economic and demographic changes in Oakland has been reflected in the school’s population. The School of Saint Leo the Great, currently serves students of various ethnic, racial and religious traditions. The school’s positive reputation draws students from within and outside the local community. With the school and parish working together, the mission is to continue to spread the “Good News” of Jesus to parents, teachers and students.