St Denis School History
In the early 1950s, Father Langmeade, Parish Priest of Tuart Hill, purchased the present school site and a 'Nissan' army hut with which to set up a church and school in Joondanna. The church and school was named St Denis in recognition of the patron saint of Paris. The school's inaugural Principal was Sister Ursula of the Sisters of Mercy, and students numbered 12.
In 1952, the Servite Friars assumed responsibility for the development of the parish, and Father Nolan became Parish Priest. A year later, a classroom was added to the school followed by a further three classrooms and a toilet block in 1956. In 1952, the Servite Friars assumed responsibility for the development of the parish, and Father Nolan became Parish Priest. A year later, a classroom was added to the school followed by a further three classrooms and a toilet block in 1956. By 1958, 175 students were attending the school. Sister Pascal took over principalship in 1960, and the following year the St Denis P & F Association was established. By 1962, there were 217 children in the school and this grew to 250 students by 1963.
In 1964, Father Ross followed Father Nolan as Parish Priest. By 1968 the St Denis parish church in Roberts Street had been built. In the following year Father Lynch became Parish Priest, and the first St Denis School Board was established and chaired by Mr Bob Fraser. 1973 saw the arrival at St Denis of Sister Rita as Principal, and, in 1976, Father Boyle took over as Parish Priest. A parish hall and two more classrooms were built in 1977, and in the following year the familiar old 'Nissan' hut, the subject of much sentimental attachment within the parish, was demolished.
In 1980 the school's first lay Principal, Mr Kim Baker, was appointed to St Denis. Since then, lay Principal appointments have continued at St Denis, and in Catholic schools and colleges throughout the state.
Nolan, the green faction is named after the first Parish Priest, Friar Nolan.
Philip, the blue faction, is named after Mother Philip, the Mercy Superior at the time the school was founded.
Keane, the red faction, is named after Mr Denis Keane, who owned the land on which the school and church now stand.