Immaculata-Lasalle High School

Immaculata-LaSalle High School in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami FL was officially founded as Immaculata Academy, a Roman Catholic college preparatory school for girls, on September 1, 1958. It is located at 3601 South Miami Avenue in Miami adjacent to Mercy Hospital and Vizcaya Museum. The Sisters of St. Joseph Congregation of St. Augustine FL were the school's founding religious order.

Sisters of St. Joseph Congregation

On October 15, 1650, Rev. Jean-Pierre Médaille, SJ, formed the Sisters of St. Joseph congregation when he called six women to form a religious community in Lepuy, France. On December 13, 1651, the religious presented themselves to the Notary in LePuy for the formal legal foundation of the order. They lived communally, ministering to those who suffered at the fringes of life: the homeless, the orphans, the sick and the dying. The congregation quickly began to instruct people in Christian doctrine and established confraternities of mercy, which incorporated married women into their communities.

On July 14, 1789 when the French Revolution broke out, five Sisters of St. Joseph were executed by revolutionaries, and the congregation disbanded. Dispersed members reorganized after the Revolution under Sister St. John Fontbonne in Lyon, France. The congregation flourished and worked in the fields of education and health care in the French bureaucracy.

In 1865, Bishop Augustin Verot of the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia visited his native France and implored the Sisters of Saint Joseph Congregation to help freed African-American slaves in his diocese who were without work, shelter, health care, or education. Mother Marie Leocadie Broc - the superior general, selected eight eager volunteers, who established pastoral, educational, and social ministries in Georgia and Florida.

In 1866, eight Sisters of St. Joseph religious arrived in St. Augustine FL in the wake of the U.S. Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and General Robert E. Lee's surrender, to teach freed slaves. In 1867, Sisters of St. Joseph religious taught their first class of African-American students. Distinguished for their educational outreach to diverse ethnic and native populations, children of migrant workers, refugees and dependent children throughout the state, the Sisters of St. Joseph Congregation of St. Augustine remain present in Catholic parishes throughout the Florida dioceses. They continue to administer Mercy Hospital – Miami’s only Catholic hospital, a facility known for its ongoing outreach to immigrants.

Immaculata Academy

On November 5, 1945, Bishop Joseph P. Hurley of the Diocese of St. Augustine purchased 130 of the original 160 acres, 68 acres on the Bayside and 61 acres, opposite in the pineland of James Deering’s Vizcaya estate, from Deering's heirs.

In 1950, Mercy Hospital was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph Congregation of St. Augustine to serve the booming post-World War II population.

On August 9, 1958 Sister Mary Damian, SSJ – Immaculata Academy community superior, and Sister Marie de Lourdes Ortagus, SSJ – Immaculata Academy principal, arrived at Mercy Hospital. Immaculata Academy was built adjacent to Mercy Hospital facing the shores of Biscayne Bay.

A few days later on August 13, 1958, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Miami was created, including 16 southeastern Florida counties, 51 parishes, 81 priests and 185,000 Catholics. The rest of the counties remained part of the Diocese of St. Augustine. On August 15th, Sisters Mary Monica, St. George, and Mary Martha, SSJ arrived at Mercy Hospital, where they shared five rooms within the hospital convent.

Between August 26th and 28th, the first Immaculata Academy students - 138 registered for 10th through 12th grades at Mercy Hospital. On August 31st, Rev. Thomas Anglim - Immaculata Academy president, conducted the first faculty meeting. Four lay teachers completed the faculty: Mrs. Hortensia San Juan, Mrs. Frank Boscia, Mrs. Frank Kirby, and Mrs. Wilma Pool Knight, who had been at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida. Mrs. Knight continued to teach Biology and Physical Education at the school for 17 years. Mrs. Knight had also taught Home Economics and Physical Education at Sts. Peter and Paul School in Miami. The school uniform chosen by the faculty was a shirtwaist, two-piece dress made of a beige drip-dry material.

On September 1st, Immaculata Academy was co-founded by Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley of the Diocese of St. Augustine and Rev. Mother Anna Maria, SSJ. The school name "Immaculata" was chosen to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of her Immaculate Conception. The school opened in the middle of the modern American Civil Rights movement and during the emerging the modern feminist movement.

Ivan Mestrovic’s Pieta notable sculpture arrived in Miami the same day and was unceremoniously installed facing Biscayne Bay in front of the Immaculata classroom building. When the Diocese of Miami was carved out of the Diocese of St. Augustine, the monument to modern martyrs of Communism, as envisioned and planned by Archbishop Hurley, was never completed.

On September 2, 1958, Immaculata Academy opened its doors for the first time with 153 students. Only three classrooms were ready. While the rest of the school was still under construction, classes were held on half-day session. Because the cafetorium was not completed, students had to use a large classroom on the first floor for cold lunches. (School buildings were to be finished by Christmas; the painters were on strike.) On September 15th, full-day classes began. On November 28th, the school held its first dance - the Sophomore Harvest Hop, in the newly completed cafetorium, and in December the first Christmas Formal dance took place there. On December 5th, Mrs. Mable Franzen and Mrs. J. H. Brummitt became the first cafeteria staff hired. On December 17th, the first Christmas pageant was presented.

On January 28, 1959, Rev. Thomas L. McDermott became the second Immaculata Academy president. On March 14th, Immaculata community religious moved into their school convent. On May 1st, the first student members were inducted into the Immaculata Chapter of the National Honor Society. On June 4th, Immaculata’s first graduation class of 26 students received diplomas at the Church of the Little Flower (St. Theresa) in Coral Gables, Florida. On August 15th, Sister Marie de Lourdes Ortagus, SSJ was appointed Immaculata convent superior, replacing Sister Mary Damian, SSJ.

In September 1960, Charles Belanger was appointed the school’s first choir director. Freshman Class Officers elected that year were: Annette Flink – president, Rita Boerger – vice president, Kathy Netter – secretary, and Barbara Lyden – treasurer. On September 8th, Immaculata Academy opened for its second school year with 285 pupils, including St. Theresa school’s ninth graders. 1959 was the first year ninth grade students attended the school. Student officers were: Claire Duffy - student body president, Arlene D'Angelo -Senior class president, Christina Montana - Senior class vice president, Ruth Doyle - Senior class secretary, and Veronica Langley - Senior class treasurer. Judith McClesky, member of the Class of 1959, composed the words for the Immaculata Alma Mater. On June 3rd, 1960, Immaculata Academy graduated 49 seniors from Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Miami.Sources: Journal of Sister Mary Alberta Stark, SSJ and 1961 Immaculata Academy "Signum" Yearbook

On September 6, 1960, Immaculata Academy's third school year opened with 440 pupils and ninth grade female students from feeder parishes Gesu Church - Miami, Church of the Little Flower (St. Theresa) - Coral Gables, Sts. Peter and Paul Church - Miami, St. Michael the Archangel Church - Miami, Church of the Epiphany - South Miami, St. Brendan's Church - Miami, Holy Rosary Church - Perrine, and St. Hugh's Church - Coconut Grove (Miami). Rev. Robert Reardon was appointed supervising principal.

On September 11, 1960, Hurricane Donna hit the school and convent with up to 128 miles-an-hour winds and 11 to 13-foot waves from Biscayne Bay. When the school was closed for cleanup, blue crabs were found on the second floor of the classroom building, where school books stored in open hallway lockers were damaged and then replaced. Source: Nancy Foye-Cox, ILS 1964 Classmate's oral history

On September 28th, Sister Mary Bernadette, SSJ held the first meeting of the Immaculata Drama Club.

On November 14, 1960, the Immaculata Academy student body marched "en masse" to Rickenbacker Causeway to greet U.S. President-elect John F. Kennedy, who was enroute to a historical meeting with Vice President Richard Nixon on Key Biscayne. A Christmas pageant was presented by the school in December. The Christmas Formal dance was sponsored by the Immaculata Parent's Auxiliary. During the winter of 1960-1961, the first student Red Cross chapter was formed.Source: Journal of Sister Mary Alberta Stark, SSJ and 1961 Immaculata Academy "Signum" Yearbook

On December 26, 1960, when a dozen Cuban refugee children traveled from Havana, Cuba Airport to Miami International Airport, marked the beginning of "Operation Pedro Pan." Rev. Bryan O. Walsh –director of the Diocese of Miami Catholic Services, helped 14,048 children find temporary homes throughout the U.S. in makeshift camps, orphanages, foster homes and delinquent facilities. Many were never reunited with their families. Ultimately 7,000 children relocated without their parents to Dade County, Florida over a 22-month period. On December 30th, 1960 ILS classmate Hilda Inclán arrived from Cuba with her two sisters and a friend.

On February 14, 1961, the ILS Junior class sponsored "The Heart of Fashion" show.Sources: Journal of Sister Mary Alberta Stark, SSJ and the 1960-1964 Immaculata Academy "Signum" yearbooks and "Corona" student newspaper editions.

Christian Brothers (Brothers of the Christian Schools)

On April 30, 1651, St. Jean Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719) was born to a family of wealth in Reims, France. At age 27, La Salle was ordained a priest after renouncing his family's fortune. He received his doctorate in theology a few years later. LaSalle founded the order in 1680 with the mission of teaching poor boys. Found literally in every part of the world, La Salle founded a teaching order known as the Brothers of the Christian Schools to instruct teachers and create schools for delinquent children. He also founded vocational schools and secondary schools and implemented the use of modern languages, arts and sciences. La Salle dedicated his life to building and developing quality schools throughout France. After his death in 1719, he was canonized a saint of the Roman Catholic church by Pope Leo XIII.

To avoid persecution in France, 70 La Salle Christian Brothers were sent to Canada. On September 10, 1905, 11 Brothers arrived in Cuba and were well received by the Cuba's president and the Bishop of Havana. Immediately they opened two new schools in Havana. Within 56 years, they had opened 23 schools and one university in Cuba. Their schools were available to all children regardless of income, status or race.

In 1959, the Communist regime forced students to join the militia. On May 1, 1961, Cuban prime minister Castro decreed the nationalization of all 350 private schools. Churches were also closed, and all priests and religious, as well as the Christian Brothers, were expelled from Cuba.

During the first two years of the Cuban revolution, many Catholic students were sent to prison and were soon joined by many priests and Brothers. They were tortured on a daily basis at the infamous La Cabana prison. They agonized and prayed nightly as they heard students yell "Viva Cristo Rey" before being shot by a firing squad at the Paredon.

On May 25, 1961, 109 Brothers of the Christian Schools - Christian Brothers, arrived at Miami International Airport on a Pan American World Airways flight, which was chartered by the Scoppeta-Arca family. They came to America, because Cuban prime minister Fidel Castro closed all Catholic churches, convents, and schools, and expelled all priests and religious orders. Thousands of their former students, who had fled Cuba earlier, were there to greet them. A few days later, six former students (Eduardo R. Arellano de Cardenas, Jose M. Arellano de Cardenas, Bienvenido “Benny” Benach Costales, Oscar Bustill Guas, Nestor Machado Lopez-Munoz, and Eduardo Sanchez Rionda) visited the Brothers at the Everglades Hotel in downtown Miami and resolved to assist them in establishing another LaSalle school in Miami.

These student co-founders of LaSalle High School asked the community for help raising funds and gathering clothing for the Brothers. They met with Bishop Coleman Carroll and Rev. Bryan Walsh, who both agreed to fund a school for the Christian Brothers. The decision was prompt and swift; the school was built in less than six months on the same site as Immaculata Academy. The bishop arranged for the schools to share certain school facilities. Meanwhile, other Christian Brother schools in New York and Pennsylvania sent Brothers to set the curriculum and work with the Cuban Christian Brothers.

LaSalle High School

LaSalle High School is named for St. Jean Baptiste de La Salle - founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (the Christian Brothers) and universal patron of teachers. The Christian Brothers is the largest group of men in the Roman Catholic Church devoted exclusively to teaching. In the United States, they mainly teach and administer elementary and high schools.

On June 3, 1961, 72 Immaculata Academy seniors received diplomas from Bishop Carroll at Church of the Little Flower (St. Theresa) in Coral Gables.

On September 5, 1961, Immaculata Academy opened with 490 students and 20 faculty members (10 religious and 10 lay teachers). For the first time, the Immaculata student body had 6 African-American students.1964 Classmate Antonia "Toni" Williams was the first African-American student to enroll at Immaculata Academy. This was nearly 10 years before Federal Judge E. Clyde Atkins ordered all Dade County schools to be racially integrated by September on January 22, 1970. Also, Cuban refugee girls soon become Immaculata classmates and were paired with Immaculata students to learn English. Basic Spanish is taught to all students over the school intercom.Source: 1964 ILS Classmate Toni Williams-Gary's oral history

Once again, the Sisters of St. Joseph welcomed diverse students to the school as had always been their tradition in America. Although the U.S. Supreme Court 1954 decision in Brown vs. Board of Education made segregated schools illegal, in 1964 only 2% of public schools nation-wide were racially integrated.

On September 11, 1961, LaSalle High School was officially founded by Bishop Coleman F. Carroll under the direction of the District of Cuba of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (the Christian Brothers). LaSalle opened its doors for the first time in late September with 260 students (grades 8 through 12) with a faculty of 13 Christian Brothers. The majority of students were Cuban refugees. Two American brothers assisted the faculty, and Brother Benjamin Roque, FSC became LaSalle’s first principal.

Miami parishes served by Immaculata and LaSalle were: Gesu, St. Michael the Archangel, Sts. Peter and Paul, and St. Dominic - Miami; Church of the Little Flower (St. Theresa) - Coral Gables; St. Hugh - Coconut Grove (Miami); Church of the Epiphany and St. Thomas the Apostle - South Miami; Our Lady of the “Holy Rosary” – Perrine; Sacred Heart - Homestead; St. Brendan and St. Timothy - West Miami; and St. Agnes – Key Biscayne.

On December 2, 1961, Cuban prime minister Fidel Castro announced he was a Communist. On December 17th, the Immaculata Glee Club presented a Christmas concert – “The Gift,” based on Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, under the direction of Sister Mary Josepha Butterfield, SSJ.

In the Spring of 1962, Immaculata and LaSalle presented their first joint student production, the senior class play - “The Sound of Music.” In April, the Immaculata Chorus under the direction of Sister Butterfield, SSJ, presented a Spring Concert - “So Proudly We Sing.”The concert was recorded on a 33 1/3 LP record album and sold as a fundraiser.

On May 31, 1962 for the first time, 85 Immaculata and 30 LaSalle seniors graduated together at Church of the Little Flower (St. Theresa) in Coral Gables. These seniors were LaSalle’s first graduates in America.Sources: Jose Arellano, 1961 LaSalle classmate and school co-founder's oral history and 1961 and 1962 "Signum" student yearbooks and "Corona" student newspaper editions.

Immaculata-LaSalle High School

In September 1962, LaSalle High School was placed under the Christian Brothers of the Baltimore District, and Brother Patrick Ellis, FSC became the school's second principal. Along with Immaculata Academy, LaSalle formed a co-institutional school, which shared facilities but not faculties – Immaculata-LaSalle High School. Rev. Claude E. Brubaker was ILS' first supervising principal. On September 4th when Immaculata opened with 570 students and 25 teachers, there were three portable buildings that provided six extra classrooms. On September 29, 1962, the LaSalle Royals football team played their first game at 3:45 PM at Central Stadium (now a part of Florida International University) against Florida Air Academy of Melbourne, Florida. The Air Academy won that game 6-0.

Members of the first LaSalle Royal's football team were: Nick Aguirre, Gaston Arellano, Norman Asmar, Tio Babun, Clement Bezold, Leonard Caraballo, Steve Carruthers, Wilfredo Casanova, ?, Armando Chapelli, Richard Cialona, Juan Cosio, Ramon Diaz, Emilio Dieguez, Peter Dunn, Robert Espin, Jose Gonzalez, Silvano Gonzalez, Nelson Hernandez, Robert Koziol, John LaPlant, Joaquin Leon, Bill Maro, Jack Maro, Luis Martinez, Gerard Maucci, Harley Miller, Gregory Morris, Frank Murray, Robert Nunez, Rafael Parracia, Manuel Pereira, Timothy Quinn, Blas Rodriguez, George Rodriguez, Felipe Sanchez, Ernesto Vidal, and George Wehby. Van Parsons and Daniel Coughlin were the first football coaches.

Members of the first LaSalle cheerleaders squad were: Kathleen Brick, Ellen Byrnes, Karen Due, Silvia Fernandez, Anna George, Karen Kawas, M. Kathryn “Kitty” Kleyla (Captain), Marie McCall, Mary Rice, Lynn Richardson, Ruth Rohan, Teresa Russell, Rachel Schneider, and Julia Sheeran. Roseann Rohan was a junior cheerleader.

On April 21, 1963, the Immaculata Glee Club, under Sister Butterfield's direction, presented its annual Spring concert, “From Bach to Bernstein.” On May 27th, LaSalle Men’s Athletic Association sponsored the First Annual Athletic Awards Night in the school cafetorium. On June 2nd, 126 Immaculata and 58 LaSalle seniors graduated from Church of the Little Flower (St. Theresa) in Coral Gables, Florida.

On September 3, 1963, ILS enrollment was 615.

On September 13, 1963, student officers were elected for LaSalle student council: Bob Koziol – president, Roberto Espin – vice president, Luis Alvarez – recording secretary, Emilio Dieguez – corresponding secretary, and Francisco Miro – treasurer. Immaculata student council officers elected: Julia Sheeran – president; and other officers: Nellita Moore, Sandra Page, and Patrice Hurd. Immaculata senior class officers elected: Kathleen “Kathy” Netter – president, Anna George - vice president, Paula Bell – secretary, and Antonia “Toni” Williams – treasurer. LaSalle senior class officers: Gregory Lucas, Rene Diaz, Jorge “George” Pino, and Ramon “Kiki” Diaz.

On February 4, 1964, Bishop Caroll dedicated the new Immaculata-LaSalle Science Building. On February 7th and 8th, the 1964 Senior Class play - “The Peace Corps” was performed in the cafetorium.The student cast was Luly Alcebo, Carlos Arauz, Fernando Aimandi, Clement Bezold, Kathy Brick, Ed Brownrigg, Carlos Davila, Karen Due, Ronnie Fayad, Silvia Fernandez, Arlene Frank, Karen Kawas, Connie Love, Barbara Lyden, Margarita Mancheno, Vicky Matthews, Louis McNamara, Nellita Moore, Vicky Pando, Priscilla Schepis, James Skelton, Felicia Smith (also student director), Kathleen Sprowl, and Patricia Wolf. Faculty directors were Sister Mary Maurice, SSJ and Brother Gordian Ronan, FSC.

On April 24, 1964, the ILS Junior/Senior Prom was held at the DuPont Plaza Hotel in downtown Miami -the first prom to be held off campus. On April 26th, ILS Spring Band and Choral Concert was held. On May 31st, Immaculata and LaSalle seniors attended a Baccalaureate Mass at St. Hugh’s Church in Coconut Grove. On June 1, 117 Immaculata seniors graduated with LaSalle and Christopher Columbus High Schools at Miami Beach Auditorium. It is the last time Immaculata and LaSalle seniors will wear separate class rings. These graduating seniors, most of whom were born in 1946, are the first of the post-war “Baby Boomer” generation to graduate from high school.Sources: 1962 - 1964 ILS "Signum" student yearbooks and "Corona" student newspaper editions and sports, concert, and theater programs.

In May 1966, ILS Student Council president Marianne Carpentieri and Senior Class president Natalie Folta succeeded in having a traffic light installed on Bayshore Drive - a dangerous traffic intersection at the entrance to the school. This project was the 1966 Class gift to ILS. After attending many City of Miami Commission meetings, the traffic light was finally installed one week after their graduation. Source: Maria Restrepo Forte, ILS 1966 Classmate's oral history.

On May 29, 1966, 124 Immaculata seniors and 63 LaSalle seniors attended a Baccalaureate Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Miami, and graduated with Christopher Columbus’ Seniors at Dade County Auditorium. The address to the graduates was given by Rt. Rev. Theodore E. McCrick - president of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and Bishop Coleman F. Carroll of Miami presented the Special Awards.

On May 24, 1972, the Pieta sculpture was removed from the Immaculata Academy seawall on Biscayne Bay to Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery to make room for the Shrine of Cuban patron Our Lady of Charity. The official reason given for moving the sculpture was “because salt air produced some green ‘cancers’ on the bronze sculpture."Source: "Four-ton bronze pieta finds new home" by Marilin A. Moore, "MIAMI NEWS", March 8, 1983

In June, Sister Marie Therese Everard, SSJ departed ILS. Sister Everard was the last Sisters of St. Joseph religious to serve in the Immaculata-LaSalle administration as dean of Student Affairs.

In January 1974, the Christian Brothers left Immaculata-LaSalle High School.

In June 1981, Sister Elizabeth Worley, SSJ was the last Sisters of St. Joseph religious to leave Immaculata-LaSalle High School when the Teresian Association took over school administration.

The last school yearbook to display the name Immaculata-LaSalle was the 1981-1982 "Signum" yearbook.

Teresian Association

The Teresian Association is an international Catholic lay association of men and women whose objective is the human promotion of individuals and the transformation of unjust structures by means of an education and culture imparted from the platform of Christianity. Its members strive to live in the world “after the style of the first Christians” as its founder St. Pedro Poveda desired.

In 1911, St. Pedro Poveda opened a Pedagogical Academy in Gijón (Asturias) for all teachers and, concerned as he is with the promotion of women, whose importance and incidence in society he perceives, he also opens a Women’s Academy for those ladies studying to become teachers. These constitute the beginning of what later on will become the Teresian Association. In 1924, Pope Pious XI approves the Teresian Association as an international Pious Union of The Faithful. Its aim is to invite men and women to work for a social and human transformation, in accordance with Gospel values, from the platform of their own professions, especially those related to the fields of education and culture.

Teresian Association members are involved in education and research, social work, family ministry, pastoral work, social programmes, and civil service. The Association is engaged in different educational, socio-cultural and humanitarian endeavours and is present in 30 countries, with thousands of members and collaborators.

During the 1982-1983 school year, the Teresian Association dropped “Immaculata” from the school’s name. The Class of 1983-1984 were the last class to wear an Immaculata-LaSalle High School class ring.

On March 7, 1983, the Pieta sculpture was moved from Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery to the Archdiocese of Miami Pastoral Center’s Garden of Memories, where it remains.

In June 1985, the Salesian Order of St. John Bosco assumed administration of LaSalle High School under the direction of Rev. Frank Wolfram, SDB, as principal Rosemary Kamke departed the school.

Salesian Sisters

The Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, or Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, are the sister order of the Salesians of Don Bosco. They were founded by Saint Maria Mazzarello in 1872 to work alongside Saint Don Bosco in his teaching projects in Turin and continue to be a teaching order worldwide. On August 5, 1872 in Mornese, Alessandria, Italy, the first Daughters of Mary Help of Christians gathered with Don Bosco and Msgr. Joseph Sciandra, the Bishop of Acqui, to celebrate their admission to the novitiate and the first professions. On that day St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello was also elected the first superior and given the title of “vicar”.

A year later their first boarding school and primary school was recognized by the educational authorities of Castelletto d’Orba. On October 8, 1874, the Salesian Sisters were able to open their first house in Borgo San Martino. They carried on the tradition of the Salesian Oratory (a place where young people could gather to enjoy themselves, learn, and grow in their faith, safe from harm), ran workshops to educated young women to help them to be self-sufficient, and taught. The work of the Salesians Sisters was not limited to a schoolroom as they participated in social justice works and teaching trades to young women and girls. St. Mary Mazzarello and her first companions were able to profess their perpetual vows, after studying with the Sisters of St Anne for their religious formation, on August 28, 1875 in the presence of Don Bosco.

After many years of revision, discussion and consultation, St. Don Bosco was able to give to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians the first printed version of their Constitutions on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1878. In 1881, Mother Mazzarello took ill and died on May 14th, at age 44. In her stead were left 26 houses and 166 Sisters. Mary Help of Christians saw to it that her Institute grew, and today the order numbers more than 15,000 members in 89 different countries, and on five continents.

Hurricane Andrew

On August 24, 1992 Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida, resulting in 15 deaths, more than 250,000 temporary holmeless, and $20 billion in damages. An additional 25 lives were lost indirectly. Hardly any part of South Florida was unaffeceted and recovery took years. School opened that year to blown-out windows, debris all over campus, cabin cruiser in parking lot, roofs torn and replaced, portables weakened and then removed.

Restoring "Immaculata" to LaSalle High School's name

In 2002, the first LaSalle High School Alumni Association was formed. 1964 ILS classmate Armando Chapelli proposed to the LaSalle High School Alumni Association to restore the name Immaculata to the school’s name and to move the Pieta sculpture back to the campus.

On April 24, 2004, the LaSalle High School Alumni Association inducted the following charter members into the school's Hall of Fame: 1964 ILS classmate Antonia “Toni” Williams-Gary and 1962 ILS classmates and LaSalle student founders Eduardo R. Arellano de Cardenas, Jose M. Arellano de Cardenas, Bienvenido “Benny” Benach Costales, Oscar Bustill Guas, Nestor Machado Lopez-Munoz, and Eduardo Sanchez Rionda. Also inducted were former ILS faculty members Sister Mary Josepha Butterfield, SSJ, Sister Elizabeth Worley, SSJ, Brother Malachy Broderick, FSC, and Brother Antonio Ramon, FSC.

The 2005 hurricane season devastated the school's campus, which suffered extensive damage. The school cafetorium needed to be reconstructed. A tent was installed on the school property and used as a cafeteria until the reconstruction was completed. Recovery efforts were hastened by the assistance of students, faculty and alumni in the clean-up process.

On February 26, 2006, 1966 ILS classmates Marianne Carpentieri Donnell and Maria Restrepo Forte met with LaSalle High School principal - Sister Patricia Roche, FMA to express their concerns and disappointment over the decision to drop "Immaculata" from the school’s name. Sister Roche considered allowing the original school building to be named Immaculata Hall and proposed that a small garden area be turned over to Immaculata graduates as a memorial area for Immaculata. On April 29th, Principal Roche issued a declaration naming the original school building Immaculata Hall during the 1966 Class reunion.Source: Nancy Foye-Cox - ILS 1964 Classmate's Oral History

In 2006 or 2007, 1966 ILS classmate Maria Restropo Forte joined the LaSalle Alumni Association Board, and the Alumni Association subsequently changed its name to the Immaculata-LaSalle High School Alumni Association. Summer of 2007 Gaston Arellano, son of Jose Maria Arellano, Founding member of the class of 1962 joined the Alumni Board of Directors.

On June 1, 2007, LaSalle principal, Sr. Pat, officially solicited support from ILS alumni to restore the name "Immaculata" to LaSalle High School in commemoration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the founding of Immaculata Academy on September 1, 1958. On June 8th, Miami Archbishop John C. Favalora sent a letter to Sister Roche granting her request to restore “Immaculata” to the school’s name. 2007 marked the 45th anniversary of the founding of Immaculata-LaSalle High School. 2006 marked the 45th anniversary of LaSalle High School's founding in Miami, Florida. After nearly 25 years, the name Immaculata was officially restored to the school's name on October 20, 2007 during the school's 50th Anniversary celebration.


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*Journal of Sister Mary Alberta Stark, SSJ
*Oral histories: Sister Mary Josepha Butterfield, SSJ; Charles Kilbride; Carol Diaz, 1982; Sister Patricia Roche, FMA, principal, Immaculata-LaSalle High School.

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