History of Valle

1759 – Ste. Genevieve Parish officially was founded. It is the oldest recorded parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. From the beginning, the parish members hoped that a Catholic school could be opened in the parish.

Early 1800s – A school for boys started and was staffed by the Christian Brothers.

1837 – The Sisters of Loretto opened a school for girls at Main and Market Streets, and a year later were replaced by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

1873 – The rock building next to the Church (now the north section of Old Valle) was built to be a college. That never materialized, so it was used as a rectory.

1880 – The present church structure was dedicated.

1893 – The south side of Old Valle was constructed. At this time, the school was named “Ste. Genevieve Parochial School,” and the course of study included: English, French, German, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Grammar and Religion.

Fall 1925 – Reverend C. L. Tourenhout asked the Sisters of St. Joseph to organize a high school. They granted the request and opened the school in the stone structure south of the church at DuBourg and Market Streets. It was named Valle High School after Felix and Odile Valle, benefactors to the parish. A standard four-year course of studies was adopted, and Valle was granted accreditation by the state of Missouri.

1954 – A new school building was erected on Fourth Street. This building presently is occupied by both grade school and high school students. As time advanced, dedicated faculty perpetuated the excellence of the first faculty and enlarged the scope of academic work to maintain a course of studies in keeping with the standards of the day.

July 1992 – The last Sister of St. Joseph left Valle High School; she was replaced by Sister Mary Luke Bauman from the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood.

1994 – Valle hired its first lay principal, Mr. Dale Van Deven.

2000 – Longtime faculty member Sara Menard became principal.

Summer 2012 – Sara Menard returned to the classroom, and Dr. Mark Gilligan assumed the role of principal.

2016-2017  A devoted lay faculty and staff now work to continue the great tradition of Valle Catholic School, Mr. Paul Hinman (Head of Schools) and Jill Metzger (Grade School Principal)


(This history was adapted from an article written by Lucille Jokerst, class of 1925.)

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