Margaret Simons Jones is 1959 alum, along with her daughter, Meg Jones Fligg, a 1985 graduate.
Jones said her parents sat on the 50th anniversary celebration committee, where she is now sitting this year.
“This has been a part of my life for 67 years,” she said. “I was baptized at the church and married there.”
Jones was born and raised in Buckhead’s Garden Hills neighborhood, and is still a resident there. She told her husband Jon they had to live within walking distance of the school so her kids could walk every day, and that is exactly what they did.
“I lived on Peachtree Way and walked to school every day,” said Fligg, who now has three children enrolled at the school: Charlie, 11, Will, 8 and Mary Margaret, 6. She also has a brother with two children at the school.
“There’s certain things about the facilities. I don’t remember having air conditioning. I don’t remember computers. We had typing,” she said.
Jones added, “What I love now is, it’s the same stairwells and they’re worn, so every step you walk up, you realize how many children have really walked these stairwells.”
Principal Tricia Ward, of Brookhaven, said she believes the idea of starting a Catholic school in Atlanta 75 years ago was a “leap of faith.”
“This was mission country as far as Catholics were concerned,” she said. “They had no idea this would carry forward the way it has.”
She, too, remembered the years of no AC, and recalled a specific time in 1998 when a letter was sent to all teachers, explaining they would each receive a 13 percent pay raise.
“We had a very dedicated group of parents to make sure the money was raised for air conditioning,” she said.
And she said the parent support remains the same now. “I am very fortunate to be a part of this long line of tradition and excellence,” said Ward, who has worked at the school for 23 years and was named the school’s new principal earlier this month. “It would be very easy if you were in a struggling school to say, ‘We’re going to raise test scores. We’re going to do this, do that.’ I see my job as maintaining that excellence and tradition, … and taking that to the next level.”
She said she will also strive to help the school maintain its Catholic identity. In celebration of the anniversary, The Cathedral Ball Feb. 9 will be held at the Piedmont Driving Club in Midtown, where the church dedication luncheon took place.