|City/Town: • Oklahoma City • Moore|
|Location Class: • School • Church|
|Year Built: • 1933|
|Year Abandoned: • 2012|
|Status: • Demolished|
|Photojournalist: • Michael Schwarz • Mary Evans|
After almost eight decades, Villa Teresa Catholic School closed its doors in July of 2012. Sister Patricia Ann Miller, general superior of the Carmelite Sisters of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus, was sad to bring the news to incoming students and parents. The Carmelite Sisters of St. Therese had operated Villa Teresa schools for 79 years. The Oklahoma City school has been in operation since 1933, according to its website. The school had about 230 students, from age 2 ½ through the fourth grade the last year of operation.
By the time the downtown location had closed, the Moore location (Pictures below) had been closed for about a year. The letter to parents cites rising costs such as health insurance and salaries, and major renovation and repairs needed for buildings as reasons for the closing. An aging population of nuns has meant fewer working outside the convent, earning income. The Carmelite Sisters have subsidized the schools for each of the last 15 years and could no longer continue to do so. The nuns promised to help families find another Catholic school. The letter thanked longtime principal Sister Veronica Higgins for her work and advocacy, and also thanked interim principal Cassie Herd for her willingness to be the interim principal during this difficult period.