Junipero Serra Elementary School, Carmel

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First day of school, February 1943.

In 1943 Junipero Serra School opened at the Sisters’ Villa Angelica on Highway 1 just south of Carmel.  Prior to this time, the Villa had been used primarily as a retreat house for tired nuns.

The school comes with some unique history…Because of WWII and Villa Angelica’s location along the Pacific Ocean, it was advisable to occupy the building throughout the year. At the same time, numerous military families were moving into the area and swelling the population of the tiny town of Carmel.  Until a new school could be built, Rev. Michael O’Connell, the pastor of the Mission parish, was looking for building to use. With some hasty renovations, school opened in one wing of Villa Angelica on February 6, 1943. By September, Villa Angelica was the convent for five Sisters and a growing school of 78 students, 40 of whom received a hot lunch every day.

Two years later, the school was moved to its own building at the Carmel Mission.

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