St. Edward School in New Iberia is getting ready to celebrate its centennial.
It was established in 1918 by Saint Katharine Drexel, originally as a school for the black community but was integrated in the 1970s.
“It’s overwhelming when I think about it.” said Karen Bonin, once a student but now the principal.
Bonin says anyone can see the school’s rich history before they even walk through the doors as the mural shows the students through the years.
“The foundation upon which we were founded and the same principles that the school operated under back in those days are still very important to us today and we still do look to them everyday because continuing our legacy forward is what’s so important to us and what makes us who we are.” she explains.
The school’s anniversary isn’t until November, but Anita Derouen, another former student, has taken on the task of writing the school’s history through the stories of alumni and current students.
“Some of the interviews we’ve done. We’ll have two or three generations of people sitting in the same room, laughing and crying, talking about their experiences here and how important st. Edwards was as a community space, learning space and as a space that really fostered family.” said Derouen.
Bonin and Derouen believe its’ for those reasons the school has survived as long as it has.
“I know what this education did for and it is definitely an honor and a privilege to be able to do it for others.” said Bonin.
“All of these stories together, that all starts in love, starts in wanting to give the gift of love and the gift of education to whoever needs it. That’s what St. Edwards is about.” added Derouen.