Early in the year 1920, the need for a society which would bring the parents in to closer relation with the teachers, was realized by the ladies of the parish. Accordingly, they met at the school and formally organized St. Mary's Parent-Teacher Association. They were given encouragement and splendid cooperation by the pastor, Rev. Father Caldwell.
Mrs. W. Daily was elected the first president. Her first act was to appoint the necessary committee chairmen. Among the accomplishments of the first year was the obtaining of free milk and wafers for needy school children.
Mrs. William Jahnke was the president in 1923. During this year the first annual cake sale was given. With the money derived from various activities the P.T.A. began to purchase desks for the school. This year, also, high school girls were bidden to wear blue serge uniforms.
In 1924, under President, Mrs. Leo Weadock, the P.T.A. hired a physical education instructor for the school. Her salary was paid by donations. This year the membership was raised to 243.
A new laboratory table costing $50 was purchased by the P.T.A. in 1925-26. This year the gymnasium was fully equipped ($617) and paid for with funds derived from various activities. Mrs. Devereaux was the president.
A permanent male gym instructor was engaged in 1927 through the zealous efforts of the P.T.A. under the leadership of Mrs. Devereaux.
In 1929 the idea was put in action that each grade should have a parent to look after it. This lady was called the "grade mother." The school had been painted previously, and the P.T.A. gave nearly $500 toward the payment of this debt.
New desks for the 3rd grade were purchased in 1930 and the school library was catalogued throughout. Mrs. A.D. LeFevre was the president this year.
During these years the programs were made specially interesting several times by the work of guest speakers of superlative quality. Among these were the Rt. Rev. William F. Stadelman of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and Father Babcock, chaplain of the Univeristy of Michigan.
Every year Father Caldwell was present as the honorary president of the society.
In 1932, Fred O'Hara was named our delegate to the state convention at Kalamazoo. The president this year was Mrs. Arthur Weadock.
The following years were busy ones for the P.T.A. They sponsored many activities and aided the school in many things.
Mrs. Leo Hendricks was the president for two years, 1935 and 1936. During that time the desire was realized for free test books for students. Mrs. Hendricks was the delegate at the state convention to Grand Rapids in 1934.
This past year has been an active one for the P.T.A. Along with Mrs. Ellerthorpe, the president, Mr. Harry Green was the head of the father-members. Meetings were attended in goodly numbers and the slogan was, "A Better Knowledge of Child Psychology."
Reviewing the past eighteen years of splendid accomplishments by the parents of St. Mary's Parish, we must give credit where credit is due, and surely these good workers merit our deep appreciating and gratitude for their noble work. I sincerely hope that this may serve not only as a tribute to past achievements but as an encouragement to future members.