A Brief History

Saint George Parish School is located in South Seattle, on Beacon Hill overlooking the Georgetown neighborhood and Boeing Field. The school was established in 1922 by the Franciscan brotherhood to serve the needs of the immigrant railroad workers.

These immigrant families wanted a religious education for their children and hoped to protect them from the Great Flu Pandemic, which was raging through the public schools at the time. The first students were a mix of Austrians, French, Irish, Belgians, Italians, Bavarians, Poles and Mexicans. Most of their parents were employed by Burlington Northern in the Georgetown rail yard and, later on, many families were also employed at Boeing.

As time progressed, the ethnic make up of the parish changed from primarily European immigrants to a predominately Asian and Pacific Islander community. At our school we have 2% Pacific Islanders, 41% Asian, 10% African American, 13% Caucasian, 27% Multi-Racial, 5% Hispanic, and 2 Native American students. Even though the rail yard is gone and Boeing has dispersed its operations, almost all of our parishioners continue to be employed in service industries. Most of our families have two hour wage earners.

The first teachers at Saint George were the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They were recruited from Dubuque, Iowa and taught here from 1921 to 1978. Since 1978, a primarily lay faculty and staff have operated the school, overseen by the pastor of St. George Parish.

The most recent change to both the school and the parish is that we are now part of a Tri-Parish cluster. Saint George Parish shares a pastor, personnel, some fundraising events and other resources with St. Edwards and St. Pauls. We are also part of an organization called the Rainbow Schools, an affiliation of the five inner city parochial schools and six additional, neighboring parishes.