The Sisters of the Order of St. Anne established St. Anne’s Episcopal School in 1950, creating a school rooted in their belief of compassion for others and a commitment to education. Their legacy continues today.
In 1929, three Episcopalian nuns stepped off a train at Denver’s Union Station with the purpose of helping the city’s poor and sick. After working a couple of years in a parish at 20th and Glenarm, the Sisters were asked to take over the convalescent home run by the Junior League of Denver. Located at 2701 S. York, the home was an old, converted farmhouse with ramps, patient rooms, and therapy rooms for sick children. The patients suffered from various ailments that required nursing but not a hospital stay. During the 1940s, polio brought many children to St. Anne’s. The Sisters treated the patients with warm compresses to help relax their painful contracting muscles, and they employed massage for rehabilitation.
By 1950, as a result of the polio vaccine, few children remained at St. Anne’s for full-time care. Mother Noel instructed Sister Irene to start a school. Their original teaching mission centered on providing individual attention and small classes. Two kindergarten students enrolled in the first class. With the help of retired teachers and the Sisters, who worked without pay, the school grew to approximately 80 students by 1965.
The Sisters were ever present on campus. They oversaw meals, tended the gardens, and taught classes. Their emphasis on care and compassion for others shaped the school’s values. One influential sister, Mother Irene, dedicated her life to the education of children and the future of St. Anne’s Episcopal School. She is fondly remembered for her championship roses, quick wit and love of children. Her leadership and vision established a school with a special feeling of community, compassion and physical beauty.
In addition to the York Street campus, St. Anne’s also uses St. Anne’s in the Hills, a 17-acre campus located in Indian Hills, for outdoor education programs.
Today, St. Anne’s continues to provide small classes, individualized attention, and a nurturing environment in which children can thrive and learn. An emphasis on values and the examples set by the Sisters of St. Anne continue to drive the school’s mission.