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History of Our School

Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School in Tustin is a private Catholic School, owned and operated by the Sisters of the Company of Mary and accredited by the Western Catholic Education Association and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WCEA/WASC).

The school community of Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School in Tustin is celebrating over 50 years of service in the mission of Catholic education in the Diocese of Orange. The 14 acres on which the school stands partially represents the sacrifice of the numerous orange groves that have given way to the development that has provided a home for the many students and families to which the school has ministered over the years.

The school began in an orange grove in 1961 with what was intended as a small preschool and kindergarten to provide a site for the teacher training required of young women who at that time were beginning, at the same location, their novitiate (initial step toward becoming a teaching nun). As the population of Orange County increased, the original families requested the expansion of the school with such enthusiasm that a process of gradual growth took root and continues in motion to date in a remarkable measure of parent support for continual upgrading of all aspects of the school program.

The process of gradual growth has proven to be a significant factor in the stability and consistently competent faculty and staff of religious and lay teachers; a lasting tradition of the initial strong parent support for ongoing facility improvements; and the unwavering focus of the school in its emphasis on being faithful to the Gospel of Jesus in the mission it has received to teach as He did. A school that began fully-staffed by nuns soon became a learning environment with the wealth of collaboration among dedicated lay teachers and women religious.

The Philosophy and Mission Statements of the school are based on the Educational Project of Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac, Foundress of the Company of Mary. Saint Jeanne established the first school of the Company of Mary in Bordeaux, France, in 1610, with principles and goals for a solid education that have surpassed the test of time and, even now, set the tone for all the schools of the Company of Mary in 26 countries where the Order is present.

April 2, 1961: Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School began its preschool program with seventeen pupils. Sister Mary Salud Estrada was the first principal and Sister Raphael Garcia was the first teacher.

September, 1961: The school started its first kindergarten class. Thereafter, growth continued and enrollment expanded. A new grade was added each year.

Fall, 1963: The Home and School Association provided a cash allocation to begin the first phase of the school library.Since then the library has grown to become one of the most modern, well-equipped elementary school library media centers in Orange County.

Fall, 1967: Mrs. Marian Huhn became the first lay teacher on the faculty.

September, 1969: Saint Jeanne's proudly opened its junior high building which included an expanded library, and an impressively equipped science laboratory.

Spring, 1970: In commemoration of Saint Jeanne's first chaplain, Father Jerome Denk, the Denk Memorial Field was dedicated.

June, 1970: A new four-classroom building that could be converted into an auditorium was completed.

May 3, 1970: First May Festival Fundraiser

Fall, 1972: Saint Jeanne's opened its doors to: three preschool classes, two kindergarten classes; and two classes of grades six through eight.

Fall 1988: A state of the art office, theater, and gymnasium complex opened its doors.

Since 1990 Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School: