SCHOOL HISTORY & IMPACT OF LAMAR BRUNI VERGARA ON SCHOOL MISSION
St. Augustine High School is a co-educational Catholic high school with Grades 9-12 promoting the highest academic standards with a foundation of Catholic values and traditions. It is fully accredited by the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department as approved by the Texas Education Agency.
The original campus was located in historic downtown Laredo adjacent to the present Cathedral of San Agustin. Founded in 1927 by the Oblates and staffed by the Sisters of Divine Providence, the school flourished for many years at this location. Then in the mid-1970s, with the closing of both Ursuline Academy and St. Joseph’s Academy relocation was pursued. Families, many products of Catholic education in Laredo, banded together to assist in the purchase of the Ursuline Academy facility for St. Augustine School, its current location at 1300 Galveston Street.
St. Augustine High School is a diocesan school of the Diocese of Laredo; with His Excellency James A. Tamayo, School Superintendent, Dr. Rosa Maria Vida, the Advisory Board, and the Principal, Olga Gentry with her Administrative Team as the school’s leaders. The school is staffed and administered by both lay and religious faculty. Student enrollment is 365, with a student / teacher ratio of 22:1;
At the Galveston campus, home to St. Augustine High School for nearly forty years, many major physical plant renovations and improvements, due largely to the generosity of The Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust. Wellness Center was completed in 1996 to include a state-of-the-art gymnasium, weight room, offices, and storage areas. In 2000 with monies from the Lamar Bruni Vergara (LBV) the school replaced the HVAC system in the main school building. More recent facility expansion projects funded by LBV have included the student center / cafeteria, built in 2004, which is used campus-wide for students in Grades K3-12th Grade, with the nearly 900 students use this facility for lunch daily. Additionally, the cafeteria, which accommodates 400 people, is used by the school for various events including faculty development, parent meetings and report card nights. Built in 2006 and 2008, respectively, were the school’s Early Childhood and Middle School buildings- making possible the increase of students in our K3, K4, and K5 classes and in Grades 6-8. Significant donations were made to these two buildings by LBV. St. Augustine High School is committed not only to the improvement of its facilities in order to provide the optimum learning environment but to academic programs that ensure the tradition of excellence in academic and religious foundations provided through quality educational experiences, that are standards based, rigorous and college prep.
For five years, 2009-2013, The Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust, funded the “St. Aug Scholars” program, providing $20,000 a year, to assist 20 students scholarships. For the past two years, LBV’s funding of St. Augustine High School’s “Student Success Initiatives” has expanded the donation for scholarships from LBV to include support for college readiness programs, faculty development, the curriculum guide project and technology all aimed towards academic excellence, the primary focus of the school’s strategic plan created in partnership with Loyola University in Chicago.
St. Augustine High School’s mission challenges each student to achieve academic excellence, to embrace Catholic values and traditions and to make a difference in the world. Students are offered the opportunity and are required to participate in service projects required on campus and in the community. All school stakeholders are committed to the mission to “develop the whole person, inspire Gospel values, instill love of learning and uphold academic excellence in a nurturing environment.”
The commitment to the school’s mission can be seen in the success of its St. Augustine High School graduates, 100% of whom apply, are accepted and attend college, whether in Texas, out of state, in Mexcio, or abroad. St. Augustine graduates are ready for and successful in college and go on to become contributing members of their communities, prepared not only for their chosen careers but for lifelong learning and service to others.
It is the support of longtime contributors like the Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust that allows St. Augustine to continue to grow and improve continuing its tradition of excellence. As we approach our 90th Anniversary and look forward to 100, we express our gratitude to the trust and its trustees for their faith in Laredo’s only Catholic, private, college-prep high school, and for truly impacting our students.