You Are Here: Carmel Hall
Mud scraper or bike rack? Nobody knows it is there until he or she trips over it.
Every Place Has a Story
Catholic High School is an amazing school with a long history and rich traditions. As students travel through the various hallways, they learn and grow to become responsible and ambitious members of society. Carmel Hall is the place of beginnings. Here, students begin their journey through a life-changing educational experience. As the elementary students attend their classes, they are given the foundation of values that will carry on throughout their middle school and high school careers. Enriching students at a young age is one of Catholic High’s greatest goals. The teachers and administrative heads work tirelessly to give the students the tools they need to become successful and remain faithful in a world that is filled with struggles and discord. Contrary to popular belief, however, Carmel Hall’s area of learning was not always limited to just fourth and fifth grade students.
History of Carmel Hall
Carmel Hall was built as part of the original development of Catholic High School in 1957. It was designed to house second through sixth grades. At that time, first grade boys were taught at Mount Carmel Academy until the fall of 1959 when this grade moved to the Catholic High campus. Due to desegregation in the fall of 1971, first through third grades moved to St. Edward’s School. In the fall of 1987, Catholic High School, which had been a boys-only school for decades, opened its doors to female students. Many of these girls transferred to the Catholic High campus from Mount Carmel Academy, CHS’s sister school, and the Iberia parish public schools. However, by the end of that school year, in May 1988, Mount Carmel decided to close its doors for good. This made CHS the only remaining Catholic school in Iberia Parish.
Due to the rapidly growing population of the school caused by the inclusion of girls, Catholic High’s fourth through seventh graders attended classes at the now empty Mount Carmel building for two years until 1990. After a dispute between the nuns and CHS, CHS went on to rent the empty Live Oak Elementary on West Main Street. At Live Oak Elementary grades fourth through sixth were taught and the seventh graders were moved back into Catholic High’s elementary wing to join the eighth graders.
At the beginning of the 1992 school year, the separation of Catholic High students came to an end. The fourth through seventh graders were moved into the current elementary wing, and the high school wing housed grades eighth through twelfth. This trend remained for the next ten years until more renovations took place. In 2002, a brand new wing was built to hold the sixth through eighth grade middle school students. With that new expansion, Catholic High could now hold all three levels: high school, middle school, and elementary, while providing age-appropriate learning environments. Carmel Hall has contained within its walls the most diverse numbers of students in the history of Catholic High.
Voices from the Past and Present
On May 18, 2012 our team of Josh Childers, Katelyn Dean, and Mashaera Alexander walked through Carmel Hall and interviewed a group of fourth and fifth graders.
Our first stop brought us to the fourth grade duo of Madison Bienvenu and Christopher Landry.
What is your favorite thing about elementary school?
Landry: The classes, mainly P.E.
Bienvenu: I like the classes too.
What school did you both go to before CHS?
Bienvenu: St. Edward.
Landry: I went to Epiphany.
What do you like here that is different from there?
Landry: There are a lot more classes, and you don’t have to stay in just one classroom.
Bienvenu: Yeah, I like moving around more.
What else do you like about CHS? How do you feel about all of the classes coming together like we do?
Landry: I like that all grades get to react with each other.
Bienvenu: I like having our senior buddies.
What is your favorite subject?
Both simultaneously: P.E.
Is there anything that you are looking forward to in becoming a fifth grader?
Landry: Nothing really.
Bienvenu: It looks about the same.
After our talk with Christopher and Madison, we traveled to the fifth grade class and chose a pair of ambitious fifth graders to speak to, Cynthia Romero and Ian Charpentier.
What is your favorite thing about elementary?
History? So that must be your favorite subject?
And you, Cynthia?
Who is your favorite teacher?
Romero: I love them all equally.
Charpentier: Mrs. Kim
Mrs. Kim? Why?
Charpentier: Because she always helps us when we have problems
What activities are you all in?
Romero: I’m in Girl Scouts, but that’s not really school related.
That is alright. What are you both looking forward to in becoming middle school students next year?
Charpentier: Learning more.
Romero: Moving into the middle school with lockers.
What are you going to miss about elementary school?
Romero: The teachers.
Charpentier: I’m really going to miss the teachers.
A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words
Carmel Hall during its construction as Catholic High School is in it’s development in 1964.
Between 1988 and 1990, 4th through 7th graders were moved to the empty Mt. Carmel site.
Miss Anna Lucia, the elementary assistant principal, smiles brightly with her energetic students.
In 1990, elementary students wave for the camera from their new Live Oak Elementary campus on West Main Street.
The name of the hall is displayed in order to direct students and visitors to the correct hallway.
A warm welcome greets those who visit Carmel Hall today.
4th graders hard at work.
These fifth graders refuse to let their younger classmates outwork them.
CHS teaches students to have pride in not only their faith, but their country as well.
A studious fourth grader, shows that technology is not limited to older students by reading on his NOOK.
Many memories and everlasting friendships have been created in this very playground.
Bienvenu, Madison. Personal Interview. 18 May 2012.
Charpentier, Ian. Personal Interview. 18 May 2012.
Childers, Josh. Catholic High School. 2012. Photograph. Private Collection.
Landry, Christopher. Personal Interview. 18 May 2012.
Romero, Cynthia. Personal Interview. 18 May 2012.
Segura, Eugenie. “This Is CHS.” English III. Catholic High School, New Iberia, LA. Lecture. 4 May 2012.
Segura, Eugenie. Email. 21 May 2018.