St. Matthews Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Head of School Alley Michaelson, cut the ribbon for the new score board, which kicked off the ceremonies for St. Matthew’s 75th Anniversary.

St. Matthew’s Parish School marked its 75th anniversary with a series of celebratory events on May 3 in the school meadow off Bienveneda Avenue.

The celebration started with a short chapel.  Then students in preschool through eighth grade, faculty, staff and parents attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new athletics scoreboard on the meadow.

Alley Michaelson, a St. Matthew’s Alumna (2002), who returned to her Pacific Palisades roots as Head of School in 2023, presided over the presentation before the start of Blue-White Day.

“St. Matthew’s students have endless opportunities that enrich and expand their educational experiences,” Michaelson said. “The future of St. Matthew’s is bright.”

Blue White Day is an annual St. Matthews tradition, which focuses on athletics. The festivities began with a lollipop race. Falcon spirit was on display as students participated in other athletic endeavors, and the school’s mascot, Freddie the Falcon, energized the sidelines.

Adding to the day’s festivities, the school’s mascot was joined by Marty, a real-life Lanner falcon, accompanied by falconer Cortney Vargas from Raptor Events, a wildlife conservation organization.

St. Matthew’s mascot, Freddie the Falcon, was joined by a real falcon on Blue White Day.

From now until next year’s Blue-White Day, the School plans to honor the rich history of St. Matthew’s.

The school was founded in May 1949 and doors opened to the elementary school located on Swarthmore Avenue in September 1950. A new campus was founded at the former 74-acre Garland Ranch on Bienveneda in 1953 (with grades seven and eight added in 1978). Today, the school includes preschool through eighth grade serving 350 children and their families.

This school has arguably one of the most beautiful campuses in the Palisades. Even as the buildings were remodeled or newly built, the oak trees and meadows, sycamores and canyon hillsides were all taken into consideration and preserved, keeping a pastoral character. Wildlife such as deer can often be seen on campus.

The campus has 28 classrooms, two music and performing arts classrooms and two science labs. In addition to the seven classroom buildings, there is an administration building, a 13,000-volume library housed in the 20,000 square foot student center, a sport and performing arts center, a swimming pool, a large playing field, six separate playgrounds, and a church which serves as the chapel.

Michaelson writes “At St. Matthew’s, children don’t simply thrive. They flourish in both mind and heart.”

St. Matthew’s students participated in the lollipop run on the meadow.                                                                    Photo: LESLIE FIELDS

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