WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — It was a bittersweet day for the Notre Dame community.
“It was just kind of like everybody was emotional, giving some speeches.” Notre Dame Student Coleston Ludtke said.
The last day of operation for Notre Dame Catholic School.
“A lot of emotion, a lot of sad feelings, but hopefully there’s some new hopeful things in the future,” Notre Dame parent Anthony Kirby said.
Back on March 11, parents and faculty were sent a notice from the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth saying the schools would close permanently at the end of this school year due to financial struggles, aging physical facilities, and low enrollment
Now, just more than two months later parents like Kirby, are looking back on what they loved most about Notre Dame.
“The family environment, the small classrooms, and just the overall just the community we have here,” Kirby said.
And with such a long history many alumni returned to say goodbye since March.
Which shows Communications Director for the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth Pat Svacina that these students, even the current ones, will remember their time here fondly.
“So.. no doubt these kids will take memories with them that will last a lifetime,” Svacina said.
It will definitely take some adjustment. Ayrabella Castillo is reluctant to leave her elementary school but will take so much of what she learned with her, wherever she goes next.
“I’m not really happy about leaving this school, but I’m really looking forward to being in another school, so I can teach everybody about what I was taught here at Notre Dame,” Castillo said.
And that seems to be a common theme. How much the students loved the environment Notre Dame Catholic School cultivated.
“All the teachers that I met in my life and how sweet and how kind, and also just everybody in that school was kind,” Ludtke said.
Making a lasting impact even after the doors are closed.
“I will just remember Notre Dame and on and on, and I’ll remember it and always love it,” Ludtke said.
And Svacina says the Diocese of Ft. Worth is developing a strategic planning process with the superintendent here on how they can continue offering a Catholic education in this area!
And if you didn’t know one of the most famous alumni of Notre Dame is two-time Olympic gold medalist Mia Hamm. She played soccer for the knights as a high school freshman and sophomore.