Corning, New York has a long and proud tradition of Catholic education. St. Mary’s School, (the predecessor of All Saints Academy), was established in Corning, in 1855 by the mostly Irish immigrant parishioners of St. Mary’s Church. For the first five years, the school conducted classes in the basement of the church, which was built in 1849. In 1860, St. Mary’s Parish organized a great fair to raise funds for a new school building. The new St. Mary’s School building opened in 1861, with a staff of two lay teachers. Enrollment grew quickly, and by 1862 there were 250 students enrolled. In 1867, the Sisters of Mercy arrived to take over teaching duties of the ever expanding student population. Most Corning residents had never seen a nun before the sisters arrived.
By 1881, the school had outgrown its original building, and a new 2-story brick school was built. By 1908, there were 595 students enrolled at St. Mary’s, and in 1911 a new addition to the building provided more classrooms, an auditorium, a library, and the first gymnasium in Corning. This historic brick building today houses the junior high classrooms and the gymnasium/cafeteria of All Saints Academy.
In 1903, St. Patrick’s Church in Corning also built a school, which grew quickly. By 1908 241 were enrolled. St. Vincent’s Church on the city’s north side built their school in 1914. Most of St. Vincent’s parishioners were of Italian descent.
In 1971, St. Mary’s School and St. Patrick’s School combined to become Catholic School South, housed in the former St. Mary’s School. At the same time, St. Vincent’s School was renamed Catholic School North. In 1980, Catholic School South and Catholic School North combined to become All Saints Academy, at the historic St. Mary’s School site.
As we look back at our incredibly rich heritage, we also look forward to a future that continues the tradition of educating the next generations of students who are compassionate, inquisitive learners prepared for global responsibility.