Saint Catherine Elementary School was established as a private co-educational school. It has the distinction of being the oldest Catholic Educational Institution in Belize. The primary mission of the Mercy Sisters at this time was to inaugurate Catholic education in Belize. They successfully achieved this mission, one that has been unmatched for the past 100 years.
St. Catherine Elementary School moved from the hands of an advisory board into the hands of a Board of Governors. This was a significant step and began for the elementary school a new era. For the first time in its one hundred years of history, a layperson was named principal.
The Sisters of Mercy, whose focus had shifted from education to care for the elderly and the homeless, asked the school to relocate. They felt confident that the school could function without them, that the parents cared enough to continue the trend begun all those years ago. Through the generosity of the Belize government, a choice piece of property on Princess Margaret Drive was granted to the school. With the land secure, much effort was put into finding agencies or firms who would be willing to lend the finances necessary to build the new school complex. To show the extent of the parents’ commitment to the project, a family bond of $1500 was instituted. Monies received from this contribution coupled with a loan from the Belize Social Security Board realized a large part of the loan cost of construction.
In January 1993, to mark the official break from the Sisters of Mercy, the name of the school was changed to Belize Elementary School. Construction of the new school complex began in August.
The compound was completed in June. The new school remains well-grounded in its rich tradition of excellence and intends to continue to mold the students entrusted to it, developing them mentally, spiritually, and physically into intelligent, sensitive and positive young men and women.