On August 26, 1937, four Sisters of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary arrived in Chattanooga, TN. They had one calling, to start a school, and they had six days to make it happen. Despite the unknowns of the day and living far from their home in Dubuque, Iowa, faith and determination enabled these four sisters to begin the legacy that is Our Lady of Perpetual Help School.
On the first day of registration, September 2, 1937, there were 60 pupils enrolled. This averaged fifteen children to each teacher so that "each child received splendid individual attention and made remarkable progress." Their love for their students and passion for education led to an increase in enrollment, which led to the building of the first brick school building and the convent in 1948.
A football field and stadium escalated the sports program, which began when Stagmaier Gym was built in 1953. In 1956, the covered walkway from the church to the school was added. The school also added four classrooms and the cafeteria size was doubled. In 1987, a third school building was built. Always changing and adapting to the times, this building consists of four classrooms, a school library (now media center), and a computer lab.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help School is approved by the Tennessee Department of Education, certified by Diocese of Knoxville, and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Student enrollment increased from 60 students in 1937 to over 275 in 2019. The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary began the tradition of educational excellence in 1937, which is continued by lay faculty and staff today.