Hear from some Alumni:
I am one of the first graduates of LBCRS, having graduated in June 1956. As I recall, I was also the first student to receive a diploma in the first graduation ceremony. The diplomas were not distributed in alphabetical order but rather by the height of the graduate. The graduating class members did everything in height order. I have always had the distinction of being vertically challenged and as the shortest boy in the class, I was the first kid to get a diploma from Monsignor Cass. Another first distinction I have is that I am the first person to have been ordained to the diaconate from the school. I now have another brother deacon alumnus in Deacon Tom Evrard. I have known Deacon Tom since grade school and treasure the friendship the two of us share.
My class of the first seventh graders entered the school in September 1954. We were a class of 49 students, 25 girls and 24 boys. Our uniform was a green jumper for the girls and brown pants and tan shirt with brown ties for the boys. One variation the boys had was a choice of either a regular or bow tie. Our principle was Sister Gregory, who later was given the title Mother. Our seventh grade teacher was Sister Mary Immaculate and our classroom was in one of the second floor front corners, which had a magnificent view of the ocean, boardwalk and beach. The Sisters were in full habit in those days and one could hear them coming by the noise their long rosaries made. I remember Sister Mary Immaculate being a very sweet woman.
The following year we became the eighth grade and had Sister Charles Florian as a teacher. I remember Sister "Charlie" with fondness as a strict disciplinarian, a no nonsense kind of teacher who was deeply loved by each of her students. Can you imagine a class of 49 kids and one teacher today? Sister Charles Florian never had a discipline problem in her class.
We used to play in the playground after the school bus left us off every morning, and then line up in the school yard to attend the 8:30 mass. After mass, we would go to our class room and say our morning prayers and prayers before each subject Sister taught. At noon we used to say the Angelus and grace before meals, then we had lunch in the cafeteria and played in the school yard or in the play area of the corner of New York Avenue and West Broadway. At 1 o'clock we started afternoon class with grace after meals and other prayers, like a couple of decades of the Rosary and then prayers before each subject Sister taught. We would complete our day at 3pm with more prayers and during Lent we would have an opportunity to addend the Stations of the Cross or be able to go to Confession. We used to collect money for the missions and even had a fund to ransom pagan babies, which was another way of sending money to other countries for the people of those nations.
At Long Beach Catholic Regional School I not only learned reading, witting and arithmetic, but I came to know so much about our Catholic faith and prayer life. I learned about God, His unconditional love for me and others, and I learned how to interact with God and others as a Disciple of Jesus Christ. That's an education.
Thank you Long Beach Catholic School, thank you Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville for being our first teachers and Thank you Monsignor Cass who had the vision to start our School.
Deacon Tony Cuseo