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Parish and school history

Shortly after the foundation of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, in 1878, the Holy Ghost Fathers had a school built. The original structure was a two-story log building with two classrooms on the ground floor and living quarters for the priest on the second floor. Lay women were the first teachers and by 1884 there were 83 students. In 1924, Blue Hill School was built teaching students through the eighth grade with Benedictine Sisters from the St. Scholastica Convent in Fort Smith. In 1927 the Pulaski County School District took control of the school, thereby making it a public school. It is often said that Father Charles Hertel would post a watch at the end of Blue Hill Road to watch for District personnel, so the nuns could teach Religion classes at the now public school. In 1953, Blue Hill School withdrew from the District and once again became a parochial school. Under the guidance of Very Rev. Msgr. Thomas J. Prendergast, a larger school was built and dedicated in 1960.

In 1991, Immaculate Heart of Mary School adding three classrooms and a library and as enrollment continued to increase the “Upper Building” which includes church offices, more classrooms, a cafeteria, and a Parish Life Center were constructed in 1998. Immaculate Heart of Mary School continues to grow and continues the legacy of a sound, fundamental Christ filled education.