All Saints’ will survive indefinitely, officials say

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 1, 2003

(11/28/03)All Saints’ Episcopal School will remain open indefinitely, its leaders say, because the school is moving closer to achieving goals set last year by the board of trustees.

Raising $750,000 and increasing enrollment to 90 students were the priorities set by the private school’s board in February.

The Rev. Bill Martin, rector and head of the school, said enrollment at the 105-year-old school on Confederate Avenue is at 85.

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That number is up from the 70 who were enrolled in early September. Martin said he expects enrollment to be at 100 by the end of the year, as the boarding and day school for boys and girls accepts students until February or March.

The school opened in 1908 as an all girls school, but now accepts boys and girls in the seventh through 12th grades.

Of the 85 students enrolled at the school, 30 are day students. Martin said that shows Vicksburg’s support of the school.

“The interest level of the school locally helps promote the school abroad,” Martin said.

Adding to the local help is a silent auction under way at Peterson’s Art and Antiques. The auction features work from local artists and gift certificates, and organizers Bobbie Marascalco and Logan Cauthen-Peay hope to raise $10,000.

The auction began Monday and will continue today and Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. with a closing reception on Sunday.

The school has raised $500,000 after kicking off a “grass roots campaign.”

The amount of small donations is an indication that more are to come.

“We’ve had hundreds of small gifts,” Martin said. “And we’re hoping that’s a healthy sign that larger gifts are to come.

“We’re still looking to close the gap between what we have and what we need.”

Members of the All Saints’ board, made up of clergy and lay people from Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas dioceses, had announced nearly a year ago the school would close, citing higher expenses and fewer students. A national rally of parents and former students followed, and the board set the conditions for continued operations.