History

In 1967, the newly formed Diocese of St. Petersburg was led by Bishop Charles B. McLaughlin. He accepted the call to build a school serving the special needs community in the St. Petersburg area.

In May of 1969, ground was broken for the first phase of Morning Star School of Pinellas Park, Inc. In August of 1969, the school year began with the first six students in a temporary facility. The completed Morning Start School was dedicated on February 1, 1970 and the doors opened to receive 20 students. Thus began the ministry to meet the special educational needs of children of all faiths and backgrounds in the St. Petersburg-Tampa Bay Area.

Photo of Morning Star, circa 1970!
Sister Dolorita Colianni was Principal of Morning Star from 1971 – 1983
Mrs. Rose Kennedy visits with Morning Star students in March 1971.

Morning Star Residence added on the school grounds in 1975.  The building is now used to house the ACE Teachers.
Mrs. Ethel Kennedy Shriver visits Morning Star in Fall 1976.
Andy Boisvert and Rose Tomassi present plans for O.T.H.E.R.S. (Opportunity To Help Educate Receptive Students) Hall.
Thanks to the financial support of our boosters, Newly built multi-purpose building, OTHERS Hall, was built.  This picture is circa 1979.
Mary Lou Giacobbe, Principal, 1984-2010

Morning Star begins construction on Administration Office for the school, as well as the addition of a covered walkway between buildings is completed, 1986
Principal Giacobbe and teachers, Ms. Gillespie, Mrs. Conza, Mrs. Castaneda and Mrs. Aurswald in 2007
Susan M. Conza, Principal, 2011 – Present

New Playground area installed for the students to use while still being safe on property, 2012


Two new portable buildings are brought in to house the now expanding high school program, 2014 


Another playground area was installed to allow more students time to spend outside in the Florida sun, 2015


The sensory building is completed, 2018. 

In 2019, plans for a new Transition Building and Achievement Center have begun, allowing students to continue their education at Morning Star after high school graduation.