Saturday School of Native Subjects - School History
Polish School named after General Kazimierz Pulaski is the oldest school in the Chicago metropolitan area. The first mentions of its foundation come from 1950, but the official date of the school’s establishment is 1951.
After World War II, in 1948, the first Poles from Germany arrived on American soil on board the General Black. In 1950, the Circle of Former Educators and Alumni of Polish Secondary Schools from Germany is established in Chicago. This organization changes its name to the Circle of Former Educators and Alumni in Exile and as part of this organization a Pedagogical Section is established along with courses in native subjects. These courses are the nucleus of today’s school. Gen. Casimir Pulaski. In a press article from 1962 in the school chronicle, we read: “The first organizational meeting took place at Franciszek Kokot’s house – in 1950. The already existing Pedagogical Section took part in this first organizational meeting, which was to decide about the interest in learning the native language among the Polish diaspora. . (…) From the day it was founded, the school began to live. The first 7 students begin to learn their mother tongue, which they conducted at that time completely selflessly, without any PP fees. Mieczysław Ropejko, MSc Wygocki, Franciszek Kokot and Mrs. Ewa Owsiak. “
The first study rooms are provided to the school free of charge at the premises of the Polish Women’s Association. On December 6, 1952, the first lessons for 32 students took place in the hall of the Polish Women Association. The first head of the school is the Chairman of the Pedagogical Section – Bolesław Nytko, and the classes are conducted by two teachers: Maria Swoboda and Matylda Czypionka. The school is called: Saturday School of Native Subjects. The school is growing rapidly. Receives financial aid from the Association of Self-Help for New Emigration. The Legion of Young Polish Women provides the school with its premises for classes. In 1955, the first Parent Association of the Polish School of Native Subjects was established, which took over the administrative department and helped run the school. Andrzej Zalski becomes the first president. 200 students study at the school. In 1956, a second General Assembly votes over the idea of taxing each family $ 1 a month to the school. Classes are held in 3 buildings. On November 7, 1959, the school receives a room in the public school. Anderson on Division Street. At that time, the school has 500 students and the teaching staff consists of 7 teachers. In 1960, the parish priest of St. Trinity, Fr. Stanisław Lisewski, PhD, agrees to rent free rooms at the parish school on Cleaver Street for a fee. The school remains in the parish of St. Trinity until 1977. Since the Parent Committee was established in 1955, the school has been systematically dividing roles and tasks. Teachers teach and educate, while parents take care of the material well-being of the school.
On December 7, 1958, the first school regulations adopted by the General Assembly enter into force. As an important and living document, this document is modified according to the requirements of collective and organizational life. The first corrections take place in 1959, during the General Assembly, after the dismissal of the headmaster, Kazimierz Liberadzki. They introduce a provision that the head of the school will be selected and employed by the Parent Committee. The first election is made at an extraordinary General Assembly on December 13, 1959. Kazimierz Lorenc becomes the head of the school. At the same meeting, the school changes its name to Polish School named after him. Gen. Kazimierz Pulaski, in order to receive financial aid from the Illinois Board of Education.
An important place in the life of the school is occupied by the Junior High School of the Polish School of Gen. K. Pulaski. In 1960, the first class of the gymnasium was created, numbering 7 people. More classes come every year, and four years later, Pulaski School has a full four-class junior high school, which is the oldest Polish high school in Chicago. Since 1967, students of the 4th grade of the gymnasium led by Mrs. Maria Neumann have been giving lectures at the Polish People's University on topics related to Polish literature and famous Poles. At the beginning of the 1970s, students of all classes appear on radio programs by dr Włodzimierz Sikora. The programs are popular and are repeated at the request of the listeners. Second-class students of junior high school also appear in the television program of Zenon Kwiatkowski.
In 1968, the school expanded its curriculum to the eighth grade. In primary and secondary schools, 830 students study in two shifts. There is a need to create an additional school. The school board participates in the opening of a new school under the name of Polska Szkoła im. H. Sienkiewicz in Cicero in the southern suburbs. Some students from Pulaski's school are enrolled in the Sienkiewicz school.
The year 1972 brought changes to the statutes. During the General Meeting on April 30, 1972, the Parents' Club changed its name to the Association of Parents and Teachers of the Polish School of Gen. K. Pulaski.
In 1976, the school moves to the building of the parish school of St. Wacława - close to the center of the Polish community in Chicago. There is a need to educate children aged four and five. In 1986, a kindergarten class is established at the school. In 1993, the school has to relocate again and moves to the northern suburbs of Chicago to St. Monica. Unfortunately, cooperation with the parish does not go well and the school moves to the parish of St. Rosalia in Harwood Heights, where he taught for the next 28 years.
On April 23, 2005, the school is visited by representatives of the Illinois Department of Education. The school receives State Department of Education Accreditation, which is renewed annually.
In March 2022, due to structural problems, the Archdiocese of Chicago is closing the building at St. Rosalie and terminated the contract. The new location of the Polish school is Union Ridge School. Polish school Gen. Kazimierz Pulaski not only changes the location, but also introduces a modern, creative model of teaching in the Polish school, which corresponds to modern education standards.
During the school's over 70-year history, the duties of the President of the Parent's Committee were performed by:
- Andrzej Zalski (1955-1958)
- dr Władysław Dąbek (1958-1960)
- Gracjan Poholski (1960-1961)
- Roman Franczak (1961)
- Bogusław Musiałowicz (1961-1963)
- Stanisław Łobodziński (1963-1968)
- Tadeusz Szebert (1968-1972)
- Ryszard Mazurek (1972-1974)
- Eugeniusz Barwicki (1947-1976)
- Witold Pawlikowski (1976-1985)
- Elżbieta Górnikiewicz (1985-2004)
- Agata Woźny (od 2004 do chwili obecnej)
During the long, over 70-year history of the school, the duties of the school's Principal were fulfilled in turn:
- Bolesła Nytko (1952)
- Zygmunt Wygocki
- Franciszek Kokot
- Kazimierz Liberadzki (1952-1959)
- Kazimierz Lorenc (1959-1962)
- Zofia Zioło (1962-1964)
- Michał Szymański (1964-1965)
- Kazimierz Serwas (1965-1973)
- Józef Chłanda (1973-1977)
- Jadwiga Janczewska (1977-1979)
- Józef Żurczak (1979-1984)
- Maria Kożuchowska (1984)
- Maria Żurczak (1984)
- Helena Sromek (1985-2000)
- Ewa Wejda (2001-2011)
- Agata Michałkiewicz (2011-2022)
- dr Agnieszka Oskiera (od 2022 do chwili obecnej)
In the life of any organization, symbols and signs that represent it externally are important. Our school can be proud of two such symbols. These are the banners that were donated by Mrs. Eugenia Chmielewska and Fracis Lorenz. The first, hand-embroidered banner. Gen. K. Pulaski received from the hands of a longtime teacher - Mrs. Eugenia Chmielewska. The act of consecration was made on April 28, 1962 by his Eminence, Bishop Alojzy Wycisło. The second banner, on the other hand, was presented to the school on the same day by Francis Lorenz, treasurer of the state administration. It was the banner of the state of Illinois. On September 15, 1990, the second new flag of the school, "Non Alius Regit", designed by the president Witold Pawlikowski with the artistic help of the artist Waldemar Kowal, was consecrated.
High School Graduation
The Pulaski High School maintains a beautiful tradition of graduating from school. Parents, teachers and representatives of Polish organizations are invited to the banquet on this occasion. Young people prepare the artistic part and thank the teachers for many years of work. The school board presents the graduates with bronze medals commemorating their studies at the high school of the Polish School of Gen. K. Pulaski. The designer of the medal is Joanna Adamska-Koperska, a graduate of our school, illustrator of publications in the field of medicine, biology and cartography.
Just like in Poland, our students take part in the most important ball, which is organized in the last year of high school, 100 days before the final exams. This tradition appeared in the Chicago agglomeration in 1994 and is very popular among Polish youth. Every year, students of the last year of high school participate in a traditional prom. The Pulaski School co-organized the matura ball twice - the first prom, attended by 80 people, and in 2011, attended by 677 students and about 100 heads, presidents and teachers of Polish schools in the Chicago agglomeration.
Ceremonial presentation of secondary school-leaving certificates by the consul of the Republic of Poland
Since 1993, high school graduates dressed in white gowns and caps have been participating in masses. graduation sessions organized by the Association of Polish Teachers in America, during which they receive commemorative diplomas from the consul of the Republic of Poland and the president of the Association of Polish Teachers in Chicago.
Priorytetowym celem Polskiej Szkoły im. Gen. Kazimierza Pulaskiego jest kreatywne i innowacyjne nauczanie:
języka i kultury polskiej
z wykorzystaniem najnowszych technik informatycznych i informacyjnych.
Wpisujemy się tym samym w wszechstronny i harmonijny rozwój naszych uczniów. Pomagamy rozwijać w życzliwej atmosferze osobowość, charakter i pasję polonijnej młodzieży. Dajemy solidne podstawy zachęcające młode pokolenie do zgłębiania i poszerzania wiedzy o Polsce. Pamiętając o naszej przeszłości narodowej, tworzymy teraźniejszość i przyszłość.
Misją szkoły jest również promowanie dziedzictwa polskiego wśród lokalnej społeczności, przyczyniając się do rozpoznawalności i kreowania pozytywnego wizerunku Polski i Polaków.