About Us

Our Mission

We, the Catholic School of Visalia—George McCann Memorial Campus, educate children to learn, lead and serve in the spirit of Jesus Christ.

Our Philosophy

“Our teachers are preparing for adulthood and Christian maturity a generation who will build the church and the society of tomorrow.”

Pope John Paul II

At George McCann Memorial Catholic School we instill in our students the importance of education as spiritual and intellectual preparation for the unique mission in life to which God calls each of us. We are a family of parents, students, educators and parishioners who strive to create a Catholic faith community through a quality education based on gospel values.

Students are encouraged to develop—

RESOURCEFULNESS—to develop creative problem-­solving abilities and fostering the student’s desire to learn.

RESPECT—for themselves, one another, and the world around them.

RESPONSIBILITY—recognizing their talents as tools for loving and serving God and others.

Our purpose is threefold.

We are here to assist our students in becoming—

  • faith-­filled active Catholics
  • lifelong learners, and
  • responsible citizens

We are deeply committed to the growth of the student’s whole person—spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and cultural. Staff members realize the power of their personal example and model love and respect. They recognize the person of Christ in the lives of each person in the classroom, the entire school, and in our parish community. Students, staff members, and parents experience a sense of belonging. A carefully nurtured atmosphere of security and acceptance enables students’ talents and knowledge to blossom, to develop a positive self-­image.


The Catholic School of Visalia, George McCann Memorial Campus is accredited by both the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). School accreditation affirms that The Catholic School of Visalia is an academically sound and spiritually formative school for the students. The WCEA emphasizes the Catholic identity of the school as well as its quality academic program. The WASC accrediting commission for schools is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States.

The Accrediting Commission for Schools, WASC extends its services to more than 4,500 public, independent, church-­related, and proprietary Pre-­K through 12 and adult schools, works with 16 associations in joint accreditation processes, and collaborates with other educational organizations. The WASC accreditation process fosters excellence in elementary, secondary, and adult education by encouraging school improvement. WASC accreditation recognizes schools that met an acceptable level of quality in accordance with established, research-­based WASC criteria.

History of George McCann School

The first parish-­sponsored school at this location was the Academy of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, opened and directed by the Reverend Daniel F. Dade in 1861 and flourished until father Dade’s retirement in 1872.

Irish immigrants, Mr. and Mrs. George McCann, were married by Fr. Dade. Tragically, by 1886 the couple lost five children from the epidemic. After Mr. McCann’s death Mrs. McCann offered the bulk of their estate to the parish.

George McCann Memorial Catholic School was founded in 1924, with four classrooms and a modest principal’s office. A convent was soon built to house the teaching staff, the Sisters of Notre Dame. Because of the persistent appeal for sisters made by Father George Doyle to leaders of the Immaculate Heart Community in Hollywood, four schools in the Los Angeles area each released a sister to work at George McCann School.

The Immaculate Heart Sisters faithfully served George McCann Memorial Catholic School until June, 1978, when two of the nuns were killed in an automobile accident.

Mrs. Sheila Rast was appointed principal of George McCann School. As principal, Mrs. Rast has focused on bringing the school community together in prayer. The articulation between grade levels has become a priority to ensure a continuum of learning from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Improvements to the school site include new air conditioning for the classrooms, fresh paint, the remodeling of the boys’ bathroom, and the new basketball courts were highlights for the school in Mrs. Rast’s first two years.

During the 2004-2005 school year a new building was constructed to include a computer lab, library, and extended care facility. In the ensuing years many upgrades graced the campus, including new offices, blackboards, music rooms, playgrounds, and more.

Other changes were made, as well. Mass was celebrated as a school community each Friday, except during lent, when the school gathered to pray the Stations of the Cross. A new Art Docent Program was established. A walking club was formed. The computer lab was expanded and the library collection enhanced.