School History

OLL was founded in 1986. The first phase of the school was completed in August of 1987. The school began that year with only four classrooms: two kindergarten classes, one first grade class, and one second grade class. In 1990, phase two was completed and dedicated by Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy. The gymnasium, music room, science lab, computer room, and additional classrooms were completed in 1997. The school currently serves a population of over 470 students from PK2 through 8th grade.

In 1980, Father Edmund Whyte began organizing pledges to construct an elementary school for Our Lady of the Lakes Parish. The school was to be constructed in three phases to alleviate financial burden. The school opened under the leadership of Sister Mary Carol Koester, RSM, in 1984. Since the first phase of the school was under construction, classes were held in the Parish hall. It housed two kindergarten classes, one first grade and one second grade. In 1987, the first phase of the school, which consisted of a two-story building, was completed. The building housed eight classrooms and administrative offices. Dedication of Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School (OLL) was held on October 17, 1987, by Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy. Classes began in the new building in January of 1987.

In 1988, the second phase of the school building was begun. The building was to house ten additional classrooms, a library, science room, computer lab, teachers’ lounge, elevator and storage rooms. Dedication of the new wing was held on September 22, 1990, by Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy.  Because of a rising interest and in order to accommodate the schedule of working parents, an after school program was opened in the new building.

On March 26, 1996, Sister Mary Carol Koester’s death set a series of changes for OLL in motion. Mr. Alex Porto, the school’s first assistant principal, became the interim principal. The following school year a new Pastor, Father James P. Murphy, and a new principal, Mr. Virgil Rogers, were hired. Father Whyte was reassigned to St. Mark to begin a new school. After Mr. Rogers’s resignation in 1997, Mrs. Shelly Sweeney the vice principal became principal of OLL. The third and final phase of the new school building was started. It was to house four additional classrooms, a computer lab, science lab, music room, storage rooms and cafetorium.

The next couple of years were full of many positive changes. Mrs. Rose M. Cabrera became the vice principal in 1998. The following year, 1999, brought much excitement with the addition of two PK4 classrooms and accreditation by the Florida Catholic Conference. In 2000, a day care program for the children of the faculty and staff was opened.

In 2004, Mrs. Barbara Picazo and Mrs. Rose Cabrera served as Interim Principal and Vice Principal due to Mrs. Sweeney’s resignation to pursue a new chapter in her life, motherhood. The Rosary Garden was completed and blessed by Father Murphy.

In 2005, Mr. Alex Porto returned to OLL as its new principal. Mr. Porto’s relocation to Georgia in the summer of 2006 began a new chapter at OLL under the guidance of Mr. C. Ricardo Briz. The OLL family also welcomed the happy addition of a PK3 program. In the fall of 2014, OLL opened its doors to PK2 students.

In 2019, Ms. Barbara Picazo assumed the leadership of the school as the new principal following
Mr. Briz’s retirement at the end of the 2018 – 2019 school year.

Currently, OLL is blessed to have a caring, stable administration, faculty, and staff with little turnaround, classrooms filled with children happy to come to school, and a supportive community.