September 1, 2023 | Local News
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Students look on during the groundbreaking for the new Sister Anne Michelle Mudd Annex at St. Paul Catholic School in Leitchfield, Ky., on Aug. 2, 2023. COURTESY OF ST. PAUL

St. Paul Catholic School breaks ground for new annex


St. Paul Catholic School in Leitchfield, Ky., has struggled with enrollment for years, but the people at St. Paul Parish have refused to let it close. One of its fiercest supporters was Ursuline Sr. Anne Michelle Mudd, OSU.

“She went to school here. She loved this place,” said Martha Hall, one of Sr. Anne Michelle’s biological sisters. “She loved little kids, she loved to teach them.”

“The school almost closed one year,” her other sister, Sondra Gavieres, said. “She saved everything to raise money – Campbell’s soup labels, stamps – she didn’t even take any pay.”

On Aug. 2, 2023, the first day of school at St. Paul, the students, teachers and other supporters gathered to break ground for a new building, which will be named the “Sister Anne Michelle Mudd Annex.” Sr. Anne Michelle spent 31 of her 60 years as an Ursuline Sister serving at St. Paul as a teacher or principal, and was still serving as a religion teacher when she died suddenly on Aug. 11, 2020.

The school has 75 students to begin the year, quite an increase from recent years.

“I hope it’s because of the message we have here,” principal Todd Johnston said. “It’s a smaller environment. It’s what we teach.”

While increased enrollment is good news, the school is out of space. It has had to limit enrollment because there is no room for additional students.

“We need a room for every grade level, and the new building will allow that,” Johnston said. “We had to cut off kindergarten at 10 students. With the new building, we hope to increase that to 25 eventually.”

The above is an excerpt from a story originally published on and has been reprinted with permission.

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