When School of the Epiphany first opened its doors to students on August 17, 1938, it was a testimony to the hard-working, generous people of Epiphany parish. Only two years had passed since the long time pastor, Father Patrick J. Ryan, had announced to the parishioners upon hearing plans for a parish school, as they were just beginning to recover from the Depression era. However, in a "can do" spirit that still typifies Epiphany parish, the concrete Art Deco style building took shape on the corner of Naples St. and Italy Ave. in the Excelsior neighborhood.
By the 1960s, the school's student population began to reflect the changes in the neighborhood. More Filipino and Latino families became a part of the community, starting new traditions and celebrations from their cultures. During the next two decades, the school departmentalized the junior high with elective classes such as Physical Education while the gym underwent an extensive overhaul with a rededication as Gilheaney Gym. The school also became a part of the Mission District Catholic Schools, a group of eight Catholic schools who served the multi-ethnic, lower and middle income families.
The 1990s brought many changes to the school. A departmentalized Middle School program was developed as enrollment soared to over 600 students. In 2003, a new gym was built, under the guidance of Monsignor Bruce Drier. The new facility, Nano Nagle Hall, included a library and two new classrooms.
The new faculty consisting of seven sisters, members of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, met their new classes in the church after an opening Mass. Led by the first principal, Sister Mary Amabilis Meehan, the school's classrooms came to life. By 1945, the school's enrollment increased to 524 students. Along with the growing neighborhood, the school's enrollment also began to grow, serving the many Italian and Irish immigrants who have moved in. Four years later, construction began to expand the school by adding on to each end of the building and build another floor for the convent.
Today, School of the Epiphany continues its 80+ year legacy of living and teaching by the motto of our school and its founders, the Presentation Sisters, "Not Words But Deeds".