THE HISTORY OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION IN FREMONT, OHIO
Saint Ann School opened its doors in 1876. The school was established as an elementary school and in 1882 became a certified secondary school as well. The high school was discontinued in 1932.
St. Joseph School was constructed in 1908 and 405 students began attending classes there October 15, 1908.
It served students through high school until an adjacent building was constructed to serve high school students.
St. Casimir Church and School began in 1916 as an ethnic parish for people of Polish descent. The enrollment was 79 in 1919 and reached 128 by 1926. Unfortunately, the school had to close in 1967 due to small enrollment and lack of Sisters of St Francis of Sylvania who had staffed it since its opening.
Construction on the St. Joseph High School building began with a new wing in 1950 and the current structure was completed six years later and operated as a parish school until 1976. At that time, it became a “consolidated” Catholic high school for Fremont and the surrounding area and was renamed St. Joseph Central Catholic.
Sacred Heart School opened on September 5, 1958, with an enrollment of 360 students in eight classrooms. Due to the large enrollment, eight additional classrooms were constructed the following year. In 1984 a pre-school program for 3 to 5-year-olds was established. To meet the needs of working parents, an extended-day program began in 1988. In 1993 the S.H.A.R.E.
(Sacred Heart Alternative Readiness and Extended Day) Center moved into the renovated former convent.
THE HOLY FAMILY FORMATION TEAM AND BISHOP HOFFMAN CATHOLIC SCHOOL
Beginning in the 1980’s, leaders of the Catholic community in and around the City of Fremont, Ohio met to discuss unification. At the end of 2006, a steering committee was formed comprised of members from Fremont Saint Ann,
Saint Joseph, Sacred Heart, Clyde Saint Mary’s and Millersville Saint Mary. This committee was created
in response to the goals created at the November 2005 Catholic Schools Summit. After several meetings,
it was determined that an impartial facilitator should be employed to bear fruitful dialogue between
In August of 2008, the pastors and principals from the Fremont Catholic Schools hired a facilitator and
shortly after, the Holy Family Formation team (HFFT) was formed. This team was comprised of
representatives from the four Catholic Schools in Fremont and began meeting regularly in January of 2009. Membership included six representatives from Saint Ann, six from Sacred Heart, seven from Saint Joseph, and five from
Saint Joseph Central Catholic.
The question that guided the discussions and consolidation process was “What future model of Catholic Education will provide superior growth opportunities for the young people of St. Ann, St. Joseph, Sacred Heart, and St. Joseph Central Catholic High School, while we work toward the financial stability of our schools and a just pay scale for teachers and staff?”
Participation in the consolidation process included additional volunteers who participated on various committees. Of the seventy-one (71) people who serve on a task force subcommittee, twenty (20) were from Sacred Heart, sixteen (16) from Saint Ann, twenty-six (26) from Saint Joe, eight (8) from Saint Joseph Central Catholic and one (1) from Millersville Saint Mary.
After a facilities study was complete, public meetings occurred and were followed by ameeting on October 13, 2009 by the HFFT. This was a five-hour meeting with substantial prayer, discussion and the decision was reached by consensus of the unification plan. Sacred Heart Campus (preschool through third grade), Saint Joseph Campus (fourth through eighth grade) and Saint Joseph Central Catholic (ninth through twelfth grade) would be used to provide a Catholic education to the children of Fremont and the surrounding area.
A proposal was written and signed on December 25, 2009 by the Pastors, principals, and the chairs of both the school and finance councils of each parish and sent to Bishop Leonard Blair. Bishop Blair approved the proposal and the name Bishop Hoffman Catholic School (BHCS) on February 1, 2010. Bishop James R. Hoffman, a Fremont native and son of St. Ann Church served as Bishop of the Toledo Diocese from 1981 until his death in 2003. The unified system began its first year on August 31, 2010.
Bishop Blair delegated the authority to operate BHCS to the BHCS Board of Directors as stated in the statutes signed by the Bishop and the Chancellor. The Board is comprised of the Pastor of each Fremont Pastor, one elected member of each parish and two members appointed by the Pastor.
The officers of the board are the Chair and Vice-Chair. Each board member is required to serve on at least one standing committee of the board. Except for the Chair, each member has a vote and a simple majority constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business at the meeting.
A board member’s term consists of three years unless he or she is appointed to complete a term vacated by a previous member. Board members are limited to serving two consecutive terms.