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History of Holy Cross High School

Holy Cross High School opened its doors in 1919 offering a two year trade program.  Under the direction of Sister Mary Lioba, the school concentrated on becoming a full fledged four year institution and just two years later, this goal was met with the help and work of the Benedictine Sisters.  By 1924, over eighty boys and girls attended the high school.  As enrollment continued to grow, it was evident that a new building would be necessary.  So in 1930, in spite of the Great Depression, a new school was erected at a cost of $40,000.  Although an additional building was added to the school campus in 1964, this original building still serves as the main school building today.

During the 1980’s, major changes would occur.  Faced with an enrollment that was less than half of what it was at its peak, the pastor of Holy Cross decided to split the high school and the elementary into two entities.  During the same period, the school became a district high school.  As a result, all parish support for the school was removed and the school had to operate independently from a financial perspective.  Faced with declining enrollment, mounting deficits, and no parish support, the school nearly closed.

In an effort to save the school, major program changes were implemented to help attract new students.  In addition, alumni support and contributions provided the funding necessary for the school to survive.  By the mid 1990’s, the results were becoming evident as enrollment stabilized and the school was able to erase its deficit.

Program changes continued into the late 1990’s and the school worked diligently to refine its mission and implement new programs to better serve its students.  The establishment of the Academic Enhancement Program in 1997 is one such example.  This program was established to serve students with learning disabilities and was the only program of its kind in the Diocese of Covington. Spurred by these changes, enrollment reached full capacity at 432 students in 2001, and has remained at that level or above for the past seven years.

Today, the school remains very mission focused.  Our mission and philosophy is that all students, despite varying ability, are capable of meeting high academic expectations if given a personalized education, small class sizes, and a wide-ranging curriculum that meets needs at all academic levels.  For this reason, we have adopted the motto, A Size For All.  In the August, 2007 edition of the Cincinnati Magazine, the school was recognized as one of the Best Private High Schools in the Greater Cincinnati area.  As the magazine states, Inside this old-fashioned 1930 building, the educational philosophy is very modern.  That means a tiered curriculum, with five course levels, allowing students the opportunity to build customized educational programs.

Date School Founded: 1891, in 1921 it became an accredited 4-year high school.

  • Mascot: Indian
  • School Colors: Red and Black
  • School Slogan: A Size For All
  • Words to the School Fight Song: Raise up your banner, Show them our manners, Colors red & black. If we are losing in a battle, we will fight right back. We won’t desert you, always will sing your praises to the sky, So stand up and give a cheer for Holy Cross High.

Worth Noting: Holy Cross High School is a place that demands everything you can give, and nothing less, and in return gives you undying loyalty and friendship. This statement was taken from a speech given on Leadership Day in 1998 by Mrs. Susan Schlarman, a former teacher now deceased