Bishop Heelan Catholic High School

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Bishop Heelan High School
1021 Douglas Street
Sioux City, Iowa, (Woodbury County), 51105
United States
Coordinates 42°30′3″N 96°24′23″W / 42.50083°N 96.40639°W / 42.50083; -96.40639Coordinates: 42°30′3″N 96°24′23″W / 42.50083°N 96.40639°W / 42.50083; -96.40639
Type Private, Coeducational
Motto Faith ∙ Knowledge ∙ Values ∙ Service
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1949
Superintendent Dr. Dan Ryan
President Dr. Jim Tschann[1]
Dean Jay Wright
Principal Chris Bork
Chaplain Fr Jerome Cosgrove
Grades 912
Color(s) Navy and Vegas Gold ‹See Tfm›    ‹See Tfm›    
Athletics conference Missouri River Activities Conference
Nickname Crusaders
Newspaper Pride Online
Yearbook The Shield
Affiliation Diocese of Sioux City

Bishop Heelan is a private, Roman Catholic high school in Sioux City, Iowa. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux City.


In 1938 Bishop Edmond Heelan, second ordinary of the Diocese of Sioux City, envisioned the first interparochial school in the Diocese. The war and lack of materials along with the failing health of Bishop Heelan delayed that vision until 1946 with the arrival of Coadjutor Bishop Thomas Noa. Bishop Noa was quick to recognize the city's need for an educational change. He organized the first meeting with the area pastors about a new school in July of that same year.

On November 24, 1946, following a benediction at Cathedral of the Epiphany, about 1,000 men went to homes seeking pledges for the proposed Catholic High School of Sioux City. The volunteers used the slogan "Give Today for Their Tomorrow", aiming at a goal of $400,000. A month after Bishop Heelan's death Bishop Joseph M. Mueller broke ground for the new structure at the corner of 11th and Douglas Streets.

Serving as executive secretary of the campaign was Msgr. Eugene Kevane, who was later appointed the first principal of Catholic High School. Doors to the new high school opened September 15, 1949 and carried over the rich history and pride given by Cathedral High School for girls and Trinity High School for boys. The 1949-50 enrollment consisted of 142 seniors, 142 juniors, 192 sophomores and 194 freshmen.

Based on the leadership and foresight of Bishop Heelan, Bishop Mueller made the decision to change the name from Catholic High School to Heelan High School during the 1949-50 school year. Later the name was enhanced to Bishop Heelan Catholic High School in 1983 to clarify the significance of the name.

An athletic field was recommended when the Catholic High School idea was under discussion in 1946. In the months following the initial high school campaign, steps were taken to organize the development of the athletic field as an independent, but parallel, War Memorial project. A Memorial Field Fund was launched and the field was ready when school opened in 1949.

The United Catholic Educational Campaign was launched in 1958 and over $1.6 million was raised in cash and pledges. Groundbreaking for the CYO annex took place that year and was ready for occupancy the following year.

Msgr. Kevane continued as principal until 1959. Other principals of Bishop Heelan included: Msgr. J.L. Bauer, 1959–64; Msgr. A.J. Elbert, 1964–78; Fr. Victor Ramaeker, 1978–91; Dr. Michael Avise, 1991–97; Joseph Malsam, interim principal, 1997-98 school year; Mr. Richard Bancke, 1998–2001; Fr. Paul Deyo, 2002–2003; Mr. Terry Tomke, 2003–2006; Mrs. Marilyn Blum 2006 to her untimely death due to lymphoma in 2008 (first woman principal in history). Mr. Christian Bork 2008 to present.

As a part of an administration reorganization, Fr. Paul Eisele was named president of Bishop Heelan Catholic High School from 1991–93; followed by Fr. Daniel Guenther from 1993–96 and Fr. Alfred McCoy, 1996-98.

With the initiation of a unified K-12 system for the 1998-99 school year, Bishop Heelan Catholic High School became part of the Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools. Rev. Patrick R. Walsh is the president of the system.

Currently the Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools are in the process of raising money to build a new school and have recently begun construction on the first of three phases which includes updates to their athletic field.

Bishop Heelan has won four Iowa High School Athletic Association-sanctioned football championships in 1975, 1982, 2008, and 2013.[2][3]

Notable Alumni[edit]

External links[edit]

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