Bishop Heelan Catholic High School

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Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools
1018 Grandview Blvd
Sioux City, Iowa, (Woodbury County) 51103
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 ∙ Family ∙ Knowledge ∙ Service
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1949
President Dr. Jim Tschann[1]
Dean Jake Delfs
Principal Chris Bork
Chaplain Fr Shane Deman
Grades 912
Color(s) Navy blue and Gold         
Athletics conference Missouri River Activities Conference
Sports Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Tennis, Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Volleyball, Wrestling
Nickname Crusaders
Newspaper Pride Online
Yearbook The Shield
Affiliation Diocese of Sioux City

Bishop Heelan is a private, Catholic high school that is part of a school system in Sioux City, Iowa. It is located in the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City. The system includes three PK-8 elementary schools: Holy Cross School, Mater Dei School and Sacred Heart School and Bishop Heelan High School. After Sioux City's Catholic schools combined to become a system in 1998-99, the system took its name from Bishop Heelan High School which is the secondary school of choice after students graduate from elementary school.

The name Bishop Heelan comes from a Bishop who was a champion of education in the early history of the Sioux City Diocese.


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 quickly decided 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.

After several years of raising $15 million for property acquisition and construction as part of the PRIDE Campaign Bishop Heelan High School built and opened a beautiful new Fine Arts Building at 1231 Grandview Blvd. in Fall 2014. Work has begun to construct the other half—the Academic Wing and Gymnasium—that should be completed in 2018.

Bishop Heelan has one of the most storied Iowa high school football dynasties in the state with an overall record of 507-162-14.[3] Heelan has won four Iowa High School Athletic Association-sanctioned football championships in 1975, 1982, 2008, and 2013.[2][3] Heelan is also credited with winning the 1961 state title when they were ranked the #5 team in the nation and the #1 parochial school in the nation.[4] This championship came before the IHSAA had sanctioned football championships. Boys basketball also won three consecutive basketball championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Baseball has won two State Championships in 2001 and 2005. Girls Soccer won the 2015 State Championship in its division after 14 consecutive trips to state.

Notable alumni[edit]

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