John F. Kennedy Preparatory High School
|John F. Kennedy Preparatory High School|
|St. Nazianz, Wisconsin|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
The land on which JFK Prep was built on is the former Oschwald Foundation founded by Fr. Ambrose Oschwald in 1854. That was the year that the first settlers arrived in St. Nazianz and began clearing land and building houses. Oschwald's intent was to found a village whose members would observe the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience according to their states of life. Property was to be held in common. Each member was to work for the common good, and to receive what it needed from the common store. America was chosen as the site for this new foundation, because "it was impossible to build up in the native Black Forest in Baden, Germany a Catholic village and/or parish which would be essentially geared to the pursuit of Christian perfection through the obersvation (sic) of the evangelical counsels by all its members, married, single and celibate (cloistered), it was decided to go to America and stamp this enterprise out of the virgin soil of a newly opened up territory ... "
In 1892, Father Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan sent the Salvatorians to Wisconsin after the dying Oschwald Foundation sent an invitation. The property was then turned into a seminary-school and administration center. The current St. Ambrose Church was built in 1898. The school was abandoned in the early 1960s because of financial problems. There were approximately 150 students in 1939. Priests and nuns from St. Nazianz formed Silver Lake College.  In the 1970s, the school was reopened and named JFK Prep Academy, but was closed in about 1982.
Although the building is currently unoccupied and abandoned, it is now being restored. The gymnasium restoration was completed in April 2006. In 2008, JFK Prep went under new ownership. It is utilized for a flea market each Saturday to raise funds for the restoration.