SFBHS History

“True education must fit the whole man to cope with the problems of existence today.” With these words, Father Joseph C. Meyer announced in 1933 plans for the new 4-year program at St. Francis Borgia High School.

The tradition of St. Francis Borgia High School, built on the dreams and dedication of the parishioners, the Sisters of Notre Dame, and the pastors of St. Francis Borgia Parish, dates back to 1901 when the parish enrolled 23 students to continue their education beyond grade school. In 1910, a 2-year Commercial School was organized, and in 1934, a 4-year parish high school became a reality.
The school was so successful that the need for an addition to the school became evident. Hard work and faith in the school’s mission led to a new high school at Second Street and Cedar Street in 1952. The speaker at the original school’s dedication, Fr. George Hildner, now a Monsignor, served as the master of ceremonies at this second dedication as well—a sure sign of the longstanding commitment and far-reaching vision of those committed to Catholic education.

The parish high school served Catholic students from Franklin and Warren counties for many years. To maintain a comprehensive and spirit-filled Catholic secondary education, the parish absorbed many sacrifices. As enrollment continued to increase and existing buildings were no longer adequate, building plans for a new regional high school were made. Nineteen parishes, the Sisters of Notre Dame, and the Archdiocese of St. Louis expanded the parish school’s mission to educate students in a Catholic environment to encompass the entire Washington Deanery.

Cooperation and commitment from the total Catholic community of the Washington Deanery made this dream, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School, a reality in 1982. In 1985, Borgia celebrated its Golden Anniversary as an accredited 4-year high school. At this time, half of the student body came from outside the Washington City limits.

The growing number of students and more demanding academic requirements necessitated another expansion program, which began in 1998. Thirteen classrooms, two remodeled science labs, a 400-seat theater, a 200-seat chapel, an enlarged cafeteria, a weight room, an elevator, and additional offices and restrooms were added. In 2001 the high school was designated a college preparatory high school by the North Central Accrediting Association.

The vision and dedication that made St. Francis Borgia High School a reality remain present and strong to this day. Throughout its history, Borgia has benefitted from the foresight and generosity of countless individuals. True to its founding mission, St. Francis Borgia High School remains dedicated to the education of the whole person; the school continues its task of helping the individual to develop spiritually, morally, academically, and technologically, and will continue to do so well into the future through the grace of God and the commitment of our Catholic community.