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Catholic school in Cuyahoga Falls to close ahead of next school year

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 11:43 AM EDT
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (WOIO) - A Catholic school in Cuyahoga Falls will soon shut its doors after nearly 100 years.

Next school year, the sound of morning announcements will no longer be heard over the speakers throughout St. Joseph Parish School.

“I’m just very sad to see it closing,” said alumni Alyssa Maurer.

Officials said the shift in Catholic and private education is causing the school to close.

“For us specifically at St. Joe’s and the other schools that are nearby us, there’s been changing demographics,” said teacher Dr. Todd Rickel. “Fifty, Sixty years ago, there was a couple thousand of students that were coming to the Catholic schools.”

School officials have told students’ families that this would be their last school year due to declining enrollment, significant financial shortfalls, staffing challenges and the need of major facility repairs.

“I wish there was something else that could have been done,” Maurer said of the closing.

This place has given her lifelong friends and many memories.

“I still talk to them, we still hang out,” she said.

When alumni Stephanie Padula heard the news, it also made her sad.

“I think there’s still a community of people who see that value and want to continue this,” Padula said. “But there’s a lot of different economic factors and things like that in play.”

Though, Rickel maintains that Catholic education is not going away.

“I think the Catholic education is alive, it is robust. It is growing, but it is also changing. And while in this moment we are particularly sad because it is our school, but I think in the coming years we are going to see some changes,” he said.

The school has arranged for students to be offered seats at two other Catholic schools near them.

They are also working with teachers and staff to place them at different schools.

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