Catholic education in St. Bernard was provided as early as 1850. The present building was completed in 1924 at a cost of $360,000, exclusive of equipment. The dedication by Archbishop Henry Moeller was followed by an open house and four day celebration of the parish. Both Catholics and non-Catholics from St. Bernard and surrounding communities came to see the features incorporated in the new structure.
In 1928, Clifford Kemp, age 11, described the school in an essay contest as one of the finest in Ohio. “The exterior is of tan brick, trimmed with white stone. There are three entrances leading from a large yard, while on each side of the building is a drinking fountain. The school is the latest word in modern construction. The center entrance brings one to our spacious auditorium. Basket ball [sic] games, meetings, recitals and entertainments are given here. The auditorium has a balcony on three sides.
The classrooms are reached through the two side doors [front entrances]. Eight rooms are on each side of the auditorium. The classrooms are well equipped with desks, blackboards, libraries and interesting pictures.
On the very top of our school is a large roof garden. Below the classrooms and auditorium are meeting rooms, a kitchen, recreation parlors and bowling alleys.”
In the early years, students were taught by Franciscan Brothers, later replaced by a staff of teaching Franciscan nuns of Oldenburg, Indiana.
The staff today consists of all lay teachers, and while teaching methods, curriculum and enrollment have changed throughout the years, St. Clement School remains committed to a “quality Catholic education in the Franciscan tradition.” Kay Heller Phillips
Sources: Cincinnati Enquirer, 02 Oct 1898, p. 16; Cincinnati Enquirer, 25 Oct 1924, p. 5; Cincinnati Enquirer, 29 Oct 1928, p. 130; 50 Years of Progress 1912-1962; St. Bernard, Ohio 1878-1978; www.stcschool.org/home. Photos: St. Bernard-Ludlow Grove Historical Society files; 1930 Kindergarten Class photo donated by Ruth Junker (from St. Bernard-Ludlow Grove Historical Society files).