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Our History

Our History

In September 1909, St. Mary’s Springs Academy opened as a boarding school for young women and girls. The Sisters of St. Agnes accepted the opportunity to operate the facility that had been transformed from a sanitarium, remodeled and donated to the Sisters by John Boyle. The initial enrollment of 17 young women ranged in age from 7 to 16 years old who came to the Academy from distances beyond Wisconsin. The popularity of the Academy attracted young women from the Fond du Lac area and it soon became evident that a new and larger facility was needed. In 1928, the new academic building was opened with state-of-the-art resident accommodations for 100 girls and classrooms of equal excellence for the growing number of day students.

By the late 1930s, parents of young men from the Fond du Lac area petitioned the Archbishop for permission to enroll their sons at the Academy, the only Catholic High School north of Milwaukee. Although coeducational Catholic high schools were not permitted by the Church, the Archbishop allowed boys to enroll at the Academy with grave restrictions. During the next 20 years, the Academy grew well beyond its capacity. Alterations in classroom facilities were made periodically; in 1953 the boarding facilities were remodeled into classrooms. By the mid 1960s, it became evident that growing enrollment demanded new and updated buildings. Plans for expansion included the building of a school for boys, or perhaps a co-institutional arrangement. But finally, the Sisters of St. Agnes transferred the ownership of the Academy land and buildings to a new corporation formed to build the new high school, which opened for students in the fall of 1970. In 1985, the high school became separately incorporated as an Archdiocesan High School with the Milwaukee Archdiocese as the sole sponsor.

In 2002, collaboration began between the elementary schools of the city of Fond du Lac known as FACES (Fond du Lac Area Catholic Education System), and St. Mary’s Springs High School with discussions of unification to form a System. Archbishop Dolan charged the group to study the formation of a Pre K-12 Fond du Lac Area School System. In 2007, the Task Force charged with the study presented a recommendation to the Archbishop to form a PreK-12 System. In 2008, after the recommendation was approved, appropriate committees laid the groundwork for the establishment of the FACES-Springs Catholic Education System. The final legal documents were signed and the new System was born. The year 2009 brought the Centennial celebration as well as the Board of Directors approving a name change to St. Mary’s Springs Academy bringing Catholic education in the Fond du Lac area full circle and continuing the mission started by the Sisters of St. Agnes.