Cuyahoga Falls Catholic School to close before next school year

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CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (WOIO) – A Catholic school in Cuyahoga Falls will soon close after nearly 100 years.

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

“I’m just really sad to see it shut down,” former Alyssa Maurer said.

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

“For us, especially at St. Joe’s and other schools around us, there have been demographic shifts,” said teacher Dr. Todd Rickel. “Fifty, sixty years ago, there were a few thousand students who came to Catholic schools.”

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

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

This place gave him lifelong friends and many memories.

“I’m still talking to them, we’re still hanging out,” she said.

When former student 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,” Padula said. “But there are a lot of different economic factors and things like that at play.”

However, Rickel argues that Catholic education is not going away.

“I think Catholic teaching is alive, it’s robust. It grows, but it also changes. And although at the moment we are particularly sad because this is our school, but I think in the years to come we will see changes,” he said.

The school has arranged for students to be offered places at two other nearby Catholic schools.

They also work with teachers and staff to place them in different schools.

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