Sacred Heart History
Sacred Heart Academy 1891 – 1941
The Nebraska Hall of Fame at the Capitol in Lincoln includes Standing Bear, a Ponca Indian Chief. Standing Bear was declared to be a “person” within the meaning of the United States Constitution by Nebraska Federal Judge Elmer Dundy. It was Judge Dundy’s home in Falls City that was purchased in 1891 by the Sisters of the Precious Blood to start a Catholic School in Falls City. The school hardly began before financial woes drove the Precious Blood community from the Falls City area.
In 1895 six pioneer Ursuline nuns arrived from Kentucky to replace the founders. With the sturdy assistance of the local Catholic parish and the entire Falls City community, the Ursulines reopened the school with the first class of graduates from the new Sacred Heart Academy, two young ladies, in 1897.
A variety of additions and improvements were made to the school buildings and in 1925, Catherine Tiehen, daughter of a pioneer Richardson County family, generously began a pattern of philanthropy to Sacred Heart by donating funds for the original gymnasium and auditorium building.
Sacred Heart School 1941-2019
In the spring of 1941 the Ursuline order decided to discontinue their religious schools in Nebraska. In the same year the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, arrived to start the new parochial Sacred Heart High and Elementary School. The high school wing was completed in 1954. In 1962 the grade school wing was added. A 1989 expansion added new music and pre-school rooms to Tiehen Gymnasium and a new wing with six classrooms was built in 1992 to form the present structure.
Through the years Sacred Heart High School has earned a reputation for the highest quality in both academic and athletic endeavors. Sacred Heart is a state accredited college prep high school, a large percentage of students receive scholarships to attend college, service academies and trade schools. Graduates have earned degrees in medicine, law, ministry, military, architecture, finance, art, music, engineering, education and agriculture. The green and white “Irish” student athletes are well known throughout the state. The eight-man football team won the state championship in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 2016. The boys basketball teams won the championship trophies in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2018. Girls basketball team were won the state championship trophies in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2015, 2017, 2018. The track team, not to be denied, took the state championship in 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2006 (tie with Axtell) and 2014.. The triple championship in 1989-90 and 1990-91 are rare feats in the annals of Nebraska High School Sports.
As the year opened in 1994 Sacred Heart School includes a Pre-School and Kindergarten through twelfth grade. It was staffed with four priests and 21 lay teachers, the last Sisters of Charity having left in 1990 after 50 years of service. The school offers courses in vocal music, instrumental music, art, journalism, English, Spanish, Religion, Mathematics, Science, Guidance, Social Studies, Computers, Robotics, and Physical Education. Sacred Heart enjoys a cooperative agreement with Falls City High School that makes it possible for interested students to enroll in course taught at the public school.
Sacred Heart is built on the dedication of fine teachers, supportive parents, a strong and active alumni association, and the community of volunteers from all the five parish area. With this support Sacred Heart enters its 128th year to carry on the work of education in the Catholic tradition. Sacred Heart remains dedicated to the work of Christian formation of future citizens and leaders for our nation and community.
To read a more complete history of Sacred Heart School, please click here: History from 1891-1991