The school operates in the Sterling Deanery under the Diocese of Rockford auspice which includes the counties of Whiteside, Lee, Bureau and Ogle in Northwestern Illinois. Secondary Catholic education in the deanery has a long and distinguished history dating back to 1915. Newman’s foundation rests on a storied heritage, which will mark its centennial in 2015. The dedication, vision and generosity required for such a legacy merits ongoing diligence in assessing, envisioning and planning for quality secondary Catholic education.
Newman began when Monsignor AJ Burns, along with the assistance of LA Bittorf, founded a Catholic high school on the St. Mary’s Parish Campus. St. Mary High School was converted to Community Catholic High School and was positioned across from St. Mary Parish located in the heart of Sterling. In 1959, the present Newman High was constructed and in 1960 the student body moved to the present facility on West 23rd Street (St. Mary’s Road). The school was originally staffed by the Sisters of Loretto.
Newman added a 35,000 square foot athletic practice facility on the northwest section of the Newman property. The facility consists of a 220’ by 140’ building with a three full size basketball/volleyball courts with portable baskets and seating area, weight room 30’ by 114’, varsity locker room, lavatories, offices, training room, concession area and storage area. Just to the northeast of the new facility and north of the weight room is a commons area where people gather during sporting events and students may congregate before and after school and practices.
In conjunction with the new athletic facility, Newman plans on moving to the third stage of the Strategic Plan. This stage plans on dealing with the replacing the “screen-like” windows with energy efficient windows to offset the cost of utilities in the new practice facility. In addition to the new windows, plans also include renovating the bathrooms, locker rooms, boiler facility, handicapped accessibility and basic upkeep in the current structure. The Strategic Plan along with the facility enhancements will assure the Newman students a quality complex with the ability to meet our family and student’s needs and continue to strengthen our Christ-centered education and life.