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Over 100 Years of Catholic Education in the Sauk Valley


Newman Central Catholic High 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 celebrated 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 A.J. Burns, along with the assistance of L.A. 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.

The current building has undergone a series of improvements in accordance with its long-term planning, including a 35,000 square foot athletic practice facility that includes a new weight room, 3 basketball courts, an indoor batting cage, and a series of offices.  Along with other upgrades, new technology has been added to the classrooms and the curriculum to ensure students receive the most rigorous curriculum.  Thanks to the unwavering support from so many, Newman will continue to be an education leader in the Sauk Valley for years to come.