History of St. Bernard's Academy

St. Bernard’s Academy is an independent Catholic coeducational school comprised of day and international students in preschool through 12th grade. By invitation from the Bishop of Sacramento, Mother Bernard’s Gosselin accompanied by other Sisters journeyed into Redwood country to open the first Catholic elementary school in Eureka, California. On August 12, 1912, the Sisters of St. Joseph established Nazareth Academy (now St. Bernard’s Academy). The arrival of the Sisters marked an historic day in Humboldt County. The Sisters’ devotion, their love of the Church and children, has served our community for over ten decades.

In 1949 an elementary school was built at 222 Dollison Street, staffed by the Sisters and later renamed St. Bernard’s Elementary. In 1954 the Sisters opened St. Bernard’s High School and celebrated the first high school graduation in 1957. In 1963 a new elementary school was built at 115 Henderson Street so the “old” elementary school on Dollison could be used exclusively for the high school students. In 1964 the Sisters released ownership and responsibility of the schools to the Diocese of Santa Rosa. The elementary and high schools consolidated in July 1999 to become St. Bernard’s Catholic School. In September 2000, the Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Rosa granted independence to the school. St. Bernard’s Catholic School, Inc., was established in October 2000, encompassing St. Bernard’s Elementary School and St. Bernard’s High School.

In 2003, St. Bernard’s established a partnership with an academy in Seoul, South Korea to dorm international students. The partnership has been beneficial to international as well as American students. The conversion of the convent to a dormitory required the support of St. Bernard’s Parish and the Diocese of Santa Rosa. The partnership has opened doors of opportunity for American students as well as for the community. The dorm currently houses international students from China.