Our History

Today, St. Charles School is a lively and active elementary school serving the Boardman area and its neighboring communities thanks to many great visionaries and stakeholders who believed in the value of a quality Catholic education. Here is our story.

In 1926, Bishop Joseph Schrembs of the Cleveland Diocese purchased 1.25 acres of land at Route 224 and Route 7 in Boardman, Ohio for the construction of a new parish, St. Charles Borromeo.  Father Patrick J. Ferron was named as the first pastor.

In January 1927, it was determined that a school would be opened at St. Charles Parish as well.  It was calculated that $15,000 would need to be raised to fund the entire project.  Instead, Father Ferron asked for help from the parishioners, thereby initiating a long tradition of stewardship at St. Charles.  Materials were bought at cost and labor was long for the many volunteers.  The steam-heated building measured seventy feet by forty-four feet and accommodated two classrooms and a worship area of twenty-one feet by sixty feet.  With the help of the parishioners, it was built for $6,000.

On September 12, 1927, approximately one month after breaking ground, St. Charles School opened. It provided space for up to fifty-five students.  In one classroom, Sr. Mary Alice Ryan taught grades one through four, and Sr. Helen Wernet taught grades five through eight in the other.  As the country was experiencing the onset of The Great Depression, however, St. Charles School was forced to close its doors in June of 1932.  It remained closed until the post-war years.

In March of 1951, work began on a new St. Charles Church and school facility.  It would be built six hundred fifty feet west of Boardman Center, on the south side of Route 224, where it remains today. The need for a larger facility was quickly confirmed, as approximately three hundred fifty students were enrolled prior to the school's opening for the 1952-1953 school year.  The new building housed eight classrooms and the temporary church (which was on the lower level and had a capacity of 1,000 people).  It also accommodated a kitchen, cafeteria, nurse's station and office.  The school was staffed by Ursuline sisters and Sr. Imelda Maloney was the first principal.

Due to a rapid increase in enrollment, in 1954, a combination gymnasium/cafeteria was built onto the north end of the school.  The new addition became the new temporary church as well, and the initial worship area on the lower level was converted into additional classrooms.

St. Charles Parish and School continued to thrive through the sixties and seventies.  Sr. Dorothea Cavanaugh succeeded Sr. Imelda as the school's principal in 1960.  In June of 1968, a $150,000 addition was built onto the school.  It included three more classrooms and a library, making the school one third larger.

Ursuline sisters continued to serve as principals of St. Charles School until 2009:  Sr. Mary O'Leary (1966-1969), Sr. Eileen Kernan (1969-1973), Sr. Petra Chavez (1973-1975), Sr. Nancy Dawson (1975-1980), Sr. Martina Casey (1980-1986), Sr. Nancy Pawlen (1986-1988), Sr. Jacquelyn Herpy (1988-1991), and Sr. Mary Alyce Koval (1991-2009).  [Current principal, Miss Mary Welsh, a former faculty member and administrator at Ursuline High School, was named as St. Charles School's first lay principal commencing with the 2009-2010 school year.]

By the late 1990's St. Charles Parish had grown to over 3,000 families.  The school enrolled more than six hundred fifty students.  As St. Charles School continued to grow, it was necessary to expand the facilities and enhance the current building.  In 1997 and 1998, the school added the Mark Aubry Memorial Stage (honoring the stage name of the late Associate Pastor Fr. John Andrecic), a school library behind the north end of the gymnasium, and a modular unit that housed three classrooms.

Then, in 2003, the latest addition to the school provided much needed space for specialized classrooms, including an art room, music room, state-of-the-art technology room, designated cafeteria, kitchen, and administrative offices .  It added 12,000 square feet of space and freed the gymnasium from it's secondary use as a cafeteria, thereby making it available for use during all school hours.  The Home & School Association made upgrades to the teacher's lounge and library at that time.  And in Fall of 2004, the Athletic Club upgraded the gymnasium adding a floating hardwood floor, scoreboards, new retractable bleachers and locker rooms. 

Saint Charles School continues to look to the future, always putting the needs of its students at the forefront of all planning and ensuring the continuation of its history of excellence in an environment conductive to the academic, spiritual and moral growth of the whole child.