In 1979, Sr. Mary Norbert Long, Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools, wrote a proposal expressing the need to develop a Catholic High School on the east side of Tucson. Over the years, several efforts were made to establish such a school at the Regina Cleri Center, site of the former Diocesan seminary. Numerous efforts during the 80’s and 90’s began and failed. Two extensive surveys of parents with school-aged children on Tucson’s east side clearly indicated the need for the school.
In October 2001, Bishop Manuel Moreno appointed a board of directors to establish and open St. Augustine Catholic High School. In November 2001, the by-laws and articles of incorporation were signed and submitted to the State of Arizona. The terms of the agreement on the lease of the Regina Cleri property, until purchased, were completed in May 2002. In June the Board of directors elected officers and hired a project director. The Metanoia Group updated a financial feasibility study begun in 2000. On August 25, 2002, an Open House hosted by Bishop Gerald Kicanas drew over 400 persons. In September 2002 the Board created a strategic plan for the development of SACHS. A site development director was hired to implement plans for the school’s opening in August 2003. The school’s campus boasts a variety of wildlife and native vegetation. Over 44 acres of pristine desert, with a lush, grassy courtyard are an inviting setting for the beautiful Mediterranean architecture of the campus buildings.
In November 2002, Sr. Lauren Moss EdD was hired as the founding Principal. Sr. Lauren was a Franciscan sister with a double Doctorate in education and counseling and 45 years of experience in working with children from pre-school through post-doctorate study. On August 11, 2003, St. AugustineCatholic High School opened its doors to the inaugural Freshman class. Bishop Gerald Kicanas was present to welcome the students. Fr. Robert Rankin opened the first day of school with a Mass for the students, faculty, administrative staff and parents. Saint Augustine Catholic High School changed from a dream to a reality.