Saint Ignatius High School grew from an idea formed by Bishop Richard Gilmour and Fr. Michael Zoeller, S.J. They were hoping for a Jesuit school for boys to be located in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio. In January 1886, the Jesuit Superior of Buffalo, New York Fr. Henry Behren, S.J., hastened to Cleveland and promised the bishop that the Jesuits would open their school on West 30th Street that same year. Saint Ignatius High School was officially founded September 6, 1886. At that time, Saint Ignatius was the twentieth secondary school sponsored by the Jesuits in the United States.
As a college-preparatory school, academics excellence was – and remains - a primary focus. A challenging curriculum, master teachers and an emphasis on clear thinking and communication skills are hallmarks of a Saint Ignatius education.
As important as academics are, the spiritual program of the school is an essential characteristic that sets Saint Ignatius apart. While respecting all faith traditions, Saint Ignatius is a Catholic high school defined by Jesuit spirituality. A solid four-year theology program, annual retreats, frequent liturgies, and opportunities for service to those in need are mainstays. Faith in Jesus Christ and a commitment to the Catholic faith provide the backdrop against which academics, intramurals, and social growth must take place.
Saint Ignatius High School remains vibrant by being open to a changing world with its problems as well as its opportunities, yet faithful to its academic traditions, the gospel message upon which it was established, and its motto: “Men for Others,” after the Man-for-Others, Jesus Christ.
Saint Ignatius Today
Located in close proximity to downtown Cleveland in the vibrant and energetic Ohio City neighborhood, the school occupies 23 acres and includes 19 buildings and three athletic fields. The school has 112 faculty members, 90 percent of whom hold advanced degrees. Fifty-six percent have spent 10 years or more teaching at Saint Ignatius. Academically, Saint Ignatius is a regional and state leader in National Merit finalists and Advanced Placement scholars. Nearly 100 percent of Saint Ignatius students go on to four-year college programs at universities across the United States and beyond. The U.S. Department of Education has designated Saint Ignatius a Blue Ribbon school. Thanks to generous alumni and benefactors, nearly 70 percent of Saint Ignatius students receive some form of tuition assistance. With 20 programs composing the Christian Action Team, students perform, on average, more than 15,000 hours of non-required service annually. In 2019, Saint Ignatius High School established The Welsh Academy, a Catholic all-boys middle school, welcoming boys from families of modest economic means.
The enrollment for the 2023-24 school year in grades 6 through 12 is 1,454.