Saint Clement Catholic School, located on Mission Boulevard in the city of Hayward, California, is one of the 53 schools in the Diocese of Oakland. The groundbreaking ceremony for Saint Clement School was held on February 23, 1958. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Wichita opened the school in August with the first through fourth grade classrooms, teachers’ room, and an office. The formal dedication took place in October 1959 under the guidance of Sister Mary Sheila, C.S.J., principal and two lay teachers. Rev. T.J. Tillman was pastor. The following year, four new classrooms for grades 5 through 8, a hall, the convent, and an administration wing were added.
Over the years, the school has continued to thrive and expand with the wonderful support of parents, the Saint Clement Parish and the school staff. During the period between 1959 and 1970, the school was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Wichita and lay teachers. The tuition at that time was less than $10 a month and there were 50 students in each class. Saint Clement’s first graduation was held June of 1965. In 1971, an all-lay faculty began to function under the principalship of Fran Heinemann. Class size dropped and tuition increased in the 1970s and 1980s as a result of inflation and rising salaries. In 1974, Gladys Radecke began her 21 years as principal and led about 35 full and part-time employees.
The 1980s brought forth more changes to Saint Clement School. The Congregation of Holy Cross started its 21-year service to the parish and school in 1980. With the addition of Holy Cross and its commitment to Catholic education, the parish and school began to function as a team. In 1982, the first Kindergarten class opened in the small hall. Each day, the Kindergarten room was set up after Mass and taken down after school. The following year, the Extended Care Program was added as a service for parents. The next few years additional renovations were made. In 1986, through parish, parent and community contributions, Saint Clement School built a new Kindergarten room and storage space along with a new faculty room and completely remodeled boys and girls bathrooms. This construction took place under the guidance of Father Joe Haley, C.S.C., associate pastor and with the financial support of the pastor, Father Tom McNally, C.S.C. From 1995 to 1999, Joan Burman was principal and in 1997, a new science lab was opened and dedicated to Father James Buckley. Mary Maguire Pult was named principal in 1999. Under Father Phil Sopke, C.S.C., pastor, physical improvements continued. New heaters were installed in the upper grade wing and the school was painted inside and out. A play structure was added in 2001. For the next years, much work was done to update the computer lab, which was moved into the library to make it a multimedia center. In June 2001, the Congregation of the Holy Cross withdrew from Saint Clement Parish. Father Vincent Brylka was pastor from 2001 to 2007. Heaters and air conditioners were added to the lower wing, faculty room and administrative wing in 2002. The partnership between Lana Jang-Rocheford (former principal, 2008-2012) and Father Ramon J. Gomez, pastor, made cooperation and community the main focus of Saint Clement School and Parish.
Under the leadership of Ana M. Hernández-Cortez (former principal, 2012-2015), Saint Clement Catholic School grew and prospered. Saint Clement Catholic School received a full, clear six-year WASC/WCEA accreditation. A brand new Transitional Kindergarten program was launched with a full class of 15 students in its first year and full classes of the maximum of 16 students each year following, to date. Along with Art, Music, and Physical Education, the school expanded its elective courses with the addition of a Spanish program for Kindergarten through Eighth grade students. TK students in the 2014-2015 school year also benefited from our flourishing Spanish program, which provided a lively and rigorous environment that encouraged language acquisition for each student at all levels. The Spanish program worked to develop the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and connected students to the global Hispanic community by educating them in history, partaking in cultural celebrations, and sharing in the richness of the Catholic Faith. With the success of the Reading Intervention program for Grades 1-4, a Math Intervention program was launched for Grades 1-5. Additionally, the Junior High was departmentalized; teachers specialized in specific subject areas. Staff had also grown to include a Vice Principal of Instruction and Vice Principal of Student Life to support the Principal, a full-time Development Director to develop the school and its relationship to the surrounding community, raise funds and connect with alumni, and a full-time Instructional Technology Coordinator to stabilize the computer network and improve the school’s network and technology infrastructure. Saint Clement Catholic School has taken positive steps forward in technology and technology integration continues to be a major focus with the addition of 70 Next Generation iPad Minis to the existing 40 MacBooks for student use, MacBooks and iPads per teacher to enrich classroom instruction and curriculum, and most recently a one-to-one tablet program for the Junior High. Additionally, each classroom is set up with projection, audio and visual equipment to provide a modern learning environment for students.
Overall, the school’s dedication to its families goes beyond measure. The school is a multicultural, diverse community of 200 families. Its school and parish staff is dedicated to working together to provide their children a place to grow, learn, and live the message of Christ. The school invites you to visit and experience first hand the richness of its school.