Bright Spots from the LEI: St. Clement School
St. Clement School, located in the village of St. Bernard in Cincinnati, OH, is a pre-K though 8 Catholic School rooted in the Franciscan tradition. St. Clement School has served the community of St. Bernard for over 160 years, but in more recent years was in danger of closing as enrollment began to decline. That all changed when Principal Jeff Eiser and his wife, Rosie, first came to the school in 2010. For Jeff, a former sheriff's deputy of 29 years, this is a second career. He and his wife, Rosie, saw it as an opportunity to minister together and change young lives through Catholic education. Rosie serves as the volunteer school librarian, but her role extends far beyond that, as she is the main point of contact for the school's Hispanic families. As a wife, mother, and native Spanish-speaker, she is able to identify with the families, speak with them in their native language, and forge strong relationships, which has borne fruit in those families going out and spreading the word about St. Clement.
While St. Clement School continues to be very diverse, it too has followed the same demographic growth trends as much of the nation. The number of Latino families in the parish and the surrounding community have grown at a much faster rate, which gave impetus to St. Clement sending a team to the Latino Enrollment Institute at the University of Notre Dame in the summer 2013. Today, St. Clement School's enrollment is the highest it has been in 20 years.