In the early 1900s, Father Peter Fuengerlings, pastor of Holy Family Church, believed the future belonged to children and education was of the utmost importance. He asked the Missionaries of the Most Sacred Heart Sisters in Reading to establish a parish school.
In September 1910, the sisters opened the doors of HFS with 40 students on the second floor of the church on Center Street. The sisters resided in quarters on the second floor adjacent to the classrooms until a convent was built in 1928. That second floor school was replaced with the current HFS building on November 16, 1954.
In 1956, a gymnasium was added to the school, and it continues to be used extensively for local sports and drama programs for the school, the parish and Catholic Youth Activities.
HFS carries on the mission of Catholic Education with 26 lay faculty. Within the school there are 17 classrooms, a library, art room, gymnasium, music room, computer lab, resource room and a medical suite with a full-time nurse. There is also a beautiful chapel, where our faculty meets every morning for prayer before their school day begins.
Missionaries of the Most Sacred Heart priests have supported the mission and maintained the school buildings, playground and grounds, with the cooperation of many dedicated and generous parishioners, alumni, parents and benefactors.
In the 2016-2017 school year, total enrollment (K - 8th grade) is 272, with an additional 48 children in Pre-K. The Pre-K student-teacher ratio is 10:1, while the average K - 8th grade ratio is 18:1.
Mrs. Christine Bruce was appointed principal of HFS in 2013. A native of Harrisburg, she attended Holy Family/St. Margaret Mary School and Bishop McDevitt High School. Mrs. Bruce attended Harrisburg Area Community College, earning an associate degree in elementary and early childhood education. She earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Shippensburg University, and a master's degree in teaching and curriculum, as well as principal certification, from Penn State University.
Mrs. Bruce's career in education began in 1994 as a substitute at Foose Elementary School in Harrisburg. She taught physical education, as well as fifth, third and first grades. She also taught students with developmental delays. Mrs. Bruce also taught fifth grade and served as assistant principal at Thomas Holtzman, Jr. Elementary School in Harrisburg.
HFS students consistently score well above average on Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. Students regularly place in local, district and diocesan academic and athletic-based contests.