Covington Latin School was established in September 1923 by the Most
Reverend Bishop Francis Howard. From its inception, the school stressed
academic excellence based on the classics. The curriculum of Covington
Latin was based on the model of the German Gymnasiums. Male students
were accepted after completing the sixth grade and passing an entrance
exam. Students entered Covington Latin as freshmen, thus, skipping both
the seventh and eighth grades.
Covington Latin was first housed in a small residence located near the
Cathedral School on Madison Avenue near 12th Street. The first enrollment
reached a total of 15. The early faculty were comprised almost entirely
of the clergy of the diocese. Father John Kroger was assigned by the
bishop to be the first principal, or headmaster, as the position is
called at the school. Father Kroger remained in this position until
his death in 1930. Father Leo J. Streck succeeded Father Kroger that
In 1925, the site of Covington Latin School was moved to Mother of God
School on West 6th Street. Latin school remained in these quarters until
November 1926, when the program moved to the old Knights of Columbus
Hall on East 11th Street near Madison Avenue. This building had been
originally constructed in 1877 as the 11th Street Methodist Episcopal
Church. The old building underwent a complete renovation to serve as
a school. The ‘new’ Covington Latin School was officially
dedicated on March 30, 1927.
During the late 1930s, the faculty of the Latin School began offering
college courses for its graduates. This endeavor, called St. Thomas
More College, was affiliated with Covington’s all-female Catholic
Villa Madonna College on East 12th Street. St. Thomas More College continued
until 1945, when Villa Madonna College was made a co-educational facility.
Bishop Howard worked diligently to raise the necessary funds to construct
a permanent Latin School building on the 11th Street property. The funds
needed for construction were eventually raised by assessing each parish
of the Diocese of Covington. In November 1940, the old Latin School
building was demolished and work began on the new structure. This new
school was officially dedicated by Bishop Howard on December 7, 1941.
The three story brick building included a library, headmaster’s
office, several diocesan offices, study hall, chapel, recreation rooms,
dining room, kitchen and numerous classrooms. The building was designed
in a restrained Gothic Revival style to match the adjacent Cathedral
Basilica of the Assumption. Over the main door was carved the institution’s
motto in Latin, “Teach me goodness and knowledge and discipline.”
Enrollment that year reached 170.
A 1969 study of Latin School graduates indicated a high level of achievement.
Of the 747 graduates who responded to the survey, all but 34 had attended
college. More than 95% of the graduates were gainfully employed in a
professional career. The school’s alumni included 73 physicians,
55 priests, 38 engineers 29 chemists 28 teachers and 23 attorneys.
During the episcopacy of Bishop Howard, interscholastic athletic teams
were banned in the Catholic high schools of the diocese. However, by
the 1970s, Latin School offered basketball, baseball and golf for its
students. In 1973, the school celebrated 50 years of service to the
Northern Kentucky community. Tuition at that time was $460 per year.
During the 1980s, Covington Latin School and Villa Madonna Academy in
Villa Hills, Kentucky began discussing a possible merger. Disagreements
of a combined curriculum eventually brought these discussions to a halt.
During this same decade, the Latin School hired Robert Larcher as the
school’s first lay headmaster.
In the 1992-93 academic year, Covington Latin School began admitting
girls for the first time. The acceptance of female students resulted
in increased enrollment. By this time, the school was also offering
a prep-year for students who did not wish to move directly from the
6th to the 9th grade.
Ryan, Paul, History of the Diocese of Covington (Covington, Kentucky:
1954), pp. 299-304; Messenger, March 30, 1969, p. 2A; Kentucky Post,
December 4, 1941, p. 1, December 9, 1941, p. 1 and September 21, 1998,