Our History & Campus

Aldegonda Wolbring (Sister Mary Aloysia), foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame, and Lisette Kühling (Sister Mary Ignatia), cofoundress, began the Sisters of Notre Dame in Germany in 1850. The name of Lial School is derived from their names: Lisette and Aldegonda. Students are familiar with these school patrons and urged to continue in their spirit to build a social order that promotes the dignity of each person.

The initial vision for Lial Catholic School began in the 1970’s with SND’s Sister Mary Arthur which included a campus designed to allow open space for interaction among classrooms, quiet places for thought and creativity, and an abundance of God’s natural light to bless us with each day. Student schedules were created to allow for the change in classes and classmates throughout the school during the day. This unique classroom structure is still practiced at Lial today and is quite different from other elementary schools in the area.

The Timeline of Lial Catholic School

  • Classes began in the fall of 1972 in a small cottage on Davis Road, with an enrollment of 12 children. By January 1973, five more children joined the group and classes were held in the newly constructed school surrounded by 96 beautiful wooded acres in the Oak Openings region of Ohio. What started out as a small cottage is now a thriving campus that holds over 230 students.
  • In 1975 and 1976, the Readiness, Primary and Intermediate units along with a multipurpose room were added.
  • In 1988, what previously served as a courtyard was made into a library. (Today it is the home of Intermediate family rooms. )
  • The 1996-97 school year brought first-phase construction of the southwest wing. And by spring 1997, the former multipurpose room was remodeled as the Middle School classroom and the new auditorium was ready for use.
  • During the next five years, the remaining rooms in the southwest wing were completed, as funds were available
  • Lial Catholic School has the honor of being distinguished as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence twice, in 1998-99 and 1991-92.
  • In the fall of 2018, Lialʼs Readiness program converted back to its original roots and became a Montessori preschool and kindergarten recognized by the American Montessori Society (AMS).
  • During the summer of 2019, Lial underwent internal renovations to create our new All-Day Readiness Classroom as well as updating our administrative offices and student services spaces.