Bishop Gorman History

Nestled among thirty acres of the vast East Texas piney woods lies Bishop Gorman Catholic School in Tyler, Texas. To understand the school and the community it serves, one must view the historical and cultural development of the city itself. Established in 1846, the Tyler community is a mixture of oil-rich Texas and the old South. Due to the vast oil fields, Tyler was basically untouched by the hardships of the Great Depression and gave substance to the "oil-rich Texas" persona. Tyler also offers many diverse, Southern, cultural activities such as the symphony orchestra, theater, and community concerts.

Cultural sites include an art museum, zoo, planetarium, rose garden, and museum. Two annual events that bring national attention to the beauty of Tyler are the Fall Rose Festival and the Spring Azalea Trails. Tyler is also home to the largest medical community between Dallas and Houston and a strong educational community with three colleges within the city limits. Blessed with lakes, rivers, fertile ground, and plentiful rain, Tyler is a town which embodies the words "quality of life."

Catholic schooling began in Tyler, Texas in 1893 when St. Joseph's Academy opened, operated by the Benedictine Sisters. This attempt at Catholic schooling, however, did not last long. Fifty-two years later Immaculate Conception Parish laid the cornerstone for St. Gregory Catholic Elementary School. In 1945, the first group of School Sisters of Notre Dame came to Tyler to teach a student body of 102. Within ten years, increasing demand and support for higher education in the Catholic School System brought forth plans to build a high school facility.

In 1956, under the direction of Monsignor Vincent Wolf, pastor of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, the land was purchased in "rural" South Tyler for the establishment of a Catholic high school. Two years later, Tyler Catholic High School opened on September 2, 1958. The dedication ceremonies for the school took place on October 5, 1958, with Bishop Thomas Keiley Gorman presiding. In 1970, the school was re-named in his honor.

In July of 2010, Bishop Álvaro Corrada restructured the organization of the Tyler Catholic School System, naming Bishop Gorman as a regional school with sister elementary schools in surrounding counties, thus becoming Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic School.

The early years of the school were guided by the efforts of Monsignor Edward McCullough and Monsignor Joseph McCallum, along with the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Monsignor McCallum is credited with directing the school toward a college preparatory format. The current high school gym and football stadium were built under his guidance. 

In the seventies and eighties, Pastor Monsignor Milam Joseph led the school system through more than twenty years of growth, including the construction of the middle school wing at Bishop Gorman in 1981. The middle school facility and gym currently serve as a community and athletic center for school functions.

Bishop Joseph Strickland shares the same dedication and commitment to the school as did his predecessors. Under his guidance, in 1998, Bishop Gorman became the first school in East Texas to be named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Exemplary School.

The academic addition of dual credit classes through UT-Tyler, along with Advanced Placement classes, has enabled students to be well-prepared for college. Over 78% of the Class of 2018 entered college with a "3" or higher on at least one AP exam. This success rate is well over the national average. The Class of 2018's sixty- three members garnered over $7 million in collegiate scholarships, the largest amount for any school in Smith County, including public and private schools.

The physical plant additions of McCallum field and stadium renovations (2010), the Brodnax Family Athletic Center (2017), the collaborative working space in the Math hall (2018), and the cafeteria renovations (2019) have all helped Bishop Gorman students find success in curricular and co-curricular activities.

Bishop Gorman Catholic School became one of only eight Catholic high schools in the United States to be selected five times in a row to the Catholic High School Honor Roll.  Bishop Gorman has continued to remain on the Honor Roll every year since 2004. Selection criteria include demonstrated commitment to academic excellence, Catholic identity, and civic preparation.

School Principals


2021-Present: Mrs. Mary Schick

2019-2021: Mr. Zachary Allen

2017-2019: Mrs. Robin Perry 

1998-2017: Mr. James Franz

1993-1998: Dr. Rosemary Henry

1992-1993: Rev. Ben Smylie

1991-1992: Mr. Gregory O'Connor

1991: Mr. Robert Hoy

1988-1991: Mrs. Sue Ann Tuttle

1986-1988: Mr. John Molstad

1985-1986: Mrs. Thoy Smith

1978-1985: Rev. William O'Mara

1977-1978: Dr. Santo L. Arico, Ph.D.

1976-1977: Rev. Msgr. Milam Joseph

1975-1976: Mrs. Kay Frigo

1970-1974: Rev. Msgr. Milam Joseph

1969-1970: Sr. Vernon Marie Bellew, SSND (Later resumed baptismal name of Joan)

1968-1969: Sr. Vivian Marie Povard, SSND

1962-1968: Sr. Albertus Lachowsky, SSND

1959-1962: Sr. Philip Cotter, SSND
(known later as Sr. Regina Cotter, SSND)

1958-1959: Sr. M. Lorita, SSND
(also taught Latin, Spanish & Home Ec)



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