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DULUTH – Stella Maris Academy is adding a Catholic high school in Duluth and plans to start ninth grade classes by 2022.

"Stella Maris Academy began with a hope. A hope that our families would have PK-12 Catholic education," the Rev. Anthony Wroblewski, administrator of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary and an academy board member, said in a statement. "This is our fulfillment of that promise."

Stella Maris has 474 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade currently. The school, with three campuses in Duluth, will add the high school grades in existing facilities.

Adding a high school has been part of the academy's plans since forming in 2017.

"I am delighted that the academy will take this next step, adding a ninth grade by the fall of 2022," the Rev. James Bissonette, administrator for the Diocese of Duluth, said in a statement. "I have every confidence this will be a blessing for our families, the diocese, and the wider community."

Stella Maris had a $3.2 million budget in the 2019-2020 school year. It received about half of its revenue from tuition, and the school said in a news release its "healthy and stable finances … allows the academy to take this important next step."

The academy is also searching for a new president "responsible for leading the academy through this period of change," the school said.

Hilaire Hauer served as the first president of Stella Maris Academy and left in September 2020, according to her LinkedIn profile. The next president is expected to be installed by July 1.

Brooks Johnson • 218-491-6496