Ford’s foundation: Bishop Ford High School through history

Most likely to recede: Last class leaves Bishop Ford
Photo by Jason Speakman

School’s out forever — and kids aren’t happy about it. Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School’s last class graduated over the weekend, marking the demise of the Windsor Terrace institution. Leadership blames a shrinking student body and growing debt for the closure, but alumni and parents say the Brooklyn Diocese is looking to cash in by selling or leasing the prime property that sits between Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery. The shuttering marks the end of a 52-year run during which the school educated scores of students and, more recently, served as the backdrop to several high-profile music videos as well as scandals involving alleged improper use of school funds.


Bishop Ford’s namesake Francis Xavier Ford, a Brooklyn-born bishop, is taken prisoner by the Chinese government and dies in prison, ending his 20-year Chinese mission and beginning his status as a Catholic martyr.


Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School is built with church money as an all-boys school on the vacant 19th-Street block that once housed trolley barns.


The Brooklyn Diocese cedes control of Bishop Ford to a private board of trustees that makes the school coed.

School’s out: Students and parents came out in force on April 28 to call on Bishop Ford High School administrators to keep the school open.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham


Sensitive-rock band R.E.M. shoots its music video for the song “All the Way to Reno” at Bishop Ford.


Rapper Drake records the visuals for his breakout single “Best I Ever Had“ at the school.


Ray Nash, father of alumnus and one-time member of the rap group 3rd Bass Pete Nash, resigns from his post as school president following an investigation into allegations that he took $52,000 out of school coffers to save his son’s house from foreclosure, according to the New York Daily News. The elder Nash had worked for the school for 48 years as a teacher, coach, and administrator, the paper reported.


Bishop Ford’s namesake, the Brooklyn-born Bishop Francis X Ford.
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The school suspends girls basketball coach Mike Toro and the school’s two athletic directors following charges that they gave money to players, the Daily News reported.


Rap producer Mike Will Made It brings his rapper pals Juicy J and Whiz Khalifa to Bishop Ford, along with former Disney Channel idol and current object of national fascination Miley Cyrus, to film a flick accompanying his song “#23.”


April 14

Principal Thomas Arria announces the school’s impending closure, citing lagging enrollment numbers, massive debt from unpaid taxes, and outstanding loans.

April 28

Three hundred demonstrators, including parents, students, and alumni, rally outside the school to demand it stay open.

May 19

A fund-raiser to help save the school ends, having only reached $41,703 of a a $2 million goal.

June 7

Bishop Ford’s last senior class graduates.

Applied civics: Sierra Quinones, left, of Park Slope, and Lexiianna Vargas of Bushwick, both juniors at Bishop Ford High School, want their school to keep its doors open.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham