Central Catholic High School is a college preparatory high school in the Diocese of Wheeling Charleston, dedicated to nurturing reflective spirituality, intellectual accomplishment, and social responsibility so that students can reach their God given potential. Rooted in our Catholic tradition and grounded by a caring, dynamic faculty and staff, CCHS strives to create a learning community that inspires honest thinkers, encourages innovation, fosters creativity, and enhances individual talents.
CCHS graduates will have the skills and knowledge to pursue the college and career of their choice, the confidence to be a leader, and the social conscience and compassionate heart to advocate for social justice in our world. Ultimately a CCHS education prepares students to live a life where they “Think and Act Like Christ.”
— History —
The creation and evolution of Central Catholic High School unfolds a history that is hard to parallel. The roots of today’s Central Catholic originate in the middle of the 19th century.
The Most Reverend Richard Whelan, first Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling, established the Classical and Mercantile College in 1865. In that same year, the last year of the Civil War, the Sisters of Saint Joseph, who had arrived from St. Louis in 1853, opened Saint Joseph Academy for young women. Thus begins the glorious history of CCHS and the Academy.
Shortly after the installation of the Rt. Reverend Patrick J. Donahue as Bishop of Wheeling in 1894, the Xavierian Brothers were invited to assume direction of the Cathedral Boys’ School. The wooden building on the corner of Fourteenth and Byron Streets was razed, and a new brick building erected. The Cathedral Girls’ Parochial School merged with Saint Joseph Academy and a new building was opened in 1890. Both academic and commercial classes were offered.
The Cathedral Boys’ School was reorganized into a central high school in 1923, and renamed Central Catholic High School a year later. In 1933 the Marist Brothers succeeded the Xavierian Brothers in staffing the school. The Marist Brothers continued to staff the school until 1972.
When the Sisters of Saint Joseph celebrated their centenary in Wheeling in 1953, Archbishop John Swint marked the occasion by announcing a diocesan drive for a new motherhouse for the Sisters. Upon completion of the motherhouse on Pogue Run Road, plans were implemented to raze the existing convent and Saint Joseph Academy to make way for a new Catholic high school. In 1958 a new gymnasium was erected on the corner of Thirteenth and Jacob Streets. For two years the gymnasium was used to house classrooms, while the present high school was being constructed at Fourteenth and Eoff Streets, the site of the former Saint Joseph Academy. In 1960 the current Central Catholic High School was completed.
Although CCHS boys and SJA girls had a new building, the dedication in March 1961 was that of a co-institutional establishment. With Sisters of Saint Joseph as staff, the girls’ classrooms and facilities occupied the north wing. The boys, under the guidance and direction of the Marist Brothers, occupied the east wing. Library and cafeteria services were shared. Beginning in 1970, however, girls and boys shared the same classrooms as Central became coeducational. The Sisters of Saint Joseph continued to teach at CCHS until 2011, at which time the administration of the school and the faculty became entirely lay men and women. CCHS uses its solid history to build caring souls, strong minds, and disciplined bodies to the glory of God.