The tradition of Catholic education in Parkersburg began in 1856 under the direction of the Reverend Henry Park in a tiny schoolhouse behind the St. Francis Xavier rectory. Highlights over the years include the arrival of the Sisters of The Poor Child Jesus in 1920, the establishment of an elementary school at St. Margaret Mary Parish in 1923, and the decision in 1958 to raise $700,000 to build the existing Fairview Avenue high school facility. Today Parkersburg Catholic High School draws Catholic students from six parishes in West Virginia and Ohio and students of other faiths within a thirty-mile radius.
In 1991 the last Sister of the Poor Child Jesus retired leaving educational responsibilities to a well-trained lay faculty. These dedicated instructors work for wages and benefits considerably below those of the surrounding counties. Their longevity and spiritual/academic training are at the core of the school’s success.
In 1993 the Parkersburg Catholic School Board and The PCS Foundation joined forces to create a development plan for Catholic Education in the area. Over the years this has resulted in building a quality infrastructure including newsletters, an alumni association, long range plans, yearly events, and an annual fund drive. Past and present events have indicated that this development approach will result in a solid basis for funding the school’s needs in future years.
Driven by the 1994 NCA school improvement plan, Parkersburg Catholic Schools developed a challenging restructuring program. Technological advances have resulted with Smart Board installation in most of our classrooms. ADA walks/lifts and staff development programs have created a truly inclusive school. Instructional programs and methods are in place that assure the development of students to think logically, communicate effectively, and work cooperatively with others. This has all been made possible through the dedicated efforts of the staff, students, parents, parishes and community. Sharing the Faith and emphasis on Catholic identity has fostered the spiritual mission of the schools.
Begining in late 2007, the current high school began a major push to bring the current facility into the new millenium. Through renovations to the cafeteria and hallways, energy efficient lighting, improvements to the HVAC, a new brick facade at the gymnasium entrance and a new roof on the entire structure, PCHS has seen some major accomplishments since it was built in 1958. This was made possible through funds from Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, local families and other donations.