Central Catholic High School (Pittsburgh)

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Central Catholic High School
School seal
Pro Deo et Patria
For God and Country
4720 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, (Allegheny County) 15213
United States
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Type Private
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic,
Patron saint(s) St. John Baptist de la Salle
Established 1927
Founder Bishop Hugh Charles Boyle
Status Operating
School district Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
Principal Bro. Robert Schaefer, F.S.C.
Chaplain Father Robert George
Teaching staff Laity, Christian Brothers, Deacons
Grades 9-12
Gender Male
Enrollment 885[1] (2014)
Average class size 21 [1]
Campus Oakland
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Blue and gold         
Slogan Faith. Scholarship. Service.
Fight song On to Victory
Athletics Quad A
Athletics conference WPIAL
Mascot Viking
Team name Vikings
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Average SAT scores Reading: 552, Math: 572, Writing: 544 (2014)
Publication Harlequin
Newspaper The Viking
Yearbook Towers
Endowment $9 million (2014)[3]
Tuition $10,400 (2014)
Dean of Students Steve Bezila
Admissions Director Brian Miller
Athletic Director Charles Crummie
Designated 1976[4]
File:View fron 5th.jpg
View from Fifth Ave

Central Catholic High School is a Roman Catholic college preparatory school for boys in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. It is a part of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and is administered and partially staffed by the Brothers of the Christian Schools.


In the 1920s, Bishop Hugh Charles Boyle of the Diocese of Pittsburgh started a program to expand diocesan involvement in education beyond the existing parish schools founded by the predominantly Catholic immigrant population of the city. Boyle invited the Brothers of the Christian Schools (more commonly known as the Christian Brothers) to found an all-male secondary school in Oakland, the academic district of Pittsburgh. The first freshman class entered in 1927, and Central Catholic's success allowed Boyle to expand on the diocesan network of boys' schools with North Catholic, Serra Catholic, and South Hills Catholic High School.

Although the school originally took students only from the central neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, the decline of regional equivalents such as North Catholic and South Catholic, following both schools' gradual switch to coeducation, eventually attracted students from a wider geographic and socioeconomic range. Students attend from neighborhoods including Bloomfield and Squirrel Hill, to suburban communities such as Cranberry, Jefferson Hills, and Fox Chapel. The diocese also opened a sister school, Oakland Catholic, also in the Oakland area.


Central Catholic's academic courses are divided into five levels:

  • Learning lab (Level 1),
  • Intermediate (Level 2),
  • Mainstream (Level 3),
  • Honors (Level 4),
  • Advanced Placement (Level 5).
Fatih, Scholarship, Service

Class rank is based upon GPA weighted for level. Because the different academic levels are weighted differently, the QPA is based upon a 5.0 rather than 4.0 scale.[citation needed][clarification needed] Freshmen are placed into levels within the six departments of (English, mathematics, social studies, science, foreign language, catechetics) based on elementary school grades and a standardized test given by the school itself. The languages offered are French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish. Freshman may opt to take an additional music or visual arts course, or gym.

Upperclassmen have more flexibility in course and department selection. The school offers 16 Advanced Placement courses and over 30 honors courses.[citation needed]

The Baginski Scholars Program is a progressive, interdisciplinary program, designed to let students at the school who excel academically to participate in activities and discussion meant to build their knowledge in social sciences, humanities, and the sciences.[5]

In the 2013–2014 school year, two pilot engineering classes were introduced, and the school planned to construct a new building for STEM subjects.

Beginning in the 2013–2014 school year, a one to one computing program was initiated at the high school. Apple iPads were deployed to all freshman and sophomores.[6]

Student life

The school has an athletic history that includes championships for track and field, soccer, swimming, rowing, and football. Other varsity sports offered are basketball, baseball, rugby, tennis, lacrosse, bowling, ice hockey, in-line hockey, golf, cross country and volleyball. Fencing, table tennis, Ultimate frisbee, and disc golf are offered as club sports.

The school has forensics team, musical theater productions (which have won seven Gene Kelly Awards), PJAS participation, student publications, chess team, and robotics team.

The school's mascot is the Viking. It had a long-standing rivalry with North Catholic High School until enrollment declined at North Catholic, and competition grew increasingly one-sided in favor of Central Catholic. North Allegheny and Woodland Hills have come to replace North Catholic as Central's major rivals in sports, and Shady Side Academy in academics.

File:Oakland (Pittsburgh) from the air.jpg
Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood


Built in the 1920s in the National Romantic style, the school building is designated a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmark. The building has undergone renovations to the classrooms, the dining hall, the library, the theater, the writing center, and other areas. Renovation of the classrooms included adding flat screen televisions, Smart Boards, and other learning technology devices.[citation needed]

On the same campus as the main building, there is a gymnasium building, an athletic field, and a weight training room. Next to the main building, on the Neville Street side, is located the Brothers' House, in which the Brothers of the Christian Schools who work at Central Catholic live.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on December 3, 2014 for the new building for STEM subjects. Construction of this building accounted for $12 million out of a $27 million capital campaign that Central Catholic launched on the same day as the groundbreaking ceremony. The school plans on having construction of the new facility completed by the 2016–2017 school year.[3]

Notable alumni




Nick Frantangelo- operated drive through peepshow in Westmoreland County.[14]




Athletics achievements

In 2013, the Central Catholic Rowing Team won its first gold medal at SRAA nationals, defeating their rivals, St. Joseph's Prep.[18] On July 23, 2013, a proclamation was made by the city of Pittsburgh declaring that day, July 23, 2013, Central Catholic Crew Day in honor of the win by the crew.[19]

In 2013, Central Catholic's undefeated football team defeated Woodland Hills High School, defeating them 27-7 in the WPIAL Quad A championship.[20]

In 2014, Central Catholic's second varsity (2V) crew won its first gold medal. In the last stretch of the race, Central Catholic's boat advanced a marginal length on Gonzaga College High School's 2V, leaving Winter Park High School in third place.[21] Additionally, the first varsity (1V) and the first freshman (1F) boats received bronze and silver medals, respectively.[22]

In 2015, Central Catholic's undefeated club Ultimate Frisbee team won the Division II PHUL championships, defeating their rivals from Bethel Park. [23]


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  2. MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved 2009-05-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Central Catholic High School launches major capital campaign". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Historic Landmark Plaques 1968–2009 (PDF). Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Baginski Scholars". centralcatholichs.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "iPad Program – letter to parents and guardians" (PDF). Central Catholic High School. 21 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Marc Bulger #10". St. Louis Rams Official Website. Archived from the original on 2006-11-12. Retrieved 2006-12-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  10. "Manziel joins list of QBs drafted by MLB teams". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 8, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  12. "Alumni Hall of Fame". Designing Home Lifestyles. Retrieved 2010-01-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  14. http://old.post-gazette.com/localnews/20020926centralcatholic0926p4.asp
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  19. "City Council Honors National Champion Crew Team". KDKA-TV. 23 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  21. "Sraa nationals". regattatiming.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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External links