Steeped in the traditions of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, we take a holistic view of education with the conviction that the world can be changed through the transformation of individuals. Our mission demands a Christian vision of what a person is called to be and what the world is destined to become.
With 100 years of education, CCHS continues to instill Christian values through the wisdom of the School Sisters of Notre Dame: Faith, Knowledge, Tradition.
On December 7, 1860, three School Sisters of Notre Dame arrived in Burlington, Wisconsin to begin a school at St. Mary’s Parish. This first school building was located at the corner of McHenry and Jefferson Streets and had 110 students in two classrooms.
By 1919, St. Mary’s grade school had grown and expanded, and the need arose for a Catholic High School. St. Mary’s Pastor, Fr. Van Treeck, held several parish meetings to present his plans. Though small in number, the opposition was vehement and persuasive. Even though his pleas to then Archbishop Messmer went unheeded, Fr. Van Treeck did not give up.
In 1920, Fr. Van Treeck established St. Mary’s High School in the original parish church that had been used as a meeting hall by the St. Eustachius Benevolent Society. According to L. E. Randall’s WTMJ broadcast in October of 1927, St. Mary’s High School was outstanding among the schools in Burlington, having been constructed in the St. Sebastian building for $100,000.00.
Fr. Van Treeck moved forward with ordering desks, books and other equipment. He opened the school as a two year commercial course school with an opportunity for the second year student to take sophomore subjects in English, Latin and Math. In the hectic days after World War One, equipment was slow to arrive, and the situation of the school looked bleak. But by the grace of God, Sr. Michael of the School Sisters of Notre Dame arrived to teach. A person of fainter spirit or lesser faith may have given up that first morning. According to Sr. Michael they were “quite poor as the Savior, having barely a roof over our heads.” Sr. Michael was an outstanding educator from the best schools in her Order, and with a true missionary spirit and unshakeable faith, she set about making an exemplary school out of nothing.
In 1925, St. Mary’s High School graduated its first class: Florence Bieneman, Loraine Heck, Marie Rueter and Raymond D. Bieneman. In 1926, St. Mary’s High School moved to a new building. There was a steady increase in enrollment from then on, peaking at more than 350 students in the late 1960’s. In 1970 the high school built a new gym. Growth continued, and in 1989 the high school was renamed Catholic Central High School to reflect its joint partnership with 17 area parishes and grade schools. In 1993 the Marian Activity Center was constructed, and in the fall of 1995 a second floor was added. The Marian Activity Center is home to two gyms, the Topper Hall Theater, classrooms, library, computer lab, and fitness facilities including a weight room, locker rooms and multi-purpose room.
Today, Catholic Central High School is known as a premiere college preparatory school that celebrated its 100th anniversary in the fall of 2020. Although the original books and desks have been replaced with state-of-the-art technology that includes one-to-one iPads and use of Apple TV, Catholic Central is proud to continue in the mission of Fr. Van Treeck and Sr. Michael to form students in the Catholic faith, arm them with rigorous academic knowledge, and steep them in the our almost 100 year tradition of excellence.
Welcome to Catholic Central High School! Your educational journey is about to take you to new, exciting, and challenging places. You will soon experience the Catholic Central Difference! Our school family is one that lifts each of our students to heights that could not be achieved without a community of committed, caring, and professional educators. For more than 100 years, Catholic Central has been forming students to be grounded in Faith, Knowledge, and Tradition as a pathway to realizing their life goals. In the footsteps of our founding patronesses, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, we passionately continue their mission to educate students to become leaders who will impact our world community by addressing the human and spiritual needs of our time.
Students who come to Catholic Central High School learn how to think critically and creatively; they learn how to live rich lives. Our students learn through exploration and interaction with each other and the world. Our academic standards are high; our students explore, create, travel, and solve real-world problems.
Our Hilltopper Tradition is steeped in rich, faith-filled traditions, is committed to the educational and global issues of the present, and is engaged in rigorous and innovative academic programming that will positively affect the future. We invite you to explore these pages and see why we are THE choice for your child’s college prep education.
Proud to be a Hilltopper!
We’re here to help your journey in becoming part of the CCHS Family. With 100 years of academic excellence, you know that your son or daughter will have every opportunity to excel in every facet of their development.