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Central Catholic High School Vision for Success

  • Central Catholic High School offers a rigorous education rooted in equity, collaboration and a Catholic world view; 
  • Central Catholic High School provides robust educational opportunities in an inclusive and supportive community;
  • Central Catholic High School develops critical thinkers who are the best versions of themselves, prepared for where their gifts meet the world.

Where Character Matters

Central Catholic is a community rooted in virtue and faith - a place where character matters. 

This year, as school leadership, we are excited to enter into the third year of our vision of Central Catholic as the place where character matters. For the 2023-2024 school year are focusing on four virtues:

Compassion: We show empathy and work to help others.
Humility: We express gratitude for what we have.
Loyalty: We demonstrate devotion to others.
Self-Discipline: We display the willpower to rise to our principles.

Each of these virtues is integrated into the life of the school and helps us to articulate our desire for our students to be people who are faithful and just, academically excellent, relational and responsible, and healthy and balanced. Our intent is for these four character virtues to take root in the heart of our students.


What Makes Central Catholic Unique?

  • Students grow in faith, spirituality, service, and character at Central Catholic
  • Throughout their four years, students take classes in Scripture, Church History, Sacraments, Liturgy and Prayer, Moral Theology, Social Justice, and Christian Relationships.
  • Daily Mass is offered in the Peggy Jean Memorial Chapel, and there are monthly all-school Masses held throughout the year.
  • Students are given opportunities to live their faith through the Christian Service Program, by serving at sites across the Portland area including the Oregon Food Bank, St. Andre Bessette Catholic Church, Special Olympics, and the Blanchet House.

  • Upon graduation, our hope is that students are faithful and just people who excel academically, are relational and responsible, and are healthy and balanced.
  • Central Catholic offers 13 advanced placement courses, and 14 honors courses.
  • Through the P.C.C. Dual Credit Program, students are given the chance to earn college credits while meeting the requirements to graduate at Central Catholic.

  • Every school year, Central Catholic students are given over $2 million in financial aid and tuition assistance.
  • Students4Students, Central Catholic's student led fundraiser, raises more than $150,000 yearly for tuition assistance.
  • Half of our student population receives financial assistance in the form of financial aid, scholarships, and grants.
  • While 66% of our students are Catholic, the beliefs and traditions of the remaining students are respected and welcome.

  • With performing and fine arts classes in drama, music, visual art, ceramics, stained glass, writing, and photography, students are encouraged to find their creative outlet.
  • While instilling a sense of fair play, sportsmanship, and a commitment to excellence in student athletes, Central Catholic’s athletic programs have claimed 42 championships and 37 second place finishes in state competitions.
  • Students interested in design and journalism are given the opportunity to join the staff of the Rampart, our school newspaper, the Scepter, our yearbook, or the Reverie, our student literary magazine.
  • Finally, with more than 60 clubs, from the Acapella Club to the Women's Coalition, there is something for everyone at Central Catholic.

  • At Central Catholic, we want you to “Be Challenged. Be Yourself. Belong.”
  • Our student body is both socioeconomically and racially diverse. Over 30% of our students are self-reported minorities.
  • In 2019, our freshman class came from more than 65 different grade schools from all over the Portland area and southwest Washington.
  • Central Catholic also welcomes students of diverse academic backgrounds and has Student Support Services to provide assistance to students who need help reaching college preparedness.


In 1938, Portland’s Archbishop Edward D. Howard was seeking funds to build an all boys Catholic high school in Portland. With Christ the King as the School Patron, the first five classrooms, a library, office and recreation room were dedicated as part of the Archdiocese Centennial Celebration on May 9, 1939. The Archbishop along with the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Amleto Cicognani, blessed and dedicated the building.  

On September 5, 1939, classes began with Fr. Francis Schaefers as principal and director of the school. The faculty during the first year included another priest and five sisters who taught classes. Only freshmen and sophomores attended Central Catholic, but the classes expanded over the next two years and Central Catholic soon became a four year school. In 1942, Central Catholic graduated its first class of 17 students. Central Catholic became coed in 1980, with the first coed class graduating in 1983 with 91 boys and 30 girls.

The school has grown considerably and serves students and families from every corner of the Portland Metro area, including southwest Washington. As we have grown in size, we have also developed stellar academic programs and outstanding athletic teams. Our students attend the best colleges and universities in the country and our athletes go on to play at the highest levels of competition. With our storied past in mind, we are hopeful that Central Catholic will continue to be a top provider of education in the Portland area long into the future.