Pacelli High School (Columbus, Georgia)

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Pacelli High School
Pacelli high school columbus ga logo.jpg
2020 Kay Circle
Columbus, Georgia
United States
Coordinates 32°29′0″N 84°56′3″W / 32.48333°N 84.93417°W / 32.48333; -84.93417Coordinates: 32°29′0″N 84°56′3″W / 32.48333°N 84.93417°W / 32.48333; -84.93417
Type Private, coeducational
Motto Latin: Pax per sapientiam.
(Peace through wisdom.)
Religious affiliation(s) Christian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Established 1958
Founder Reverend Monsignor Herman J. Deimel
Oversight Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah
School code 110832
Rector Rev. Jeremiah McCarthy, JCL
Principal Veronica Collins
Faculty 19[1] (2014)
Grades 9–12
Average class size 13
Student to teacher ratio 11:1
Campus size 23 acres (0.093 km2)
Color(s) Red, White and Navy
Athletics 11 interscholastic sports
Athletics conference Georgia High School Association Class A Region 4
Mascot Viktor the Viking
Team name Vikings/Lady Vikings
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Newspaper Voice of the Vikings
Yearbook The Skald
Affiliation National Catholic Educational Association[3]

Pacelli High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school in Columbus, Georgia. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah and is the only Catholic high school in southwestern Georgia. The school is connected to St. Anne School and both schools are governed through a joint system by St. Anne Catholic Church.[4]


On March 2, 1958, Holy Family High School was established by Reverend Monsignor Herman J. Deimel, priest at the Church of the Holy Family. Holy Family was the first Roman Catholic high school established in the city of Columbus, attached to Holy Family School (a K‒8 parish school). In late 1958, Thomas Joseph McDonough, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah, decided to change the name to honor Pope Pius XII (whose birth name was Eugenio Pacelli). Pacelli's athletic program began with its first football team, which was established in 1960.[5]

St. Anne Catholic Church was established in 1961 following a Mass being celebrated in the Pacelli cafeteria. The lower school, Holy Family School was changed to St. Anne School, and the new church was connected to it. In the summer of 1980, St. Anne Church and School, along with Pacelli, underwent extensive renovation. This renovation included a new St. Anne church, along with additions to St. Anne School.[6] The original church was turned into a media center/library for Pacelli. A small chapel still remains today in the Pacelli media center, consisting of six pews, an altar, and a small tabernacle. These renovations concluded with the addition of the Pacelli Sports Arena, a multi-purpose gymnasium. The name was later changed to the W. Donald Land Sports Arena.

In 1989, construction of the Elena Amos Arts and Science Center was completed. This allowed for the addition of five more classrooms, along with an alumni office. Later that year, Pacelli's fitness center (weight room) was also completed. It was later named after the late Nathan Rustin, former long-time Pacelli football coach. Pacelli expanded again in 1999, with new additions including a fully equipped science lab, updated art studio, renovated kitchen and faculty dining facilities, and new building for administrative offices connected to St. Anne School.

In 2008, plans were finalized to combine Pacelli High School with St. Anne School. The decision to combine the schools came from the recommendation of various committees and St. Anne Catholic Church. Both schools are now governed by St. Anne Church. Pacelli and St. Anne School now operate in a unified manner, sharing both office workers and admission directors, along with other employees.[7]

In 2010, nearly all of Pacelli's athletic facilities receive renovations. In 2011, the Nathan Rustin Fitness Center was completely renovated, and additions include new high quality weight lifting and exercise equipment.[8] In May 2012, a donation from the Sisters of Mercy prompted a major renovation of the Pacelli media center/library, which was completed at the end of 2012.[9]


Pacelli is known locally for its numerous amount of Advanced Placement classes. It offers AP classes in American Government, Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, English Literature, Microeconomics, Statistics, Studio Art, and United States History.[1] As in most schools, students have the option of preparing for these AP Exams independently, and many do. Students travel to nearby Columbus State University to take their AP exams. Pacelli also offers 19 honors courses.[1]

No strict core curriculum exists, however ninth and tenth graders are offered limited flexibility in their courses. Juniors and seniors are freer to flexibility, selecting electives and other courses.

Graduation requirements[edit]

Pacelli students entering the establishment in grade 9 must earn a minimum of 24 Carnegie credits. Students must take one core course each year in English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Religion. All students are also required to earn one credit of Fine Arts, as well as 1/2 credits of both Health and Physical Education.[1]

Course type Credits needed
English 4 credits
Mathematics 4 credits
Science 4 credits
Religion 4 credits
Social Studies 3 credits
Foreign Language 2 credits
Health/Physical Education 1 credit
Fine Arts Elective 1 credit
Choice Electives 1 credit

Community Service[edit]

Each year, students must complete community service projects as part of their Religion class. 9th graders are required 2 projects per semester while 10th, 11th, and 12th graders are required 3. Seniors are also required to do a senior project in addition to the 3 community service projects. To earn full credit for the projects, students must turn in a journal of each experience. The project portion of the student's Religion grade is 10% of their final average.[10]



Original "Pacelli High School" sign (2011)

Pacelli has competed in different regions and classifications under the Georgia High School Association as PHS has grown in size through the years:[11]

  • 1961-63: 3-C
  • 1964-67: 3-South-B
  • 1968-69: 5-South-B
  • 1970-77: 5-B
  • 1978-97: 5-A
  • 1998-99: 3-A
  • 2000-05: 2-A
  • 2006-: 4-A
Interscholastic Athletic Teams[12]
Sport Level Season Gender
Baseball V, JV Spring Boys'
Basketball V, JV Winter Coed
Cheerleading V, JV Fall, Winter Girls'
Cross-Country V, JV Fall Coed
Football V, JV Fall Boys'
Golf V, JV Spring Coed
Soccer V, JV Spring Coed
Softball V, JV Fall Girls'
Tennis V, JV Spring Coed
Volleyball V, JV Fall Girls'
Wrestling V, JV Winter Boys'

GHSA state championships[edit]

  • Baseball - 2008[13]
  • Golf - 2007 (girls)[14]
  • Softball - 2002[15]
  • Cross Country - 1980, 1982, 1986, 1989-91 (Boys); 1984, 1986-87 (Girls)[16]

GHSA Class A Region Championships[edit]

2011 Pacelli football helmet design
  • Baseball - 1983, 1984, 1991, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008
  • Cheerleading - 2002
  • Cross Country - 2002, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012 (Girls); 1979–82, 1986, 1989–91, 2002 (Boys)
  • Football - 1970, 1975, 2003, 2004
  • Golf - 2006 (Boys), 2008 (Girls)
  • Soccer - 1990, 1997, 2003, 2008, 2009 (Boys); 1998 (Girls)
  • Softball - 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012
  • Tennis - 1993 (Boys)
  • Track - 2008 (Girls)

Pacelli-Brookstone rivalry[edit]

Pacelli has played Brookstone in football since 1972 for this red and blue milk jug

Pacelli's biggest rival is Brookstone High School, located in North Columbus (8 miles (13 km) north of Pacelli's Midtown campus). Although Pacelli plays Brookstone in all of their sports, the most popular rivalry is their yearly football game, dubbed the "Battle for the Jug".[17][18] The winner of this game gets to keep the "Broocelli Jug" (a milk jug painted red and blue) at their campus for the next year, along with bragging rights. In 2013, Pacelli received the jug for the first time since 2004 in a 14–7 win.[19] The rivalry first began in 1972 and Brookstone leads the series 27–17–1.[20]

Clubs and organizations[edit]

Pacelli bell tower, located at the campus' North entrance

Pacelli features student-led clubs and organizations. They include the following:[21]

  • Drama Club
  • Empty Bowl Club
  • Green Team
  • Literary Team
  • Math Team
  • Pep Club
  • Pro-Life Club
  • Prom Committee
  • Rotary Interact Club
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Student Council
  • SKALD Yearbook Club

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Donna D'Errico, actress and model
  • Matt Dunham, professional football player
  • Mark LeGree, professional football player
  • Mark Spillane, Entrepreneur [2]" Entrepreneur Magazine 1996 June "
  • Michael O'Neal, Atlanta Braves baseball player
  • Jeff Beeland, Oscar winner for visual effects for the movie "Life of Pi"

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d School Profile. Retrieved 2015-1-29.
  2. ^ AdvancED. "AdvancED-Find Accredited Institutions". Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  3. ^ NCEA. "NCEA School Locator". Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  4. ^ St. Anne Catholic Church - St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School. Retrieved 2012-19-12.
  5. ^ Georgia High School Football Historians Association. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Pacelli Weight Room
  9. ^ Pacelli Media Center Project
  10. ^ 2010‒2011 Good News Student Planner.
  11. ^ Georgia High School Football Historians Association
  12. ^ Athletics @ Retrieved 2011-8-10.
  13. ^ 2008 GHSA State Baseball Champions Retrieved 2012-06-06.
  14. ^ Results of the 2007 GHSA State Golf Meets Retrieved 2012-06-06.
  15. ^ GHSA Fast-Pitch Softball Champions Retrieved 2012-06-06.
  16. ^ [1] Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  17. ^ "Brookstone and Pacelli to Battle It Out Over The Jug". WTVM. Retrieved 5 November 2007. 
  18. ^ White, Chris (15 October 2010). "Pacelli looks to get back on track in battle against rival Brookstone for the Broocelli Jug". Ledger-Enquirer. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  19. ^ Mitchell, David (4 October 2013). "Pacelli 14, Brookstone 7: Peterson, Vikings end losing streak to Cougars". Ledger-Enquirer. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  20. ^ Georgia High School Football Historians Association. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  21. ^ Activities @ Retrieved 2011-8-10.

External links[edit]