Paden City High School

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Paden City High School
Paden City High School
201 N. Fourth Avenue
Paden City, West Virginia, Wetzel 26159
United States
School type Public
Mottoes Committed to Excellence
Founded 1951
School board Wetzel County Schools
Superintendent Edward Toman
Principal Jason "Jay" Salva
Grades 712
Enrollment 198 (2014-2015)
Language English
Color(s) Green and white
Mascot Wildcat
Team name Wildcats
Yearbook The Green and White
Athletic Director (9-12) L. Fred King

Paden City High School is a 7–12 grade, class A high school in Wetzel County, West Virginia in the small town of Paden City.

Paden City High School opened its doors as a 9-12 school in 1951 and graduated its first class in 1952. As of 2014, Paden City High School houses grades 7-12 with an enrollment of 158.

PCHS continually is recognized for outstanding academic progress. It has received many recognitions for academics and has been named a W.V.D.E. High Achieving School and for the W.V.D.E. Annual Performance Index, PCHS received the status of "Distinguished School," which means it was the upper quartile for academic performance.[1] In 2013, Paden City High School, received Full Accreditation Status by the W.V. Board of Education following a positive assessment of PCHS by the W.V. Office of Education Performance Audits as well as a rating as a WV Success School, an honor given to only three schools in RESA 6, and the only high school in Wetzel County to receive this honor. [2] [3] Paden City High School has several West Virginia State Champions, Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Champions (OVAC), and Mason-Dixon Champions.

The current structure that houses Paden City High School was completed for the fall 1976 classes, with an addition and remodeling project completed in 1988. The 1976 structure was built after the original structure that was built as Paden City Junior High in 1922, burned in January 1975, more information on the current and past buildings is included below. After Paden City Middle School, which housed grades 6-8, was closed in 1993, grade 6 became part of Paden City Elementary School, and grades 7 and 8 became part of the high school.



Educational opportunity was first offered in Paden City in a proverbial little red schoolhouse. This one-room brick building was located in the Wetzel County part of town, just across the highway from what is now the Wesleyan Methodist church. The second school was built on the back of the present school site. It was a four-room building of wood frame construction. About 1916 the school population had increased to such an extent that the four-room building was inadequate, and the J.R. Henthorne Building on Main Street was secured for school purposes. A few years later the Kannan Building on Fourth Avenue was rented since it afforded more space than the Henthorne Building.

The temporary building being very unsatisfactory created a strong sentiment favoring the construction of a new school building. Since similar crowding conditions existed in the schools of other Magnolia District communities, a bond issue for financing a district building program was laid on December 14, 1922. The building was erected and the interior partially completed at a cost of less than $70,000. It was further completed as need for space arose. During this period of expansion the State Department of Education authorized the establishment of the "Junior High School," with special permission being granted to include the tenth grade. Because the Tyler/Wetzel county line divides Paden City, juniors and seniors living on the Tyler side of the line had to travel to Sistersville and attend Sistersville High School, and juniors and seniors living on the Wetzel side of the line had to travel to Magnolia High School in New Martinsville. Paden City found friends competing against friends and even brothers against brothers in athletic competitions.

During the years that the Junior High School served the educational needs of the community, parents and students envisioned the time when the change at the eleventh grade level would not have to be made. In 1949 a concerted effort with a vision of the formation of a four-year high school at Paden City was made. That effort was led by Ray Berger, Owen McKay, Jess Brown, Guy Nichols, and Dr. R.F. Miller. The state superintendent of schools approved the plan, and after three appearances Paden City finally had the high school it had long sought. The Wetzel County Board of Education approved the measure by a 3-2 vote. The measure was approved by the Wetzel County Board of Education only after the Paden City Lions Club volunteered to purchase typewriters and office equipment; and Owen McKay, speaking for the community, told the board of education that the citizens of Paden City would buy an athletic field for the school. With this beginning, the high school and athletic field became a community project that brought the city and its people together in a single purpose.

The annual Labor Day Celebration was started to raise money for facilities at the new school. Workers at Paden City Pottery and Paden City Glass gave money through payroll deduction plans to support the school. The amount workers gave may only have been $2 per week, but at a salary of $15 per week, that was a sacrifice. They did it because Paden City kids needed a school at Paden City. No state or county tax dollars were used to purchase or build the athletic field. As there was approximately a four-foot drop from one end of the property, which was to be used for an athletic field, to the other, the field had to be leveled off. A fence measuring 1,830 feet was installed, the field house was built, and bleachers were put up. It was estimated that it would take 80 months to pay the $17,300 cost of the land. In actuality the citizens of Paden City made the final loan payment in just 24 months. The light towers for the field arrived in a most unusual way. After raising $25,000 for the lights and the towers, they came by rail car to the south end of Paden City. A general call went out, and about 400 people carried the equipment, by hand, to the field. Men would work eight to ten hours a day at local industries and then work another six hours at the field to build bleachers.

In the fall of 1951, Paden City "High School" opened its doors for the first time. in Ray Berger, one of the moving forces behind the formation of the high school, became the first principal. Townspeople took fierce pride in the fact that they finally had their own high school and that high school students in Paden City could continue their education in their own community. Citizens were also concerned about education for all students in Paden City. In 1952, more than a year before the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown vs. the Board of Education, which integrated southern schools, Paden City High School was an integrated educational institution.

"Paden City High School exists because of the measure of support for education that was demonstrated in Paden City. People, who couldn't afford to give, sacrificed in the name of community education." - Owen McKay, Former PCHS Educator.

1975 fire destroys PCHS[edit]

January 8, 1975, marked a dreadful day in Paden City history. Fire destroyed the 53-year-old high school building. However, while the body of the building lay cremated, the determination of Paden City's citizens again came to the forefront. Churches and other institutions rallied once again and provided space for classrooms. Classes were held in the PCHS Gymnasium, which was not destroyed by the fire, the Paden City Christian Church, Paden City Church of the Nazarene, St. Paul's Methodist Church, and the Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church. Portable classroom trailers were also brought in and placed behind Berger Football Field. Less than one week of classes was missed due to the fire.[4]

New building (1977)[edit]

Rumor that the school would not be rebuilt after the fire brought such a public outcry that construction of a new school began almost immediately.

On May 1, 1977, the dedication of the present Paden City High School was held. The ceremony featured various guests, including Jack Dulany, superintendent of Wetzel County Schools; Ira Satterfield, the current principal of PCHS; Board Member Tim Miller; Rev. John Negley; and featured speaker, James Jeffers of the Class of 1964. The new building with its definite modern style shows no resemblance of its predecessor but has nonetheless become a landmark in Paden City and the school continues to be a source for community pride in Paden City.

The new building departed slightly from the then-popular "open classroom" design of the 1970s era. The building features a spacious hall on the ground floor with a two-story open ceiling giving a view of the classrooms on both floors at once. The second floor consists of four major classrooms with another four down the hall. The gymnasium, band room, and shop rooms were not destroyed, although damaged, as they were protected by a firewall. The school also featured "wall-to-wall" carpeting, something unheard of in public schools until the 1970s. In a short time trophy cases were installed on the first floor by various parents and the Paden City Boosters Association. Later, the Sprouse family donated trophy cases for the second floor commons area for athletic awards and the Paden City Band Patrons along with the family of John Nail (former Band Director) and the Paden City Boosters Association installed more cases on the second floor and in the band room to house the trophies of the Paden City High School Band.

Later in 1986, a bond levy in Wetzel County was passed giving money to re-build the other three county high schools and to add the addition of the Multi-Purpose Building to Paden City High School along with many other upgrades and remodeling projects within the main building. The Multi-Purpose Building complete with a cafeteria, common area and auditorium was completed and opened in 1988.

Areas of PCHS named in Honor of Notable People[edit]

Band Room- John Nail Band Room, Paden City Band Director 1982-1990

Fine Arts Wing- R. E. Ed Hood Fine Arts Wing, Paden City Band Director 1959-1982

Field House (area with Gymnasium)- (Ray) Berger Field House, First PCHS Principal

Football Field- (Ray) Berger Field, First PCHS Principal

Gymnasium- Bob Burton Gymnasium, long-time Paden City basketball coach who captured two state championships (1973 and 1987)

Multi-Purpose Building- Jess Brown Hall, Former Principal

Paden City High School saved in 2010[edit]

In early spring of 2009, rumors started that Paden City High School would be merged with another high school in the Wetzel County School System. Every 10 years, West Virginia school districts must submit a Continued Education Facilities Plan (CEFP).[5] The plan was constructed by a CEFP committee, made up of selected individuals within Wetzel County. Paden City High School and the City of Paden City had no representation on this committee that recommended the closure of PCHS by fall of 2012. When rumors started, the Paden City Foundation formed "Project Cornerstone" which was made up of community members, PCHS Alumni, and PCHS Supporters. For several months the project worked on fact finding and advertisement for reasons to keep Paden City High School open and operational as a 7-12 high school. (The name "Cornerstone" was chosen because the group believes PCHS is the cornerstone of the Paden City Community.) A public hearing was held in March 2010[6] with the Wetzel County Board of Education for purposes of getting an idea of how the community felt about the possible closure of Paden City High. 35 individuals spoke on the issue. All 35[7] expressed that they wanted to see Paden City High School remain open and operational. Well over 1,000 individuals packed the PCHS Gymnasium, including Paden City Citizens, PCHS Alumni, PCHS Parents, PCHS Supporters, Political Officials, also in attendance was over 99% of the Paden City High School Student body as well as many students from Paden City Elementary School. The Paden City High School Band was also in attendance and played the PCHS Alma Mater and Fight Song before the hearing began. On April 19, 2010 the Wetzel County Board of Education voted 5-0 in favor of keeping PCHS open and operational,[8] and to have the CEFP re-written to state that Paden City High School would remain open and not consolidate with another high school in the county district.[9] The Paden City Foundation's "Project Cornerstone" has remained together as a group even after the vote of confidence by the board of education. Project Cornerstone continues to work to raise funds and support to recognize the importance of and ensure the future of Paden City High School and Paden City Elementary School.

Mission statement[edit]

PCHS stands by the thought that "The historical support of "The Wildcat Philosophy" identifies Paden City High School as one whose expectations for students are high. It is a school with vibrant and colorful legacy of the past and a window to the future for any who choose to attend."[10]

Alma mater and fight song[edit]


Tune: Far Above Cayuga's Waters

The words to the Alma Mater were composed mostly by Ray Price and members of the PCHS classes of 1952-1955.

VERSE 1 By Ohio's Sunlight Waters, Let our voices rise! Paden City's sons and daughters, Praise Her to the skies! Through the years in all endeavor, we will ever be; Loyal to our Alma Mater, Hail All Hail to Thee!

VERSE 2 Hallowed Halls that knew our laughter, Chains of Memory, Bind Us to thee Ever-after, To Eternity. Through the years in all endeavor, we will ever be; Loyal to our Alma Mater, Hail All Hail to Thee!

VERSE 3 Where majestic hills assemble, Raise our banner bright, Cheer until the Heavens tremble, for the Green and White. Through the years in all endeavor, we will ever be; Loyal to our Alma Mater, Hail All Hail to Thee!


Tune: Wave the Flag (for Old Chicago) We're from Paden City High School, The best school in the land! We're the rough and ready Wildcats, Together we will stand! Wave high the green and white forever, for dear old P. C. Fame, Fight on for glory and for victory, so the Wildcats win this game!

Extracurricular activities[edit]


The school's mascot is the wildcat, and the school colors are green and white. The Wildcats, as Paden City students are called, inherited their name from a semi-pro football team in Paden City during the 1940s. They had played with such ferocity that they were given then name Wildcats by their coach - a term that endured at the new high school in 1951.[11] Although Paden City High School now uses the wildcat animial, the nickname given by the semi-pro coach was actually in reference to hard working industrial workers that were called "Wildcats" in the industrial revolution. At the time, Paden City had many operating factories and was known as "Paden City- The Industrial Town," a slogan that was used to attract citizens and industry to the town.

PCHS competes in the following WVSSAC sports: football, volleyball, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls track, baseball, softball, golf, cheerleading. PCHS is a conference member of Ohio Valley Athletic Conference (OVAC) and Mason-Dixon Conference. For Boys and Girls Track, PCHS is a member of the Ohio River Valley Track League and for basketball (boys and girls) PCHS is a member of the Hometown Invitational Tournament which is a group of smaller "hometown" schools in West Virginia that participate in a tournament across the state and crowns champions annually.

Despite being one of the smallest public schools in the state, Paden City High School has a history of athletic excellence capturing multiple state championships[12] including football in 1970 and 1979, boys basketball in 1960, 1973, 1987, and cheerleading in 1994 and 1998.


PCHS is home to the Biggest Little Band in the Land, the Paden City Wildcat Band. The first director of the Wildcats was Mr. Robert "Bob" Thomas who was actually "shared" between the bands of Magnolia and Paden City from 1951-1959. Since most of Paden City's games were played on Saturday afternoon, this did not cause a conflict with Mr. Thomas' direction of both bands and on the occasion where both schools played at the same time, a teacher from PCHS would supervise the PCHS Band and Mr. Thomas would go with the MHS Band. In 1959, Paden City hired its first full time director, Mr. R.E. Hood. While under the direction of Ross "Ed" Hood, Paden City (a WV Class 'A' School) was awarded a WV state championship title for Stage/Jazz Band in 1973 and for a second time in 1978, competing against bands from schools representing Class AAA, AA, and A.[13] Under the direction of Ed Hood, the Paden City Marching, Concert, Pep and Stage Bands were the considered by many to be the best in the state, as they returned many times to Paden City from competitions with multiple awards, including Grand Champion in matching season during his era. After Ed Hood retired in 1982 to direct a local middle school band, the tradition continued under the direction of the late John Nail. The Paden City Band captured regional championships in the Marching Bands of America, placed 7th in the United States in 1985 at the Indiana Hoosier Dome after placing first at the MBA Pittsburgh Regional Championships in Penn Hills, PA.[14] John Nail also directed the band in an unheard of "Undefeated" 1982 season, as the Paden City Band never received anything but first place trophies that year. Following the tragic death of John Nail, the Paden City Band was then directed by Douglas Carter, followed by Debra Pollock Price, and then Byron W. Filben. The Wildcat Band also placed 10th at the BOA Eastern Regionals in 1998 under the direction of Byron Filben. After Byron Filben left at the end of the 1999-2000 school year, the band was then directed for two years by Malissa A. Buckovenski, before Steven W. Jones took leadership of the band. PCHS was under the direction of Steven Jones from 2002-2014, and during that era the Paden City Band has nearly doubled in size under his leadership and continued to place at competitions and festivals in West Virginia and Ohio and received 'Superior' and 'Excellent' ratings at State Adjudication Festivals. In September 2014, Steven Jones left PCHS to be the director of a middle school program in a neighboring school district and former director Debra Price returned to direct the Wildcats once again. Price, in her first year back lead the band at several competitions where they placed in every category, notably receiving runner-up state champion in class 1A at the 2014, 2015, and 2016 State Marching Band Festival in the capital city of Charleston, WV. In 2016 the band was also runner-up grand champion at the Ripley Viking Festival. The Concert Band over the past few years has received several Superior Ratings at the State Regional Adjudication Festival and the Marching Band continues to place at competitions in the state of West Virginia for High Honors in Marching and High Honors in Music, including the Sistersville / Tyler Consolidated High Oil and Gas Festival, Roane County High School WV Black Walnut Festival, Sissonville High School Invitational Band Festival, and the Ripley High School Viking Festival, and Parkersburg High School 'Big Red' Band Competition. In the area of music, Paden City High School offers to students: Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz/Stage Band, Percussion Ensemble, Basketball Pep Band, Woodwind and Brass Ensembles, and Chorus.

The Paden City High School Band is known as the "Biggest Little Band in the Land," a nickname that dates back to the early 1960s originating from Harry Bright of WETZ Radio. The term "biggest little band in the land" did not come from the band being small in numbers. It was because it was such a huge band of 150+ members (giving the adjective "Biggest") from a small school (giving the adjective "little".) In the 1960s, most band competitions were categorized by school size and not band size, and since PCHS was a small school, it competed in the small class with a bigger band. It was more of a tongue in cheek comment because it is said that people would say, "Heck, THAT is the 'biggest "little" band I've ever seen!" Today, the band marches around 40 members and most say that in any event, it is still a great way to identify the band because even if it is small in numbers, the Paden City band "plays and performs with the heart of 200 members."

Paden City High School also has an active Alumni Band that is composed of former members who are graduates of PCHS. The Paden City Alumni Band (or Wildcat Alumni Spirit Band as it is often called) performs by itself as well as in conjunction with the PCHS Band several times a year. Annually, between 50-60 members participate. Often, former directors of the PCHS Band are invited to conduct the alumni band's performances, most recently former PCHS Assistant Director of Bands Cutch McAtee conducted the band's pre-game performance in 2015 in honor of R. Ed Hood, who he was the assistant under for several years in the 1970s. Performances are usually dedicated in honor of former members and support staff of the band who have died. Those who have been honored recently have been John H. Ice, Jr., R. Ed Hood, and John Nail.

At the Annual Homecoming Game in October 2014, Paden City High School, with approval by the Wetzel County Board of Education and recommendation of the Paden City Foundation, officially renamed the fine arts wing of PCHS "The R. E. 'Ed' Hood Fine Arts Wing" in honor of respected director R. E. Hood, director of Paden City Bands 1959-1982. Hood died in July 2014, and the PCHS Band and the PCHS Alumni Band attended his memorial service and performed the Alma Mater in tribute to him after the service.


PCHS also offers membership in academic honor societies for Mathematics (MU ALPHA THETA), English and Science as well as annual participation in the RESA SCIENCE FAIR and the West Virginia Department of Education's STATE SOCIAL STUDIES FAIR, which has three levels including the School Fair, Regional Fair, and State Fair. PCHS continually has winners in the Regional and has had several state winners, most recently in 2017. PCHS also sends participants to MATH FIELD DAY, which has a county, region, and state level. PCHS has had students compete on all three levels of Math Field Day, including the state level, most recently in Spring of 2010. PCHS is also home to a chapter of the International Thespian Society (THEATER/DRAMA)Troupe 4892 which performs both non-competitively and competitively in the regional and state competitions and performs Broadway Musicals such as "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" in 2013, and "Once Upon A Mattress" in 2014. In 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017, PCHS had representation at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 2013, Paden City High School received first place at the Fairmont State University ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE Competition which is open to all high schools in West Virginia. [15] Previous winners of that competition have included AAA high schools such as University High School of Morgantown, that had an enrollment of 1,252 at the time of the 2012 competition. [16] Paden City High School also has a club of students that functions as the staff for "The Green and White", the school's award winning yearbook, as well as a school newspaper staff.


Notable alumni[edit]

  • Mayor Mark Funkhouser, former mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, current publisher of Governing (magazine) and director of the Governing Institute
  • The Honorable W. Craig Broadwater, Federal Judge appointed by President Bill Clinton, Confirmed by the United States Senate in 1996
  • Mr. Clark Barnes, (Republican, Elkins) Current Clerk of the W.Va. State Senate, former W.Va. State Senator, Former Candidate for Governor of West Virginia and prominent political figure in the state.
  • Mr. J. Ford Huffman, One of the founding editors of USA Today and highly acclaimed journalist
  • Mr. Jeff Casteel, Current Football Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach at the University of Arizona. Former West Virginia University Football Defensive Coach. He was Named 'Rivals' National Defensive Coach of the Year 2007 and Big East Conference Coordinator of the Year 2008.
  • Dr. Joyce Ice, Ph.D, Director, Art Museum of West Virginia University; former director of the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Dr. Michael Cunningham, MD, Associate Professor, Radiology, WVU School of Medicine
  • Dr. Jarvis Moyers, Ph.D., retired from National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., Director of Division of Atmospheric Sciences, lead the team that discovered the hole in the ozone layer.
  • Dr. Jennifer Frum, Interim President of Armstrong State University (Georgia,) former Vice President, Public Service and Outreach, University of Georgia. Named one of the "100 Most Influential Georgians 2016" by Georgia Trend Magazine.
  • Mr. Edward Toman, Superintendent, Wetzel County Schools. Former Superintendent of Wirt, Gilmer, and Ritchie County Schools.
  • Mrs. Margaret Keifer Sine, Retired Paden City Elementary Principal for over 20 years and highly respected educator in West Virginia.
  • Dr. Robert A. Parsons,Ph.D., Professor, University of Scranton, 1991 to present. Chairperson, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Scranton, 1988-Aug 2003. Acting Chairperson, Department of World Languages and Cultures, University of Scranton, 2010-2011

Paden City Alumni Association[edit]

Paden City High School has an active alumni association that includes alumni from every decade the school has graduated students. The alumni association appoints officers and meets regularly to sponsor events within the school and for the alumni of the school. The association sponsors events including the annual homecoming festivities and parade which occurs every October, the alumni weekend (which occurs yearly during the weekend closest to the July 4th holiday.) The alumni weekend includes a multitude of events, but notably the Alumni Memorial Service, Alumni Parade, and the Distinguished Alumni Banquet are the hallmarks of the weekend festivities which begin on Thursday of Alumni Weekend and close Sunday evening. Every year, the weekend is led by the ten year classes. The association also designates "Distinguished Alumni" for contributions to their field of expertise, their community, or the Paden City Community based upon a rigorous application process and selection committed composed of alternating Paden City Alumni of various ages. Distinguished Alumni Recipients include: Jesse Brown (2001,) Owen McKay (2002,) John D. Hopkins (2003,) Margaret Keifer Sine (2004,) Matthew Long (2005,) Rodney McWilliams and Sue Miles Nichols (2006,) Patricia Lyle Bullock (2007,) J. Ford Huffman (2008,) Jeff Casteel (2009,) Jim Richmond (2010,) Tom McKay, Jarvis Moyers, and Walter Smittle III (2011,) Brian Feldmeier (2012-2013,) Roy Huffman (2014,) Edward Toman (2015,) To Be Announced (2016-2017.)

Current administration[edit]

Principal: Jason "Jay" Salva (since 2010, preceded by Warren L. Grace, Jr.)
Counselor: Chad West
Secretary: Carmen Shepherd
Athletic Director (9-12): L. Fred King
Athletic Director (7-8): Brent J. Croasmun
Director of Instrumental and Vocal Music: Debra Price (since 2014, preceded by Steven W. Jones)

Civic Support Organizations
Wildcat Boosters Association President: Jill Smith (since 2016, preceded by Jon Baker) Paden City Foundation President: Rodney McWilliams
Paden City Alumni Association President: Shawna Yoho Williams (since 2013, preceded by Susan Trowbridge Postlethwait)

See also[edit]


39°36′18″N 80°55′55″W / 39.605°N 80.932°W / 39.605; -80.932Coordinates: 39°36′18″N 80°55′55″W / 39.605°N 80.932°W / 39.605; -80.932