A Brief Look at COHS
Cardinal O'Hara High School was opened in September, 1963 with 1738 freshmen and sophomores. During the next five years, the enrollment increased and reached a peak of 3940 students in 1967.
Rev. Paul P. Maloney was principal from 1963 - 1969. He was succeeded by Rev. Joseph C. McCloskey (1969-1971), Msgr. James E. Mortimer (1971-1980), Rev. Philip J. Cribben (1980-1988), and Rev. Joseph J. McLaughlin (1988-1993).
Beginning with the 1993-94 school year, the secondary schools established a new administrative structure with a president and a principal. Monsignor Joseph P. McFadden, who is now the tenth Bishop of Harrisburg, served as President from 1993 to 2001. Beginning in 2001, Dr. William J. McCusker, who served as Principal from 1993-2001, assumed the role of President. Rev. Michael P. O'Malley, Ed.D served as Principal from 2001-2004. He was succeeded by Mr. William J. Miles. (2004-2007). From 2007, until his retirement in 2010, Mr. George Stratts served as Principal. He was succeeded by Mrs. Marie Rogai, the school's first female principal, in 2010.
The school has acquired a reputation for excellence. In sports, both teams and individuals have won many accolades and league championships. The O'Hara Band has played for Pope John Paul II, and in 1996, 1997, 2003, 2006 and 2011 won superior ratings at national competitions in Walt Disney World, Cleveland, Montreal, Charlottesville and Williamsburg.
In November 1971, Cardinal O'Hara High School was visited and accredited by the Middle States Association. As a result of the school's self-study in preparation for the visit, and recommendations of the visiting committee, the school changed from a co-institutional school (where the female students were educated in the Springfield wing and the male students were educated in the Marple wing) into a co-educational school. As a result of the 1981 evaluation and accreditation, greater emphasis was placed on the core curriculum, and graduation requirements were increased from two years to three years in both mathematics and science.
Following a visit from the Middle States Association of College and Schools in March 2009, O'Hara has been re accredited until 2016.The school followed the forward-visioning process known as Accreditation for Growth (AFG). As a result of the process, the school took ownership of two objectives in the areas of academics and technology.