Wildcats Grow Stronger as Enrollment Increases
PADEN CITY – The Wildcats’ Local School Improvement Committee has shared a spate of statistics that demonstrate the high quality education offered to students.
Recentlly, the LSIC recognized the PCHS Staff on June 2 at the high school library. PCHS was recently recognized as having the 3rd best graduation rate of all 118 state high schools, according to LSIC President Cork Bowen. He said there were no dropouts this year or last. And, PCHS is the only school in Wetzel County to have a 6 percent enrollment gain over the past 10 years as opposed to an average 19 percent loss by other 3 schools in Wetzel County, Bowen said. PCHS is now the third largest high school in Wetzel County ahead of Hundred even when you only count grades 9 12.
“You get a private school education for a public school price,” he said. “We are the little engine who could.”
Paden City has an open enrollment policy which allows all students living in Paden City the ability to attend any Paden City school even though they may reside in the Tyler County portion of Paden City. Bowen said the LSIC’s short term goal is to reach 200 students in grades 7-12 attending Paden City High School.
“We plan to add more courses to continue to enrich our curriculum,” he said.
Less than 10 years ago, the Wetzel County Board of Education explored the possibility of closing the high school – one that had served the community for many decades. The BOE decided to keep the school open for 10 years and then study the matter again in 2020 before making any decisions.
“Paden City was involved in defending their existence around 8 years ago as the Wetzel Board inserted the idea of merging Paden City High School with Magnolia,” Bowen said. “As you can imagine, that didn’t go over very well with the citizens of Paden City after seeing how it affected Sistersville with the loss of their High School in the early 90’s.”
Bowen said the good news is that a local committee of concerned citizens (Cornerstone Committee) convinced the Wetzel Board that it was not a good idea to close Paden City High School. “However, the long public battle worried some citizens about sending their children to Paden City schools,” Bowen said. “After 8 years PCHS has fought back with and increased enrollment and a student body that is competitive with all high schools around.”
Here are the members of the LSIC who have contributed over the past year are Bowen (President), Margaret Sine, Dr. Dick Stender, Brian Price, Scott Cooper, Mary Ferrebee, and Pam Witschey.
Faculty and Students: Jay Salva (Principal), Chad West (Counselor), Michelle Gorby, Lark Higginbotham, Jeanne Scherer and Student Representatives; Samuel Price (Senior Class President), Luke Cooper (Student Body President) and Logan Carroll (Student Body VP)