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Mission Statement

Bishop Shanahan High School, a Catholic co-educational secondary school of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, provides its students with a strong spiritual formation, challenging academic offerings, and rich extracurricular programs.  A vibrant witness to Christian values and a commitment to academic rigor and integrity prepare all students to be critical thinkers and moral stewards in a rapidly evolving global environment.


FAITH (The Cross)
HOPE (The Anchor)
LOVE (The Heart)
The Eagle St. Francis Xavier Green & White


Founded in Faith

Bishop Shanahan's rich legacy can be traced to the Christian values and academic excellence first nurtured in St. Agnes Parish High School in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Saint Agnes High School was established in 1909 through the efforts of Monsignor Henry C. Schuyler.  From 1909 until 1956, the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (I.H.M.) administered and staffed the high school until it became necessary to enlarge the elementary school building at St. Agnes.  A new piece of land for the high school, at Gay and Everhart Streets, was donated by the West Chester Council of the Knights of Columbus.  With the approval of His Eminence, John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., ground was broken in the fall of 1956.

Bishop Shanahan High School opened on September 4, 1957 and John Cardinal O’Hara dedicated the school five days later on September 9th.  The school is named for Bishop John W. Shanahan, the former pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows Church in Philadelphia.  Bishop Shanahan also served as the first Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia until his appointment as Bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese in 1899.  The founding principal was Reverend J. Daniel Kehoe, who served from 1957 to 1962.  The School year 2007-2008 marks a Golden Jubilee Year for Bishop Shanahan, which commemorates 50 years of providing Catholic Education to Chester County.

The continuing growth of the Catholic community in Chester County called for new and expanded facilities.  His eminence Anthony Cardinal Bevilaqua presided at the groundbreaking ceremony on October 27, 1996.  The 246,000 square foot educational facility opened in Downingtown in September 1998.  The facility includes a 1,200-seat auditorium, a spacious library, and state-of-the-art computer and science labs.  It also comprises modern athletic facilities including a 1,000-seat gymnasium with an auxiliary gym, a weight room, a 400-meter track, baseball and softball fields and several all-purpose fields, a football field with a press box and stadium seating, soccer, rugby, field hockey, lacrosse and more.  The surrounding 80 acres of rich Chester County land provide a beautiful natural setting for a peaceful, rich, and safe learning environment.


Rooted in Tradition

Bishop Shanahan's rich legacy can be traced to the Christian values and academic excellence Since the founding of Bishop Shanahan High School, the leadership has boldly met changes in demographics and challenges from society.  Striving to live as Jesus lived, the faculty and staff of Bishop Shanahan High School are committed to ethical and moral education which reaches beyond the walls of the classroom.  The whole school community is united by the conviction that all members of the Bishop Shanahan community are people of God called to serve others.  Recognizing parents as the primary educators, Bishop Shanahan enters into an educational partnership with the parents and guardians of our students to ensure the most meaningful Catholic education possible.


Growing in Excellence

BSHS provides an unequaled educational setting where the focus is on each student’s finding and developing his or her gifts and talents.  To this end, BSHS provides a wide variety of educational, co-curricular, and extracurricular experiences to help all students develop their potential as persons made in the image and likeness of God.  As a result, over 98% of our graduates pursue higher education at a four year college or university.  A significant number of our students achieve National Merit recognition, Advance Placement scholar honors by the College Board, and National Honor Society membership.  Students have opportunities to participate in the Diocesan Scholar Program at local Catholic colleges or the Immaculata Partnership at Bishop Shanahan High School.  Others achieve MOUS certification through the Microsoft Office User’s Program.  Students also pursue opportunities in the Honors Allied Health Program and the Teacher’s Academy partnership with CAT Brandywine.  A Broad spectrum of students is welcome at BSHS.  Some participate in a widely extensive and extremely successful AP Program, while others receive learning support through Intermediate Unit assistance.  All students receive individual student placement, rostering, and guidance support.