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                St. Mary's High School          Msgr. Coyle High School     Bishop Cassidy High School    Coyle and Cassidy High School
Wall of Fame ~ Ryan Jones '08


Catholic secondary education in Taunton had its beginning in 1911 when Monsignor James Coyle, then pastor of Saint Mary’s Church in Taunton, together with the Holy Union Sisters, opened Saint Mary’s High School. Msgr. Coyle’s interest in educating youth in a decidedly Catholic setting resulted in growing interest in Saint Mary’s High School. By 1930, many prospective students had to be turned away because of lack of space.

Following Msgr. Coyle’s death in the early ‘30s, Bishop Cassidy announced that a Catholic high school for boys would be constructed on Summer Street in Taunton and would be staffed by the Brothers of Holy Cross. Upon completion in 1933, the school was dedicated to the memory of Monsignor Coyle. Saint Mary’s High School then became a girls’ high school and continued to be staffed by the Holy Union Sisters.

The need for a modern facility for the girls emerged in the late 50’s and early 60’s. In 1963, a modern and carefully planned school for girls was constructed on the corner of Adams and Hamilton Streets, near Hopewell Park. The school, administered by the Holy Union Sisters, was dedicated to the memory of Bishop James Cassidy. Thus, the two clergymen who played very prominent roles in the development and fostering of Catholic education in Taunton were honored with high schools dedicated to them.

The changing fortunes of time, a shortage of vocations and the unpredictable social, spiritual and economic upheavals that deeply affected the Church and its institutions in the late ‘60s necessitated drastic measures if Catholic education was to be preserved in Taunton. In 1971, Monsignor Coyle High School and Bishop Cassidy High School merged to become Coyle and Cassidy High School at the Adams and Hamilton Streets facility.  With this merger, co-educational Catholic secondary education was revived in the City of Taunton.  

Under the capable leadership of Sister Virginia O’Hare, S.U.S.C., the first principal of Coyle and Cassidy High School, and then Reverend Richard Beaulieu, Coyle and Cassidy High School emerged as one of the finest high schools in Southeastern Massachusetts.  Drawing from the fine traditions of excellence from both Msgr. Coyle and Bishop Cassidy High Schools, Coyle and Cassidy became reknowned for its academic rigor and student preparedness.

As CCHS moved through the ‘70s and into the ‘80s, it became increasingly apparent that religious vocations were dwindling in number.  With a shortage of religious men and women, lay educators became critically important to the survival of Catholic schools. To address the ever-changing needs of the school, the Diocese of Fall River grasped the opportunity to name a lay educator as head of CCHS. In 1981, Mr. Michael Donly, who had spent 10 years at CCHS as educator and administrator, was named principal. In 1987, Mr. Donly title was changed to Headmaster as he assumed responsibility for finances, development, mission advancement, and day-to-day operations.  Under Mr. Donly's leadership, Coyle and Cassidy High School assumed a prominent role in providing community outreach to the Greater Taunton community. After twenty-two years, Mr. Donly left Coyle Cassidy to serve as Director of Development for the Diocese of Fall River.  In 1997, Mr. Dennis Poyant, a well-respected Catholic educator in the Diocese was named as Mr. Donly's replacement.

To supervise the educational aspect of the school on a day-to-day basis, the office of Assistant Principal (later to be called Academic Principal), was established in 1983, with Mrs. Norma Mulryan being named to the position. Upon Mrs. Mulryan’s retirement in 1998, Dr. Donna Boyle assumed the responsibilities. During Dr. Boyle's tenure, the school became known for its cutting-edge education and its committment to meet the educational needs of all students regardless of ability. In 2002, Dr. Boyle was appointed Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum for the Diocese of Fall River.  Dr. Mary Pat Tranter was named as her replacement.

In July 2003, the Diocese of Fall River replaced the Headmaster-Academic Principal model with the President-Principal model of administration. Brother Harold Hathaway, C.S.C. ‘62 was named the first President, and Dr. Mary Pat Tranter '80 became Principal. In July 2007, Dr. Tranter assumed the President's role and Mr. Paul Cartier was named Principal.

Today, Dr. Tranter is in her sixth year as President.  Mr. Robert Gay, former Principal of Whitman-Hanson High School and North Attleboro High School, is beginning his third year as Principal.  He is assisted by the fine administrative team of Mrs. Marie Angeley (Vice Principal for Student Life) and Mrs. Kathleen St. Laurent (Vice Principal of Academic Affairs).  Together they work diligently to insure that Coyle and Cassidy maintains its tradition of academic excellence and student success.

This past year, Coyle and Cassidy High School celebrated the 100th anniversary of Catholic secondary education in the City of Taunton.  As the school embarks on its second century of education, it seeks to provide all students with the facilities and resources needed to successfully prepare them for college and for life.  2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the current facility.  During its 50 year history, the present facility has undergone significant upgrades and renovations to meet the needs of its students.  
  • In 1983, an athletic wing was added to accommodate its expanding athletic programs.  
  • In 1997, the building was expanded to include a new wing housing the McCarty Theater for the Performing Arts, a new and modernized library, two well-equipped computer labs, and additional classroom space.  
  • In 2006, the former convent was converted into the Miles Alfieri Fine Arts Center to accommodate significant growth in the visual and performing arts programs.
  • In 2007, the site of the former Rennie Curtain Factory was converted into a multi-field sports complex that includes a tournament-ready softball field, a football practice field, soccer fields, and areas for track and field event practice.
  • In 2008, the gymnasium underwent a complete renovation with the installation of a new wood floor and bleachers.
  • In 2011, a new parking lot was completed.
In addition to these major upgrades, new student lockers have been installed, locker rooms and bathrooms have been refurbished, classrooms have been outfitted with updated technology and projection units, and the entire building has wireless internet access.

Awards & Achievements
In May of 1991, CCHS was named a recipient of the Exemplary School Award by the U.S. Department of Education. The school was one of only 38 Catholic high schools across the country to receive this honor. The award represents the dedication and support of all Coyle and Cassidy faculty, families and benefactors over the years who have sacrificed much to promote the growth and stability of the school.  In 1998 as a testimony to the school’s continuing achievement, CCHS received the School of Excellence award for the second time, the only high school in the New England region to be honored that year.

In November of 2012, the Commission on Independent Schools voted to grant Coyle and Cassidy High School a ten-year re-accreditation without stipulation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.  This is the highest award granted by the Commission and is a testament to Coyle and Cassidy's never-ending desire to offer an atmosphere most conducive to the educational, emotional, moral and social development of young men and women.

Coyle and Cassidy High School......Tradition Lives Here!

Detail Detail
2 Hamilton Street | Taunton, Massachusetts 02780-2483 | P: (508) 823-6164 | F: (508) 823-2530