Our History: Notre Dame & Madonna

Notre Dame High School (1962-1964)

In September 1962, Bishop Mark K. Carroll established an all-boys high school in order to meet the growing needs of Wichita’s west side parishes. Notre Dame High School was located at 3100 W. Douglas, in a property formerly occupied by Mt. Carmel Academy. The 1962-1963 school year saw a single freshman class of 170 boys with the St. Louis-based Christian Brothers staffing the school and living on campus.

On September 6, 1964, Notre Dame High School moved to a brand new state-of-the art facility at 8101 W. Central and was officially rechristened Bishop Mark K. Carroll High School.

Madonna High School (1966-1971)

September 1966 saw the newly-created Madonna High School open its own brand new building at 340 N. Tyler.

Excerpts from the Wichita Eagle article “Newest Diocese School Expects Over 600 Pupils,” published in the summer of 1966.

Madonna High School, new­est of the high schools in the Wichita Diocese, will open its doors for the first time this fall. Its initial enrollment is expected to exceed 620. It has a capacity for 1,000 pupils.

Father David H. Cushing, administrator of Madonna, in explaining the general goals of the school said that its basic philosophy would be "excellence in Christian edu­cation." He said that the cur­riculum of the school's busi­ness department would be equivalent, in quality to that of business colleges; that a vastly improved home econom­ics organization would rank Madonna with the best; that its arts and crafts and its college preparatory would be among the first rank in Kan­sas.

The opening of Madonna High School marks the final chapter in the history of two landmarks of Catholic education in the diocese. St. Mary's (Cathedral) High School and Sacred Heart Academy have been phased out, and students from these two schools will comprise the nucleus of the student body for Madonna.

Excerpts from the Catholic Advance Register article “New Madonna High School Dedication Set for March 19,” published March 17, 1967.

Bishop Byrne will dedicate the new Madonna diocesan high school for girls Sunday, March 19, at 4 p.m.

Bishop Byrne will be assisted by Father David Cushing, the school's administrator, and Father Eugene Gerber, vice-chancellor.

Ground was broken for Madonna Sept. 1, 1965, moments before Bishop Byrne left for Rome and the final session of the Second Vatican Council. The new structure was completed in time for occupancy in September 1966.

Containing 83,000 square feet of floor space, it houses classrooms, arts, crafts and home-economic departments, science laboratories, a language laboratory, a cafeteria, a gymnasium and an auditorium which seats 650 persons.

Madonna is staffed by a faculty of 24 Sisters of St. Joseph and Sisters Adorers of the Most Precious Blood and seven lay teachers.

In the spring of 1971, the Madonna High School building was sold to USD 259 and the girls joined the boys of Bishop Carroll at 8101 W. Central, forming a student body of 1,006 young men and women.