Archbishop Wood Catholic High School

Archbishop Wood Catholic High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The school was built in 1964 in Warminster Township in Bucks County.

Archbishop Wood Catholic High School
655 York Road

, ,

United States
Coordinates40°12′33″N 75°5′56″W
TypePrivate, Coeducational
MottoCoronam Fidelitas Merebit
(Faithfulness Merits the Crown)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
PresidentGary Zimarro
PrincipalMary Harkins
ChaplainRev. Paul O'Donnell
Enrollment1100+ (2015)
  Grade 9292
Campus size32 acres (130,000 m2)
Color(s)Black, Green and Gold             
Athletics conferencePhiladelphia Catholic League
Team nameVikings
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools [1]
NewspaperThe Viking Voice

School Seal and Motto

The school seal is in the shape of a shield bearing a cross with green ivy and a gold crown superimposed. The symbolism of the seal and free translation of the motto:

Fidelity (the ivy) to Christian principles (the cross) will merit for students and the graduate the crown of everlasting life. Emblazoned below the shield is the school motto: "Coronam Fidelitas Merebit", meaning "Faithfulness Merits The Crown".


Archbishop Wood was founded and built in 1964 in Warminster Township, Pennsylvania as two separate but essentially identical buildings. Named after Philadelphia's 19th century Archbishop James Frederick Bryan Wood, the school was originally divided into Archbishop Wood High School For Boys and Archbishop Wood High School For Girls.

Though the original blueprints for the school included an auditorium to be built in the space between the separate buildings, budgetary constraints forced plans for the auditorium to be scrapped. By 1987, funding for the auditorium had been secured thanks to donations by the Archbishop Wood Alumni Association. The Sophia A. Friedman Auditorium was completed by 1989, coinciding with the joining of the two schools into Archbishop Wood Catholic High School, wherein the school became co-educational and the two buildings were united by means of the auditorium.


Archbishop Wood Catholic High School is well known throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for its excellence in academics. The school currently offers eleven Advanced Placement classes, and over 98% of students take the SATs each year. 75% of the graduating class attend a four-year college, while 19% attend a two-year college. Graduates frequently gain acceptance into some of the most prestigious schools nationwide, including Ivy League and Patriot League schools as well as service academies, and are awarded over $18 million in scholarships yearly.

Student life

Archbishop Wood's mascot is the Viking. Students participate in a variety of co- and extracurricular activities from athletics to academic programs to student-run activities. The students of Archbishop Wood provide fantastic support for their sports teams and are often referred to as the "Warminster Wackies." The Warminster Wackies are usually led by one or two devoted student leaders each year.

A total of fifty classroom teachers are employed, with around a 1:20 teacher-to-student ratio.

The Viking Voice (Newspaper)

The Viking Voice is Archbishop Wood's student newspaper. When the school was founded in 1965, the student newspaper was split into two divisions, one for the boys' school and another for the girls'. The newspaper was called "Crossroads" and "Wood Winds", respectively. When the two buildings were united and Archbishop Wood made co-educational in 1989, the newspaper was rechristened "The Viking Voice".

Individuals within the school have maintained an extensive physical archive of the newspapers dating back to 1967. In 2006, various alumni began a project to digitize the archives to preserve them for posterity. The digital archives can be accessed here. Though efforts have been made to enhance the standing of the newspaper, there has historically been little financial or institutional support for an expanded, comprehensive student-run newspaper infrastructure.

The Viking (Yearbook)

Prior to the school becoming co-educational, the boys' school yearbook was titled "Woodsman", and the girls' yearbook was titled "Embers."

Performing Arts Department

Two theatre productions are presented each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. Performances consistently sell out in advance, performing for over 3,000 audience members as well as over 2,000 elementary school students in the week leading up to the performance weekend.

The Marching Unit was disbanded in 2013 due to lack of interest, and the focus shifted towards concert ensembles within the department. While active, the unit competed at the highest level of its class, most recently winning the 2011 Cavalcade of Bands Independence A Championship in Hershey, PA, and the 2010 Tournament of Bands All Chapter Championship (Group 2A) in Hershey, PA. Recent awards also include a USSBA All-State Championship in 2001, USSBA PA State Championships in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005, and a Cavalcade of Bands Championship in 2007. The Indoor Percussion Ensemble and Color Guard shared in the Marching Unit's success, winning several TIA championships over the past ten years.

Past Shows

Year Marching Unit Show (placement) Indoor Color Guard (placement) Indoor Percussion Unit Show (placement) Fall Theatre Show Spring Theatre Show
1998–1999 Legacy / Harlem Nocturne / Land of Make Believe (3rd, Cavalcade) Stormy Monday N/A N/A 42nd Street
1999–2000 Sing A New Song / Be Ye Glad / Make His Glorious Praise Known (3rd, Cavalcade) Woman Latin Grooves N/A N/A
2000–2001 The Shape of Things to Come (David Arkenstone) (2nd, USSBA (2A)) Jeremiah's Symphony Survivor Scrooge Guys and Dolls
2001–2002 The Music of Riverdance (1st, USSBA (2A)) Leonard Bernstein's "The Mass" The Music of Riverdance Peter Pan Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
2002–2003 The Music of Aaron Copland (13th, USSBA (2 Open)) Dar Williams "February" Appalachian Spring (1st, TIA Novice) Annie My Fair Lady
2003–2004 The Music of Karl Jenkins (3rd, USSBA (2 Open)) George Winston "Canon in D" (2nd, TIA Scholastic A) The Music of Karl Jenkins Oliver The Music Man
2004–2005 Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba (4th, USSBA (2A)) Paso Doble (1st, TIA Open) The Music of Buddy Rich Honk! Footloose
2005–2006 The Machine (6th (USSBA 2A)) Breaking In (Senior Guard) / Space (Junior Guard) Shapes and Colors in Three Movements (Key Poulan) Aladdin The Wizard of Oz
2006–2007 The Music of Michael McDonald (2nd, Cavalcade (Liberty A)) Eleanor Rigby Sticks on Styx Beauty and the Beast High School Musical
2007–2008 Cirque du Soleil: Quidam (1st, Cavalcade (Liberty A)) The Ten Commandments (TIA) Cirque du Soleil: Quidam (1st, TIA Scholastic Open Concert) A Christmas Carol Seussical the Musical
2008–2009 The Music of Beethoven (5th, Cavalcade (Liberty A)) Krush (Senior Guard) / Fay (Junior Guard) (TIA) Jazz Club (1st, TIA Scholastic Open Concert) Mulan Guys and Dolls
2009–2010 Fascinating Rhythms (3rd, Cavalcade (American Open)) Snowbirds (Senior Guard) / Spring (Junior Guard) (TIA) Earth, Wind, and Fire (1st, TIA Scholastic Open Standstill) Willy Wonka Thoroughly Modern Millie
2010–2011 Tribal Elements (1st, TOB (2A)) The Hunter (4th, TIA Independent A Class) Jesus Christ, Superstar (1st, TIA Scholastic Open Standstill) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Kiss Me, Kate (Revival)
2011–2012 Jekyll and Hyde (1st, Cavalcade (Independence A)) A Thousand Years (3rd, MAIN Independent A) Around the World in 80 Days (2nd; MAPS Regional A) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Hello Dolly
2012-2013 The Eternal Flame, Firebird (Cavalcade, Independence A) When She Was Mine (MAIN) Soaring (2nd, MAPS Regional A) Theatre Showcase The Music Man
2013-2014 N/A Where the Sidewalk Ends (TIA Independent Regional A) N/A Sound of Music Bye Bye Birdie
2014-2015 N/A N/A N/A Meet Me in St. Louis Fiddler on the Roof
2015-2016 N/A N/A N/A Mary Poppins Into the Woods
2016-2017 N/A N/A N/A Shrek: The Musical Footloose
2017-2018 N/A N/A N/A The Addams Family My Fair Lady
2018-2019 N/A N/A N/A Disney's The Little Mermaid Sister Act: The Musical
2019-2020 N/A N/A N/A All Shook Up

Student Council

The Student Council consists of a president, three vice presidents, two executive board members from each graduating class, and a representative from each homeroom.


Archbishop Wood has a proud athletic tradition with numerous Philadelphia Catholic League Champions.

The Championship teams are:

  • Boys Soccer: 2004 (PCL), 2010 (PIAA AA runners-up), 2014 (PCL; District XII AAA)
  • Girls Soccer: 1995 (PCL), 2010 (PCL AA; District XII; PIAA AA runners-up), 2011 (PCL AA)
  • Girls Volleyball: 2010 (PCL; District XII)
  • Cheerleading: National High School Cheerleading Championship Bronze Medalist 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. State Finalist 20117, 2018. 2010 (PCL), 2011 States Medium Varsity Division, 2012 National High School Cheerleading Championship Bid Recipient Medium Varsity Division, Ranked 5th in the Nation at NHSCC, 2013 PIAA State Finalist ranked No. 7, 2013 District 12 Medium Champion, 2013 National Finalist Top 12.
  • Football: 1974, 1978, 2003b, 2004b, 2005b (b - Blue Division, Small Enrollment), 2008 (AAA), 2009 (PCL AAA; District 12 AAA), 2010 (PCL AAA; District 12 AAA), 2011 (PCL AAA, PIAA Class AAA State Champions), 2012 (PCL AAA; District 12 AAA)
  • Baseball: 1990, 1993, 2009b, 2010b (District 12 AAA)
  • Boys Swimming: 2011 (District XII)
  • Boys Cross Country
    • 1969 (Varsity)
    • 1979 (Varsity)
    • 1983 (Varsity)
    • 1984 (Varsity)
    • 1986 (Varsity)
    • 1987 (Varsity)
    • 1988 (Varsity)
    • 1990 (Varsity)
    • 1991 (Varsity)
    • 1995 (Varsity)
  • Girls Cross Country: 1995, 1996, 1997 (PCL), 2010 (PCL; District XII), 2011 (PCL)
  • Ice Hockey: 2002
  • Girls Swimming: 2008 (PCL), 2011 (District XII)
  • Girls Basketball: 1982 (PCL), 2010 (PIAA AAA Class State Champions), 2011 (PCL, PIAA Class AAA State Champions), 2012 (PIAA AAA State Champions), 2017 (PIAA AAAAA State Champions)
  • Boys Basketball: 2017 (PIAA AAAAA State Champions)
  • Mathletes: 1987
  • Wrestling: 1980, 1986, 1988, 2002, 2018 (PCL; District XII)

Football: 2011 State Championship

The Archbishop Wood Vikings beat Harrisburg's Bishop McDevitt Crusaders 52-0 in the 2011 PIAA AAA State Championship game at Hersheypark Stadium. Archbishop Wood rushed for 343 yards.[2] The team finished the season ranked #17 in the nation by Sports Illustrated.[3]

Notable alumni

See also

Notes and references

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