Girish Mahajan (Editor)

James M. Coughlin High School

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Established  1890
Team name  Coughlin Crusaders
Phone  +1 570-826-7201
Lowest grade  Ninth grade
Status  In Process of Closure
Newspaper  The Journal (1893–)
Founded  1890
James M. Coughlin High School
Closed  Main Building: December 23, 2015 Annex Building: June 2016 (scheduled)
Yearbook  The Breidlin (1925–) The Yearbook (1924)
Address  80 N Washington St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701, USA
District  Wilkes-Barre Area School District
Similar  Dodson Elementary School, Wilkes Barre Area School Di, Holy Redeemer High Sch, G A R Memorial Junior/Se, Wyoming Valley West Hig

James M. Coughlin High School is an urban school located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It serves approximately 1000 students in grades 9-12 in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District. Its current principal is Patrick Patte. In 2009, the school reported employing 62 teachers with a student teacher ratio of 17.7 pupils per teacher.


The school's mascot is the crusader. Coughlin is home to the Journal, the second longest continuously published high school newspaper in the country after the Willistonian, published by Williston Northampton School students continuously since 1881. The first issue of the Journal was published on January 20, 1890.


Established in 1890 as Wilkes-Barre High School, the current school structure was scheduled to be built on the original school's site in 1905 but due to a flood, which flooded the entire basement and first floor, building had to be restarted. The second part of the building, The Annex, was built in 1952. The main building has four floors and the Annex has three. It is the oldest school in Pennsylvania being built in 1909, the older of the two buildings that makes up Coughlin is over 100 years old. The second building is about 60 years old.

With the construction of a second high school in Wilkes-Barre in 1925, the building was dedicated as James M. Coughlin High School in memory of Superintendent James M. Coughlin who served in that capacity from 1890 to 1918.

The main building was closed on December 23, 2015, after 106 years of continuous use. This came as a result of a lengthy series of meetings by the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, where it was decided that Coughlin, as well as another Wilkes-Barre Area High School, Elmer L. Meyers Junior/Senior High School, will close and combine after the Coughlin site is closed, and rebuilt. The Annex building will continue to house 11th and 12th graders until the June 2016. Once both buildings are closed, demolition will begin on the site. 9th and 10th grades students will be placed in a recently renovated former Mackin Elementary School building, and the 11th and 12th graders will be placed in the old Times Leader building next to Coughlin. Construction is expected to be completed by early 2018, when both former high schools will converge in the new school.

Academic achievement

In 2010 and 2009, the school was in School Improvement I AYP status due to chronic low student achievement in reading and math.

11th Grade Reading

  • 2010 - 68% on grade level (14% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 66% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2009 - 65% (20% below basic), State - 65%
  • 2008 - 65% (15% below basic), State - 65%
  • 2007 - 73% (12% below basic), State - 65%
  • 11th Grade Math:

  • 2010 - 62%, on grade level (22% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level.
  • 2009 - 49% (30% below basic). State - 56%.
  • 2008 - 56% (28% below basic), State - 56%
  • 2007 - 56% (22% below basic), State - 53%
  • 11th Grade Science:

  • 2010 - 44% on grade level (15% below basic). State - 39% of 11th graders were on grade level.
  • 2009 - 34% (21% below basic). State - 40%
  • 2008 - 35% (14% below basic), State - 39%
  • Extracurricular Activities

    The school offers a wide variety of activities, clubs and sports. Eligibility to participate is determined by school board policy.


    Coughlin High School is home to one of the dominant soccer programs in the Wyoming Valley.Coughlin Boys Soccer began play in 1987 under the guidance of Coach Richard Lussi. In twenty years of soccer, Coughlin has had a losing record in only three seasons. The team has appeared in District Playoffs in 18 seasons, including the last 13 years in a row. In addition Coughlin has claimed 4 District Championships, and won the PIAA State Championship in 1997. The Coughlin Track and Field team under Coach Paul McGrane is also very dominant. The Coughlin sprinters, hurdlers, and distance team, are the highest caliber in the valley.


    Coughlin also has a large number of in school clubs. These clubs include the Kiwanis Club, Go Green Club, Drama Club, Stage Crew, Spanish Club, French Club, and German Club.

    Notable alumni

  • Dorothy Andrews Elston Kabis, 33rd Treasurer of the United States
  • Jeff Cardoni, composer of American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile, Open Season 3, and CSI: Miami (since 2002)
  • Catherine Chandler, poet
  • Pat Finn, host of The Joker's Wild from 1990–91 and Shop 'til You Drop (1991–94; 1996–98; 2000-2)
  • Ham Fisher (1918), cartoonist of Joe Palooka comic strip.
  • Bruce Kozerski, former American football center in the National Football League for the Cincinnati Bengals
  • Ron Solt, former American football guard in the National Football League for the Indianapolis Colts and the Philadelphia Eagles
  • Harold Rainsford Stark (1940), U.S. Navy Admiral; Chief of Naval Operations (1939–42).
  • James L. Nelligan, Former Congressman from Pennsylvania's 11th Congressional District (1981-1983)
  • References

    James M. Coughlin High School Wikipedia

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