The 4 Oldest Schools In West Virginia Are Ancient

The 4 Oldest Schools In West Virginia Are Ancient

The state of West Virginia has numerous ancient schools, the 4 oldest schools have a long history of educating students. According to a 1748 survey team that included young George Washington the earliest school in West Virginia was located in the Moorefield area.

Let’s explore the 4 oldest schools in West Virginia and their heritage.

The Linsly School

60 Knox Ln Wheeling, WV 26003

The Linsly School is proud of its 200+ history. Founded in 1814, its first site building was on 13th and Chapline Streets. Its second site building was at 15th and Eoff Street from 1863 to 1870. The third site building was Old Main at Thedah Place in West Virginia. The Linsly school was limited to boys in 1861 and was known as Linsly Military by 1877.

It was voted to change the military structure of the school to a traditional boys’ college elementary school in 1978. It was announced during the beginning of the 1988-89 school year that Linsly would be a co-educational school preparing young students socially, academically, and mentally for the world.

The Linsly School offers an exciting academic program designed to unlock each student's potential academically, artistically, and personally from grades 5-12. The school also offers boarding facilities.

Serving 470 students the average class size is 12 students which enables teachers to build a one-on-one relationship with each student. Teachers are experts in their teaching and learning methods.


Linsly offers a unique academic support program, called the Aviator Program for students who may need extra assistance. Peer tutoring is encouraged, and teachers are available for extra support before and after school. In addition to the academic help administered by faculty, junior and senior prefects aid as tutors. There is also a support option available for students who make use of the boarding facilities. Students report at 7.30 pm to the library where the teacher or assistant will track their progress, make notes, and offer feedback. To be consistent middle school students work until 9:00 PM and upper school until 9:30 PM.

The Arts

Incorporating arts into the curriculum allows students to rise above standard academic boundaries, whilst also assisting in emotional development. By expressing themselves artistically they discover aptitudes that may have not been cultivated otherwise.

Boarding Facilities

Furthermore, Linsly offers secure and supportive boarding facilities for students in grades 7-12. Boarding life in Linsly has a balanced structure for theoretical success. Supervised faculty live among the residential students on the campus. Students can have dinner and movie get-togethers with family and friends in the study hall.

Group Of Students Playing In School Orchestra Together
Through music and art, students can develop their skills and find their own voice.


Clubs and Extra Curriculum Activities

With over 20 different clubs, Linsly encourages its students to discover their different interests. As part of a balanced education, Linsly offers an activity for each student, they believe that extracurricular activities and clubs are beneficial for each student and help them grow. Some of the extra curriculum activities and clubs include:

  • Athletics
  • Robotics
  • Music
  • Arts
  • Theatre
  • Languages: German, Spanish, and French
  • All sports
  • Girl Scouts
  • Horse Riding
  • Young Birders' Club
  • Chess
  • Baking and more

The Ohio Valley Athletics Conference is one of the largest high school athletic conferences in the US where Linsly students have the chance to compete at the topmost levels.

Health Centre

Furthermore, the school has a health office on the ground floor with a counselor and two licensed nurses. It is open Monday – Friday from 7.30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Ss Peter & Paul Catholic School

123 Elmore Street Oak Hill, WV 25901

Established in 1913 Ss Peter & Paul Catholic School is the oldest private institution teaching grades prekindergarten – 8. The school first began tutoring children in Scarbro, West Virginia in the parish hall. In 1914 a school building was built, and it remained a parish school until 1967. Due to economic changes, the school then relocated to Oak Hill. Since moving to Oak Hill non-Catholic enrolments had also increased.

Their mission is to teach young children the Word of God and allow them to gain knowledge about the Catholic doctrine. Ss Peter & Paul Catholic School believes that education should include physical, social, spiritual, personal, and intellectual development. Currently, they have 60 students with an average of 9 students per grade.

Ss Peter & Paul Catholic School is part of the Kroger Community Rewards program that allows shoppers to earn rewards for an organization when they shop at Kroger and use their rewards card. In addition, they offer a scrip card at the school that includes home improvement cards, outdoor sports cards, restaurant cards, and gas cards where you earn tuition credits for your child.

Finally, the school participates in the (NSLP) National School Lunch Program which is sponsored by the Federal Government. This program provides a well-balanced nutritional lunch for the students who participate in the program.


  • Natasha Mucho-Seay was a teacher for 27 years at SS Peter & Paul Catholic School and is now the: Principal
  • Dr. Fr. Jojan Joseph, CST: Paster
  • Kristy Humphrey: School Secretary


  • Mrs. Gemma White: Kindergarten Teacher
  • Mrs. Claudia Kania: PK Teacher
  • Mrs. Julie Bolen: 1st & 2nd Grade Teacher
  • Ms. Mary Lanham: 3rd & 4th Grade Teacher


  • Cathy Broughman: Music, PE, and Art Teacher
  • Beverly Gover: Custodial Staff
  • Diana Light: Aide, First, and Second Religion Teacher, and Spanish Teacher
  • Sandra Pawlus: Aide, After School Care, and Religion Teacher
  • Mrs. Lori Treadway: Pre School Aide and Early Morning Care
  • Caitlin Watkins: Cook

St. Francis de Sales Central Catholic School

41 Guthrie Lane Morgantown, WV 26508

Founded in 1915 St. Francis Central Catholic School (SFdSCCS) teaches students PK – Grade 8. A two-room private residence on McLane Avenue was transformed into an educational center.

In 1915 Mr Joseph Falter and Father Peter Flynn bought the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, Kentucky to Morgantown to teach at the school. Later in 1918, the school moved next to the church on Beechurst Avenue with Sister M. Isadore as the principal. The first high school graduation was in 1923.

On the 23rd of December 1925 St. Francis and University High played their first three-game series at the Community Service gym with St Francis winning 34-30.

First Basketball Team

In 1933 the first basketball team began under the leadership of Athletic Director Jack Simons. During the 1933-1934 season Coach George Pietro led the first squad to a 5-16 record. St. Francis became a founding member of the Parochial League two years later.

From 1936 to 1977 the school participated in the West Virginia Catholic Basketball Tournament. The Trojans won the tournament in 1972 and 1973. In 1980 the Trojans won the WV Class A State Championship. From 1987 to 1989 they won three consecutive WV Class A Championships.

St Francis High School

Reverend John J. Swint, Archbishop of Wheeling, opened a new school St Francis High School in Evansdale in 1954. In 1975, 69 students graduated. It served grades 9-12 until it closed down in 1990 and then moved to the Evansdale building for the year 1991 school year.

The Ursuline nuns' involvement with the school ended in 1994. A kindergarten and growth in enrolment led to the creation of a middle school in 1995.

In 2005 the Evansdale property was sold to WVU and then moved to its present location 41 Guthrie Lane. St. Francis de Sales Central Catholic School prides itself on top-quality education based on Gospel values and currently serves 396 students.

Bethany College

31 E Campus Dr, Bethany WV 26032

Bethany College is the oldest private college in the picturesque Mountain State of West Virginia. It was established in 1840 and founded by Alexander Campbell. Bethany College commits to logical growth and community service. The purpose of the college is to prepare students to become useful members of society with ethical responsibility. Bethany College has a beautiful campus and a sturdy academic program attracting students from all over the state. Approximately 800 students are housed on the campus. The residence hall provides a safe, secure, and friendly environment for all students.

The majority of Bethany's undergraduate students receive scholarships. The average class size is 14 students per class. This allows teachers to give each student individual one on one care where needed.

There are numerous resources and services available for students including additional support for students with learning disabilities.

In conclusion, the oldest schools in West Virginia stand as proof of the state's commitment to providing education. These institutions have survived and adapted over time while maintaining their historical honor and will continue to educate and inspire our youth for many more years to come.

Bethany College in the News

Bethany College hides a true treasure. To match its historic legacy an old-growth forest lies beyond its campus. You find out more here!

Although Bethany College has a very small total student population, over 100 students graduated in 2023! Here is the full story.

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