Seton Catholic Preparatory opened as a parish school named Seton Catholic High School for St. Mary’s Church, which had many migrant and farming families.
Seton Catholic High School was founded in 1954 in Chandler, Arizona by Father Joseph Patterson. In its first several decades, the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill community served as most of the staff.
Its first graduating class was 22 students in 1958. It was located on Williams Field Road, which is now called Chandler Boulevard.
Seton Catholic High School was named after patroness Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint and pioneer in parochial schools.
Transition to a Diocesan School
In 1961, Seton Catholic High School became a tri-parish school, financed by Queen of Peace and Christ the King parishes in Mesa. However, the school transitioned from a parish school to a diocesan school in 1973.
Destruction and Relocation
Tragically, Seton Catholic High School’s campus was mostly destroyed in a fire started by a student in September of 1980. Just two years later, the school held a ceremony for a new campus on Dobson and Ray Roads, which remains the current location. They were shortly named Seton Catholic Tri-City High School in reference to being centrally located to Tempe, Mesa, and Chandler. In 1983, the high school was dedicated and the office was completed in March.
In 1984, the Irish Christian Brothers began to be heavily involved with the school and remained there until 1995. In 1998, Seton Catholic High School dedicated their new gym to Msgr. John J. McMahon, an Irish missionary priest who greatly impacted the Diocese of Phoenix and initiated the gym.
In May 2009, Seton Catholic High School official was named Seton Catholic Preparatory High School. The name changed again in 2014 to Seton Catholic Preparatory. Also, in 2014, their drama department’s students won multiple awards for their production of Godspell, their girls’ basketball team won their seventh state title, and they celebrated their diamond anniversary – 60 years. This year, Seton will celebrate 65 years!
Today, the school boasts of rigorous academics, athletics, STEM/robotics, and fine arts. With the help of Catholic Education Arizona, this historic Catholic school continues to thrive in the east valley and financially assists families who desire a quality Catholic education. Want to learn more about how you can make a difference in a student’s life today? Direct your Private Education Tax Credit to Catholic Education Arizona, and change a life, one scholarship at a time!