History

Long Tradition of Excellence

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Our students are encouraged to drive toward academic and social success. Each student who walks through Walsh’s doors receives the individualized attention and preparation they need to grow and succeed in life.

Montessori

The Montessori Children’s House was started by Craig Zuckerman in a small grocery storefront on Johnson Street in Olean. He wanted to offer parents a unique learning experience for their preschool-age children. With a group of 9 children, he opened the first Montessori classroom in Olean in September 1974, with the assistance of a fellow teacher, Ann Marie Costello, and intern, Elvira Farrow.

In January 2011, Southern Tier Catholic School announced a merger between the schools and the Montessori Children’s House of Olean, and the Montessori program moved to the campus of STCS. Walsh/STCS began offering their full program in February 2011 as part of STCS.

Southern Tier Catholic School (K-8)

Southern Tier Catholic School is a regional Catholic school in the Diocese of Buffalo established in 1987 as a consolidation of the two remaining parochial schools in southern Cattaraugus County, St. John’s of Olean and St. Mary of the Angels.

In 2009, the decision was made to house all of Southern Tier Catholic School in the Archbishop Walsh building along with the high school students of what had now been renamed Archbishop Walsh Academy.

In 2023, the school relocated to the former St. John’s building, located at 921 North Union in order to renew the Catholic faith, refresh the academic rigor and restore financial sustainability.

Archbishop Walsh Academy (High School)

In October of 1957, hundreds of people gathered at Christ the King Seminary to hear Bishop Leo R. Smith announce that a central Catholic high school was to be established in Olean. The school was to be named after Archbishop Thomas J. Walsh, who had died five years earlier. He had deep roots in the Southern Tier after studying at nearby St. Bonaventure University.

The cornerstone for our school was laid in 1959. Local newspapers and some mementos for the late Archbishop Walsh were placed in the stone. Students began classes in the partially completed building that very year and it was soon dedicated by Bishop Joseph Burke. 

International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

In 2011, Walsh/STCS became an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, further advancing academic excellence for Walsh students.