Casady's History

Casady's founders envisioned a school that would offer small classes, personal attention and worship in an atmosphere fostering healthy competition.

As the country was emerging from the trauma of World War II, some farsighted OKC citizens, together with Bishop Thomas Casady, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, were exploring their dream to establish a diocesan center which would include a cathedral, a conference facility, and a boarding school for the city.

At the same time a group of Oklahoma City businessmen, out of concern for the quality of education available at that time in the city and recognizing the contribution of independent schools to American education, was discussing the possibility of starting a college preparatory church school in the classical tradition. Their assessment of the community’s needs focused the diocese on education. This resulted in a financially feasible plan for a school, which, in many ways, resembled from the beginning the inclusive, family-oriented and coeducational nature of Casady School today.

They envisioned a school that would offer small classes, personal attention and worship in an atmosphere fostering healthy competition. Named after Bishop Thomas Casady, Casady Hall began with the first meeting of its Board of Trustees on Feb. 17, 1947. A donation of property located at the corner of Britton Road and Pennsylvania Avenue would provide the land and first buildings for the School. This included a tract of 38-acres, a small lake, one house and two barns. Financial assets included $10,000 from Senator A. S. (Mike) Monroney’s Distinguished Congressional Award which he had designated for youth work in the diocese.

The Reverend Michael Martin was hired as headmaster and in September 1947 Casady Hall opened its doors. There were 36 students in three grades: seventh, eighth and ninth, and a faculty of four, including Reverend Martin. Tuition was $500 per year. Classes were held in the remodeled polo pony stable, which had been christened Cochran Hall. The feed building behind Cochran became the “Snack Shack,” and the hay barn served for arts and crafts.

The School was renamed Casady School in May 1948. That same year, the Chapel of St. Edward the Confessor was built thanks to a gift from Mr. Frank J. Hightower. Mr. Hightower had developed a close and spiritual friendship with Bishop Casady. As a founding Trustee of the School, Mr. Hightower envisioned a Chapel as its physical and spiritual center. Mr. Hightower’s education had sent him away to Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University. He cherished the hope that a preparatory school like Casady would enable Oklahoma City’s youth to achieve a high-quality education without having to leave home for boarding school.

Ever since, the Chapel has been the spiritual center of Casady School. More than 600 daily services are conducted during the school year, involving students of all ages. The community celebrations during Christmas and Easter have become a tradition for many. The Chapel is also used for bap­tisms, weddings, funerals, and celebrations for the Casady Community throughout the year.

By 1965, the campus had 12 more buildings including O’Donoghue, Pew, Calvert and the Headmaster’s House. With the addition of the Primary Building in 1969, all students were final­ly on one campus. With the completion of the Eileen L. and S. T. Fee Theater in 1978, the School had seen nearly three decades of continuous development, expan­sion, and construction. Today, 29 buildings dot the now 80-acre campus, including the McClendon Middle School, built in 2000; W.R. Johnston Math Building, dedicated in October 2010; and the Dr. John W. Records Arts and Science Facility and Nichols Activity Center, both completed in 2014.

The faculty has been the foundation and hallmark of the Casady experi­ence. The founders sought individuals with “personal and professional qualifi­cations such as the ability to teach, a liking for youngsters and contagious qual­ities of good character.” The national recognition Casady continues to receive is built upon this treasury of talent.

The fine arts were an element of the earliest curriculum, and interest and excellence in the arts continues to this day. Visual art, music and theater are enjoyed by students and faculty. The School has won many local, state, and national awards in the fine arts, thanks to gifted instructors. The orchestra and choirs have earned national recognition in recent years.

Athletic accomplishments did not come easily for Casady in the early years, but as the School grew, so did successes on the playing fields. Hoot Gibson, Dorotha Edwards, Glenn Sears, and Virgil Grantham became coaching legends and the envy of the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC). Since 1956, Casady has won 161 SPC Division I championships. The Bennett Athletic Center, expanded and renovated in 2000, was at the forefront of secondary school athletic facilities at the time and has been the envy of local and SPC-member schools for many years.

Parents have remained highly involved in all aspects of school life, support­ing the spirit of a shared responsibility for the growth of the School and the nurturing of young people. For many years the Mothers’ Club coordinated activities and events for Casady. In 1991, in a successful effort to include more fathers, the name was changed to the Casady Parents’ Organization (CPO). The CPO has raised more than $2 million for Casady School over the last ten years.

In its history, Casady School has had twelve headmasters, each invested both leadership and vision in Casady according to the opportunities and circumstances presented in his era. Stephen Gassaway who served when the School first opened, Michael Martin (1947-52), Shaun Kelly (1952-56), Howard Taber (1956-63), Dr. Robert B. Woolsey (1963-80), Richard B. McCubbin (1980-90), Barnaby J. Roberts (1990-98), Mark H. Mullin (1998-2002), Charles W. Britton (2002-07), David W. Gorham (Interim 2007-08), Christopher C. Bright (2008-14), and Nathan L. Sheldon (2014-present) have had in common a devotion to perpet­uating Bishop Casady’s vision. The cumulative record of accomplishment speaks for them all, as the School has grown to a thriving Community of nearly 1,000 students drawn from an ever-widening geographic area.

Accreditation and Memberships

Casady School is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) and the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools (SAES). Casady is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES), the Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the American Montessori Society (AMS), and the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS).

Casady School athletically competes in the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) in Grades 9-12 and the Catholic Grade School Athletic Association (CGSAA) in Grades 4-8. Casady has been accepted for Provisional Membership in the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA).

Casady is the only school in Oklahoma to be a part of the Malone Family Foundation and is a member of the Malone Schools Online Network (MSON). Casady is also a member of the Independent School Data Exchange (INDEX).

Accreditation and Membership Links

List of 4 items.

  • Independent Schools Association of the Southwest

    Casady School is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, (ISAS). ISAS, a member of the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA), has voluntarily submitted to a rigorous and impartial review of its accreditation program and demonstrated its adherence to the Council’s Criteria for Effective Independent School Accreditation Practices. ISAS is commended by ICAISA for the quality of the Association’s accreditation program for its Member Schools.

    For more information about ICAISA accreditation, click here.
  • Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools

    The Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools (SAES) serves 117 Episcopal schools, richly diverse in location, size and scope, throughout the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. SAES not only is the single faith-based accrediting association recognized by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Accreditation Commission, but also is the only Episcopal accrediting association in the United States. Both of these factors combine to place SAES in a unique position to serve Episcopal schools both inside and outside its current five-state boundary. For more information about SAES, click here.
  • National Association of Independent Schools

    The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is a nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,800 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad, including more than 1,500 independent private K-12 schools in the U.S.

    NAIS empowers independent schools and the students they serve. The association offers research and trend analysis, leadership and governance guidance, and professional development opportunities for school and board leaders.
  • Southwest Preparatory Conference

    The SPC consists of 16 of the finest independent schools in two states, 15 in Texas and Casady School in Oklahoma. The SPC was established in 1952 and provides teams with an outstanding level of competitiveness and a network of student athletes at schools with philosophies and education programs similar to that of Casady. Camaraderie developed on these sports trips is among the favorite memories often recounted by alumni. Casady's tradition of excellence in athletics is reflected in more than 150 team championships in this prestigious conference.
Casady School is an independent, co-educational, college preparatory, Episcopal day school serving students in pre-k-12. Educating Mind, Body, and Spirit.
Casady School is a PreK-12, independent, college preparatory Episcopal day school committed to deeper-level learning. Casady School welcomes a student body that reflects the diversity of the world around us and therefore does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality, or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics, and other school-administered programs generally accorded or made available to students at the School.