The History of PRP
PRP High School began as one of 28 new Jefferson County Schools built between 1952 and 1958. The three-story building was first opened for classes on September 3, 1958. During the school's early years, students in the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades attended PRP, with a grade added each year until 1962, the year of the first graduating class. The Advance Program curriculum for academically eligible students made its debut during this time, with the first Advance Program classes appearing on schedules in 1959.
In 1964, the student body was so large that double sessions were required for three years. The year 1966 marked the addition of four portables, which spelled the end of double sessions.
In 1973, JCPS experienced a landmark change, desegregation. A new multimedia annex was built on the site of the common area, known as the Courtyard.
At this time, the newly formed soccer team was setting its roots, and the football team won its first district title in 12 years. PRP's academic teams also excelled; 1977–78 marked the first in a series of State Championships for the High-Q Team.
In 1978-79, Charles W. Miller was appointed principal. During his first year, Mr. Miller proved himself a devoted Panther as he waged a successful and spirited campaign to keep the school open when the Board of Education threatened it with closure. He also proposed new landscaping and a brick facade for the building to replace the aging concrete.
Providing unparalleled leadership throughout his tenure, Mr. Miller, the only three-time State Principal of the Year in Kentucky, grew PRP High School into an educational magnet, attracting hundreds of applicants every year.
During 1981-82, the seventh and eighth grades were separated from PRP High School and moved into middle schools. A high point in Panther history came with the crowning of the PRP basketball team as State Champions in 1989. The Panthers defeated Wayne County High School, 75 to 73, in the final game. This achievement was remarkable not only because it was PRP's first state title but also because it was the first one won by a Louisville team in Rupp Arena.
With the onset of the 1990s, many new and innovative programs were born at PRP. Norton’s Health Care Program is designed to educate students for careers in the medical fields. For those interested in a teaching career, the Future Educators Program provides internships at neighboring elementary and middle schools. Along with these programs, PRP teams up with various colleges, including the University of Louisville (UofL), Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC), and Bellarmine University, to offer college credit in subjects ranging from humanities to English to calculus to computer science.
In the fall of 1992, the PRP Vocational School merged with PRP High School to become PRP High School Magnet Career Academy (MCA) with more classroom space and a wider variety of class options: Horticulture, Information Technology, Industrial Chemical Technology, and Machine Tool Technology. All of these programs add a new dimension to PRP, making the school’s technology programs the best in the state.
The 2003-04 school year ushered in the future for PRP High School with a change in leadership. Principal David Johnson guided students and faculty toward success in academic and athletic pursuits. With 2 National Merit Semifinalists, 13 Governor’s Scholars, and more than 100 honor roll students, PRP students, faculty, and staff once again demonstrated their commitment to academic achievement.
This brief summary cannot begin to cover all the memories that students have taken with them from their time at PRP High School. Fortunately, it does not have to serve that purpose; these memories are carried in the hearts of all true Panthers forever.