Academia del Sagrado Corazón (Puerto Rico)

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Sacred Heart Academy
Academia del Sagrado Corazón
Ave. Ponce de León 1308, Parada 19
Santurce, Puerto Rico, 00910
San Juan
Coordinates 18°26′54.71″N 66°4′19.64″W / 18.4485306°N 66.0721222°W / 18.4485306; -66.0721222Coordinates: 18°26′54.71″N 66°4′19.64″W / 18.4485306°N 66.0721222°W / 18.4485306; -66.0721222
Type Private, Coeducational
Motto Veritas
Established 1929
Principal Sr. Reinaldo L. Morales Jeanpierre
Grades K-12
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (1999)
Affiliations Catholic, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Juan de Puerto Rico

The Academia del Sagrado Corazón ("Sacred Heart Academy") was founded in 1929 as a private and religious school in Santurce, Puerto Rico by Padre Ignacio de Dios García.[1] The school provides elementary and high school education and is located in Avenida Ponce de León, at the Parada 19 in Santurce.

Before Foundation[edit]

Before the school was founded, a small school affiliated with the church had existed on the current parking lot grounds of the church. This early school was housed in a wooden structure that was destroyed when Hurricane Philip struck Puerto Rico in 1928. This early school had only been an elementary school that had added a new grade every year.[2]

Foundation and Early History[edit]

After the early school was destroyed, it was decided to rebuild the school with a cement block structure that would be able to withstand future hurricanes. The land where the new building was to be constructed belonged to the government of Puerto Rico. However, building a cement block structure would be too expensive, far beyond the financial contributions that the project could receive. Therefore, a mortgage was needed for the project. But to have a mortgage on the land, the land could not belong to the government, instead it had to belong to the school. Since the government was constitionally prohibited from donating the land to a church, a group of parishioners came together to form a non-profit association that would build and administer the school. After lobbying the legislature, the association bought the land from the government for $1 with the condition that this association build and run the school. The association obtained the necessary funds with personal financial guarantess from its members.

The Academia del Sagrado Corazón was inscribed in August 1928 in front of a notary as a private and Catholic educational institution. In August 1929 it opened its doors in a building adjacent to the Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón (Sacred Heart Church). The Reverend Padre Ignacio de Dios García who founded the Academia was also the pastor for the church.

The Academia, when founded, offered elementary education from Kindergarten through 7th grade. The first school principal was Mrs. Carmen Niglagioni. Ms. Carolina Blanco Stahl followed her for one school year. Ms. Ofelia Córdova followed Ms. Blanco as principal. Ms. Córdova was followed by Ms. Dolores Rodríguez Pou, who had been the first first-grade teacher of the school when it opened, as the 4th principal of the elementary school.

In 1929 in a separate building and by request of school's Board President, Mr. Pepe Bazán, and by Padre Ignacio, a commercial school was set up. It offered evening secretarial classes for male and female students. Its first teachers were Ms. Amparo Muñoz Cardona and Ms. María Libertad Gómez. Ms. Muñoz Cardona served as the principal of the commercial school from 1929 to 1954. Mrs. Blanca Pont de García followed as principal and, in turn, she was followed by Mrs. Olga Muñiz de Vela.

School Expansion[edit]

In 1940, the first religious arrived from the order of the Sisters of Charity from Convent Station, New Jersey to take over administration of the school. The Great Depression had impacted enrollment and the school could not operate employee lay teachers. Sister Francis Eugenie came as principal and Sister Angela as a teacher.

During this stage, prominent figures served in the school's Board of Directors. These included Pepe Bazán, Pepe Montilla, Sabino Valdés, Roberto H. Todd, Epifanio Fernández Vanga, Fernando Badrena, Anselmo Lores, Juan Angel Giusti, Ramón Lloveras, Agustín Laugier, Manuel Carvajal, José González Hernández, Louis A. Donastorg, Manuel Badrena Trápaga, and others.

Under the presidency of Sabino Valdés, the Board established a high school on a third floor added to the elementary school building (built by Gabriel T. Guijarro, a known San Juan engineer). In 1946 and under the presidency of Juan Angel Giusti, a second building was added next to the original one to house the high school, labs, and library.

In 1947, the high school has its first graduating class. This class had graduated from 8th grade in the school and had started together their first year of high school. During this time, the church pastor and school's spiritual guide was Msgr. Juan Díaz Mesón.

The Sisters of Charity left the school in 1948. On August 19, 1948, sisters from the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Michigan arrived to administer the school. Sister Mary Agnita served as superior of the Convent and as school principal. Sister Thomas Ann replaced Sister Mary Agnita as principal and served from August 12, 1954 to May 1960. Sister Agnes Martin served as principal from 1966 until May 1969 and Sister Theresa Joseph replaced her until 1971.

The commercial school closed in May 1966.

In 1973, the elementary school library was named after a school maintenance employee, Fruto Ortiz, who had worked in the school since its beginning and had died.

School since 1971[edit]

In 1971, due to a change in the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Michigan, the order no longer runs the school administration. (A shortage of vocations in the post-Vatican II period led the Order to recall its sisters and inform the School Board that it would no longer run the school.) Mrs. Alma de la Vega, a teacher in the school since 1962, was appointed Principal. Mrs. Consuelo Mercado Bou was appointed Vice-Principal. They served the school in those roles for many years with Mrs. Bou eventually becoming principal in the 1993.

As of 1980, the entire school had about 800 students and 50 faculty members operating a K-12 school.[citation needed]

School Anthem[edit]

"En altos nuestros ojos buscando el infinito

sabemos que el destino lo forma nuestro amor.

No importante que la vía esté llena de abrojos

abrimos el camino y arriba espera Dios.

Llevamos una estrella en nuestra frente
rutila el ideal siempre en la cumbre
en nuestro corazón arde la lumbre
que es prez y paz y gloria en nuestra mente.
Sentimos mil divinas ambiciones que
llenan tierra y mar con su porfía.
Sembramos por doquier la alegria
pues Dios habita en nuestros corazones.
Ciencia y Religión es nuestro lema
Cultura y Caridad nuestro anhelo
Queremos que la tierra sea un cielo
de amor y compresión todo un poema.
Paladines de Cristo buscaremos
plasmar el ideal que El predicara
cuando brazos abiertos nos llamara y
en el nombre de Cristo venceremos..."

(Author unknown)

Faculty and Staff[edit]

The school was served by many faculty and staff along its life. Among those who served the school and its students who have died are:

  • Fruto Ortiz, school maintenance
  • Doña Nico, school maintenance
  • Anita, school maintenance
  • Iris Parrilla, faculty
  • Mari González, faculty
  • Mirta Martínez, faculty
  • Carmen Sandín, faculty
  • María Teresa Gutiérrez, faculty
  • Angela Torres, faculty
  • Mercedes Carrión, faculty
  • Angeline vanLoon, faculty. respectfully, Angeline van Loon is alive and well as of July 4, 2014
  • Sister Anne Jerome, faculty


  1. ^ Sacred Heart Academy Yearbook, 1980
  2. ^ School History:

External links[edit]