Academy of Mount St. Ursula High School
|Academy of Mount St. Ursula High School|
I will serve.
|330 Bedford Park Boulevard
New York City (Bedford Park, Bronx), New York, 10458
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|President||Fr. John Vigilanti|
|Vice principal||Joanne Kelly|
|Asst. Principal||Carolyn Duggan|
|Chaplain||Fr. John A. Vigilanti|
|Student to teacher ratio||15:1|
|Campus size||10 acres.|
|Color(s)||Maroon and white|
|Slogan||Academics, Arts, Service. "Four Years To Last A Lifetime."|
|Accreditation(s)||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Publication||Melange (literary journal)|
|Admissions Director||Julia Myers-Bartley|
|Athletic Director||Jillian Asaro|
The Academy of Mount St. Ursula is a girls’ Catholic college preparatory school, established in 1855 in the East Morrisania section of the Bronx, New York. Since 1892, the school has been located at Bedford Park Boulevard and Bainbridge Avenue, two blocks east of the Grand Concourse, in the Bronx, New York. This is the oldest continuous Catholic High School for girls in New York State and a U. S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School. It is located within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.
Owned and administered by the Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union, the Academy of Mount St. Ursula offers a program based on unchanging spiritual and moral values, concretized in a curriculum and co-curriculum designed to meet the needs of today’s women. Providing advanced placement courses, the Academy gives qualified students the opportunity to earn college credit in their junior and senior year. Regular college preparatory courses enable the students to excel and apply to a wide variety of colleges and professional schools.
With a faculty and staff of fifty-five, including Ursuline Sisters and lay personnel, and approximately 400 students, the Academy of Mount St. Ursula has a teacher-student ratio of one to fifteen and an average class size of twenty to twenty-five students.
The academy focuses a great deal on community service. The girls are required to complete a certain number of hours volunteering. The girls have joined together with students of Cardinal Hayes high school to create the "Cardinal Hayes Program Exceptional Children." The program takes place most Sundays during the academic year. There, the students join together in helping children and adults with special needs.
Location and history 
In 1854, John Casper Metzler (the first pastor of the German language Church of the Immaculate Conception) requested that a group of Ursulines from St. Louis come to his new Melrose parish, at the southern tip of Westchester, to teach. The Sisters, who began the St. Louis work in 1848, had originally come from Oedenburg (now Sopron in Hungary) and Landshut, Bavaria. As their first mission community had grown quickly, the nuns visited the village of Melrose and happily accepted the invitation with the permission of their archbishop, Peter Kendrick. On May 15, 1855, Mother Magdalen Stehlin set out again for Melrose with three companions to actually begin the new work there.
Before the end of the summer there were eleven Ursulines in the area residing with the Hennings and other generous families while the convent school was being built. It is said that Archbishop John Hughes himself chose the site in the village of East Morrisania, near what is now the intersection of Cauldwell and Westchester Avenue. It was a lovely spot, high enough for a view down to the waters of Long Island Sound and surrounded by scattered homes and estates, but also close to the growing business corridor.
The Early years 
On October 1, 1855 the school opened. Several of the nuns were very young and exceedingly competent. Pupils in the school excelled in music, art, language, and drama. Almost immediately, the school students and the young girls choosing to enter the convent came from both the German-speaking community of Immaculate Conception and beyond. The Academy and monastery were incorporated together by the New York State legislature in 1868 as the Ursuline Convent.
Morrisiana Expansion 
When the nuns arrived, Morrisania was a sparsely populated, brand new suburb, the result of a series of decisions by members of the Morris family to open their estate lands for development. The population grew rapidly, and so did the industrial base: foundries, breweries, carpentry shops, tailoring establishments, even slaughterhouses. With the rapid population growth and a change in the demographics, more demands were put on the charitable works of the Sisters. As the convent was blessed with many vocations, Ursulines branched out to begin other Academies and staff other parochial schools in New York and beyond.
Eager for clean Croton water and city services, voters chose to bring the Bronx into New York City in 1874. Meanwhile, the nuns were already considering relocating northward to escape the encroachment of industry right at their threshold and the projected purchase of their property for streets. The actual move, however, did not occur until 1892, when the Ursuline Convent and the Academy (under the protection of St. Joseph), moved to Bedford Park; with the relocation, the school began using the name Mount St. Ursula to capitalize on the lofty topography of the new site. Before 1900, the New York State curriculum and Regents examinations were introduced and the Alumnae Association was founded.
School pride 
The MSU official mascot is represented by the Lady Bear and its school colors are maroon and white. The Lady Bear appears at pep rallies and games as well as open houses to welcome incoming students. The Academy of Mount Saint Ursula is also known to participate in the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Manhattan. The school motto is "SERVIAM" which means "I will serve".
Notable alumnae 
- Ms. Ellen Alemany, CEO, Royal Bank of Scotland, North America
- Grace Andreacchi, author
- Col. Donna Brazil, Professor, United States Military Academy, West Point
- Lisa Forte-Doyle, English Teacher, Chatham High School
- Sr. Kathleen Finnerty, Superintendent of Schools, Archdiocese of New Orleans
- Ms. Kerri Gould Reynolds, Group Head, Global Staffing, MasterCard Worldwide
- Ms. Eileen Huntington, CEO, Huntington Learning Centers
- Dr. Regina Peruggi, President, Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn
- Dr. Diane Ramos-Kelly, Superintendent of Schools, Valhalla, NY
- Vice Admiral Patricia Tracey,United States Navy, Washington, DC
- Ms. Terri Cook, author, Sacred Havens, A Guide to Manhattan's Spiritual Places
- 70% of the faculty have at least one Master's degree and 3% have a Ph.D
- 5% of the faculty are Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union.
- Three full-time counselors, plus a part-time social worker from the Archdiocesean agency.
- Two Youth Ministers coordinate the service program, retreat and spiritual development activities.
- Current enrollment is approximately 400. Student-teacher ratio is 15:1. The average class size is 24.
- Students come from 60 elementary schools, mainly in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, with some from Westchester County and New Jersey.
- 98% of the Class of 2006 chose college immediately after graduation.
Notes and references 
- MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved 2009-05-27.