Academy of the Holy Angels

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Academy of the Holy Angels
Holy Angels.JPG
The Journey of a Lifetime Begins Here
315 Hillside Avenue
Demarest, NJ (Bergen County), 07627
Coordinates 40°56′34″N 73°56′42″W / 40.94278°N 73.94500°W / 40.94278; -73.94500Coordinates: 40°56′34″N 73°56′42″W / 40.94278°N 73.94500°W / 40.94278; -73.94500
Type Private, All-Female, High school
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1879
Oversight Archdiocese of Newark
CEEB Code 310-390
President Sr. Virginia Bobrowski, SSND
Principal Jennifer Moran
Faculty 46.5[1]
Grades 912
Enrollment 539[1] (2009-10)
Grade 9 145
Grade 10 135
Grade 11 134
Grade 12 125
Average class size 19
Student to teacher ratio 11.6:1[1]
Campus size 25 acres (100,000 m2)
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Blue and White         
Athletics conference Big North Conference
Team name Angels
Rival Immaculate Heart Academy, Paramus Catholic High School
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Publication Blueprint (literary magazine)
AHA International (international events newsletter)
Newspaper Chips
Yearbook Echoes
Tuition $14,400 (2012-13)[3]
Affiliation School Sisters of Notre Dame
Dean of Students Jean Mullooly
Admissions Director Michèle Sovak
Athletic Director Patti Gorsuch

The Academy of the Holy Angels is an all-female Roman Catholic college preparatory high school located in Demarest, Bergen County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in ninth through twelfth grade.[4] The school operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.[5] The Academy of the Holy Angels draws students from North Jersey, Rockland County, New York, and surrounding areas.

As of the 2009-10 school year, the school had an enrollment of 539 students and 46.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis) for a Student–teacher ratio of 11.6:1.[1]

The Academy of the Holy Angels is a member of the National Catholic Educational Association and the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools.[6]


"Rooted in the conviction of the School Sisters of Notre Dame that 'the world can be changed through the transformation of persons,' education at the Academy empowers each young woman to reach the fullness of her potential spiritually, morally, intellectually, socially, and physically, so that she, in turn, may share her gifts with others. The vision of a new global community based on gospel values permeates life at the Academy, impelling each young woman to embrace generous leadership."[7]


The Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private school in Bergen County. Founded in 1879 by Sister Mary Nonna Dunphy, one of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the school was opened in Fort Lee, New Jersey as a boarding and day school for girls from kindergarten to twelfth grade. In 1890 it was incorporated as Holy Angels, Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies and Preparatory School for Little Girls. Its motto was then and remains now "Vitae Via Virtus." The Holy Angels Board voted to change the name of the school to the Academy of the Holy Angels in 1934 when Sister M. Angeline Hughes was Principal. The school accepted a developer's offer for the school's location in Fort Lee and purchased a large property in Demarest. The school had operated a grammar school in addition to the high school for decades and many graduates were known as "12 year Angels." The grammar school was discontinued completely in 1964 prior to the move from Fort Lee. Building commenced and the school relocated to its current location in Demarest in 1965.[8]

Awards and recognition[edit]

During the 1999-2000 school year, the Academy of the Holy Angels was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.[9][10]

Furthermore, the Corporation for National Service selected the Academy of the Holy Angels as a National Service-Learning Leader School, due to its excellence in service learning. Holy Angels is one of two Catholic high schools nationwide to receive this honor.[11]

Middle States accreditation[edit]

The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools, one of six regional accrediting, peer-administered organizations that offers institutions protocols for evaluation and improvement.[2] AHA chose Accreditation for Growth, a strategic planning method in which diverse constituent groups participate in discussions, which are then used as a method for growth and improvement, both academically by the students, as well as by the institution.[12]


Since 2007, upon entering the school, each student is required to buy a Fujitsu Tablet, which students use these tablets during school and at home to complete assignments, access the internet for research, take notes, as well as communicate with the faculty. Equipped with a pen and with a screen that can function as a notebook, students are able to use these tablets for all subjects such as History and Math. Features such as the Dropbox and Student Commons allow students to access notes and papers from the teachers on the school network, as well as place their own completed assignments within the folders on the network and in effect decrease the amount of paper used.

In addition, AHA is currently using Turnitin, a website that scans finished papers and assignments for plagiarism and helps prevent it as well. Also, beginning with the class of 2011, AHA has recently introduced LiveText, an online storage site in which each student is able to upload their best papers and projects, ultimately creating their own ‘online resume.’ With this new addition, each student is given an edge that many students from other schools do not have as this program allows each student to create their own video introducing themselves to prospective colleges.


Holy Angels is a top-performing Bergen County school in Fine Arts. In 2014, AHA was the only Bergen County Catholic High School to receive Gold and Silver Regional Awards in the prestigious Scholastic Arts Competition. A total of 41 Scholastic Awards in diverse areas of fine arts, including Painting, Photography, Drawing, Digital Art, Jewelry, and Architecture were awarded to AHA students, as well as a Gold National Scholastic Art Award for Photography. In recent years, students have also been the recipients of the Pentel Art Award, the Papermill Playhouse Award for Best Graphic Design, and the Bucknell Art Department Art History Scholarship. Fine Arts courses at AHA include Graphic Arts, Digital Design, Painting, Photography, Color & Design, Drawing, Visual Arts I and II, AP Studio Art: 2-D Design, AP Studio Art: Drawing, and AP Art History. A special portfolio course, Studio I Honors, is also offered to art-track students. AHA facilities include four art studios and a lab for digital media. Winter and Spring Art Shows are held annually to feature artists. The school also has an active chapter of the National Art Honor Society, Art Club, and Photography Club.


The Academy of the Holy Angels provides a range of clubs and organizations that students can join based on their own interests and availability. In addition to after-school activities, the schedule of AHA allows a 45-minute activity period at the end of the day once a cycle, during which students can participate in in-school clubs and organizations. There are two cycles that alternate, and students can, therefore, choose two in-school activities to participate in.

In-School activities[edit]

  • AHAnime
  • Angels over Africa
  • Asian Cultural Society
  • Black and Hispanic Cultural Society
  • Blueprint Literary Magazine
  • Bookmaking
  • Card-Making with Rubber Stamps
  • Chess
  • Chips (School Newspaper)
  • Chocolate Making
  • Chorus
  • CSI Angels
  • Conversational French
  • Drama Club
  • Drawing from the Model
  • Eastern European Cultural Society
  • Echoes Yearbook
  • Evolution of Sci-Fi
  • Film Appreciation from a Technical Standpoint
  • Free Spirits
  • Free Your Butterflies
  • French Club
  • French National Honor Society
  • Gaelic Society
  • Go Green
  • History Society
  • Institute for Educational Achievement
  • Instrumental Ensemble/Orchestra
  • Irish Step Dancing
  • Italian Club
  • Just Angels
  • Kiddie Lit
  • Math Tutoring
  • M.E.D.S.
  • Mind Games
  • Music Makers
  • NJ Bar Association Mock Trial
  • Operation Smile
  • Origami
  • Outreach
  • Photoshop
  • Northern European Cultural Society
  • Orchestra
  • Quick and Easy Crafts
  • Science National Honor Society
  • Shakespeare on Film
  • Spanish Club
  • Spanish National Honor Society
  • Student Athletic Association
  • Student Council
  • Study Period
  • Technology and the PSAT/SAT
  • Tomorrow’s Children Club
  • Walking for Fitness
  • Watercolor Club
  • Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow’s Music


After-School activities[edit]

  • AHA Chorus
  • AHA Dance Team
  • AHA International Newsletter
  • AHA JV Cheerleaders
  • AHA Reads - Book Club
  • Angel Ambassadors
  • Art Club
  • Bergen Catholic Varsity Cheer
  • Crew
  • Debate
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Handbell Choir
  • Joining Old and Young
  • Latino club
  • Middle Eastern Student Association
  • Model United Nations
  • Poetry Club
  • Random Acts of Poetry
  • Spectrum
  • Stage Crew
  • The Creative Technology Club


The Academy of the Holy Angels now competes in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.[14] Prior to realignment in 2010, the school competed in the North Bergen Interscholastic Athletic League, which consisted of public and private high schools located in Bergen County.[15] Basketball coach Susan Liddy was recognized in the fall of 2008 for having reached a milestone 600th win.[16]

The Academy of the Holy Angels has a long-standing rivalry with fellow Catholic school, Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township.[17]

The cross country team won the Non-Public A state titles in both 2006 and 2009.[18]

Below is a listing of the sports offered to students at AHA:[19]

Fall Sports[edit]

Winter Sports[edit]

Spring Sports[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Academy of the Holy Angels, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed July 4, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Academy of the Holy Angels, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed July 4, 2011.
  3. ^ Scholarship & Financial Info, Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed May 30, 2012.
  4. ^ Holy Angels - Greetings, Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 2, 2009.
  5. ^ Bergen County High Schools, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. Accessed July 4, 2011.
  6. ^ School Search, New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. Accessed July 4, 2011.
  7. ^ Mission and Goals, Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 10, 2009.
  8. ^ "Holy Angels - History", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 2, 2009.
  9. ^ Schools Recognized 1982-1983 Through 1999-2002, p. 52, Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Accessed July 4, 2011.
  10. ^ "Holy Angels - Blue Ribbon School of Excellence", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 10, 2009.
  11. ^ "Holy Angels - National Service-Learning Leader School", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 10, 2009.
  12. ^ "Holy Angels - Middle States", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 9, 2009.
  13. ^ "Clubs & Teams Activities Handbook" Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 15, 2009.
  14. ^ League Memberships – 2012-2013, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 27, 2012.
  15. ^ New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association League Memberships – 2009-2010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 4, 2012.
  16. ^ "Hall of Fame: Inductee Susan Liddy reached milestone." Tidings 2 (Winter 2009): 15.
  17. ^ Chessari, Joe. "AHA, IHA READY TO REKINDLE BUDDING RIVALRY", The Record (Bergen County), February 14, 1999. Accessed October 26, 2007. "It's a friendly rivalry, this one between the girls basketball teams of Academy of the Holy Angels and Immaculate Heart Academy."
  18. ^ Cross Country State Group Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 1, 2011.
  19. ^ "Holy Angels - Athletics", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 12, 2009.

External links[edit]