Academy of the Holy Cross

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Academy of the Holy Cross
Academy of the Holy Cross at Night.jpg
Women of courage, compassion, and scholarship
4920 Strathmore Avenue
Kensington, Maryland, (Montgomery County), 20895
United States
Coordinates 39°2′0″N 77°5′53″W / 39.03333°N 77.09806°W / 39.03333; -77.09806Coordinates: 39°2′0″N 77°5′53″W / 39.03333°N 77.09806°W / 39.03333; -77.09806
Type Private, College Preparatory
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
(Sisters of the Holy Cross)
Established 1868
CEEB Code 210678
President Kathleen R. Prebble
Principal Melissa Huey-Burns
Asst. Principal Rodney Larsen
Grades 912
Gender Girls
Enrollment 520 (2013)
Grade 9 114
Grade 10 122
Grade 11 135
Grade 12 149
Campus size 28-acre (110,000 m2)
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Lavender and White         
Athletics conference Washington Catholic Athletic Conference
Team name Tartans
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Publication Images (Literary Magazine)
Yearbook 'Cross and Anchor'
Tuition $20,725
Admissions Director Gracie Smith
Athletic Director Lisa Schrader

The Academy of the Holy Cross is a Catholic college preparatory school funded by the Sisters of the Holy Cross and founded in 1868. The Academy is located on a 28-acre (110,000 m2) campus in Kensington in Montgomery County, north of Washington, D.C.


The Academy of the Holy Cross was founded in 1868. For the first few years, the academy shared facilities with St. Matthew’s parish school in the District of Columbia. In 1877 Sister Mary LaSalette and Father Charles Ignatius White of St. Matthew's set about finding a site. They decided on a lot adjacent to Thomas Circle, at 1312 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. Students and faculty moved in early in 1879.

By the mid-1880s the Academy had a new superior, Sister Mary Angelica. Sister Angelica was to guide Holy Cross for three decades, until well into the 20th century. She oversaw not only the growth and development of the curriculum, but the planning and construction of the Academy’s expansion into a new location on Upton Street. In 1898, the campus had to be renovated to allow room for boarding students and the continuously increasing number of applications led the school to lease a nearby property as an annex.

By the beginning of the 20th century, Holy Cross had outgrown its campus. The school bought a large unused estate west of Rock Creek Park on Dunbarton Heights in 1904. This site had no water, sewage service, gas or electricity which delayed building until 1909. In June 1910, the academy’s new structure was finished, and housed Holy Cross until the mid-1950s.

In 1943, the Sisters of the Holy Cross purchased a large parcel of land in Kensington. By 1953 the Upton Street School was no longer adequate. In 1956 the academy moved to Kensington, Maryland, its present home. The gymnasium was added in 1966.

In November 2001, AHC broke ground for an Arts & Sciences building and Theatre. The addition, which connects to the old building, was opened for the beginning of the 2003-2004 school year. The new wing, which nearly doubles the learning space available for the students, include classrooms, labs, art studios, rehearsal rooms and a 399-seat Theatre.

In 2010, the Academy became an approved International Baccalaureate (IB) school.


  • Senior Tea
  • Mother-Daughter Communion Breakfast
  • Father Daughter Dance
  • Alumnae Memorial Mass
  • Alumnae Reunion
  • Kairos Retreat
  • Big Sister-Little Sister Picnic
  • Powder Puff Football Game
  • Senior Project
  • Benefit Dinner and Auction
  • Junior Ring Ceremony
  • Holy Cross Day
  • Cap and Gown Ceremony
  • Senior Show
  • Senior Privileges


The Academy admits approximately 150 new students to the freshman class and accepts transfer students if places are available. Admission process is highly selective, and requires a family interview.

Athletic teams[edit]

The motto of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, Spes Unica, adorns the banners that surround the school
  • Basketball (2007 WCAC Champions and 2007 Basketball City Title)
  • Crew
  • Cross Country
  • Equestrian
  • Field Hockey (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 WCAC Champions)
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse (2012 WCAC Champions)
  • Pom and Cheer
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Track and Field
  • Tennis (2008 WCAC Singles and Doubles Champions)
  • Volleyball

The volleyball team dethroned 5 time champions Our Lady of Good Counsel and is currently the 2012 WCAC Champions

Clubs and organizations[edit]

Graduation requirements[edit]

The Academy of the Holy Cross Seal
Religious Studies 4 credits Social Science 3 credits
English 4 credits Art ½ Credit
Language 3 credits Performing Arts ½ Credit
Mathematics 4 credits Physical Education and Health 1 ½ Credit
Science 2 ½ credits Electives 3 Credits

Notable alumnae[edit]


  1. ^ MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  2. ^ Welzenbach, Michael (December 12, 1992). "Galleries; Who Framed Walt Disney?". Washington Post. pp. C–2. 
  3. ^ "Martha Manning". Archived from the original on 6 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 

External links[edit]