Archmere Academy

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Archmere Academy
3600 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, Delaware
ArchmereAcademy.jpg
Address
3600 Philadelphia Pike
Claymont, Delaware, (New Castle County), 19703
United States
Coordinates 39°48′8″N 75°27′20″W / 39.80222°N 75.45556°W / 39.80222; -75.45556Coordinates: 39°48′8″N 75°27′20″W / 39.80222°N 75.45556°W / 39.80222; -75.45556
Information
Type Private, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Denomination Norbertine
Established 1932
Rector Rev. Fr. Joseph McLaughlin, O. Praem
Principal John Jordan
Headmaster Dr. Michael Marinelli '76
Chaplain Michael Johnson
Grades 9-12
Enrollment approx. 470 (2010–2011)
Average class size 15
Color(s) Green and White         
Mascot Great Auk
Nickname Auks
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Publication Tapestry
Newspaper 'The Green Arch'
Yearbook 'The Patio'
Director of Student Life Robert Nowaczyk
Director of Admissions Kristin Mumford
Director of Finance John Cirillo
Director of Institutional Advancement Rebecca Baeurle
Director of Athletics David Oswinkle
Website

Archmere Academy is a private Roman Catholic college preparatory school of approximately 470 students and is based in Claymont, Delaware.[2] The academy is co-educational and is run independently within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

History[edit]

Archmere Academy was founded in 1932 by the Norbertine religious order, initially as an all-boys school.[3] It began on the former estate of U.S. industrialist John J. Raskob who lived in the residence with his wife Helena and their 12 children until 1931. Raskob was the campaign manager for Governor Al Smith of New York during his presidential campaign in 1928 and the home was used for many meetings, including those of the Democratic National Committee.[4]

John J. Raskob, owner of the estate where Archmere Academy now sits.

The estate was purchased by Bernard Pennings in 1932. Pennings was the Abbot of the Norbertine Order and also attributed as the founder of St. Norbert College, a private Catholic liberal arts college located in De Pere, Wisconsin.[5] The estate was purchased for $300,000 in the spring of 1932 and oficially dedicated in the fall of 1932.[3] The first year of operation, Archmere Academy had an enrollment of 22 students, 16 freshmen and 6 sophomores. In 1933 and 1934, enrollment grew to 50 students and 72 students respectively.[3]

Archmere Academy began slowly expanding during the mid to late 1930s due to enrollment increases. Minor expansions were made to accommodate boarding students. In 1939 it built its first gymnasium[6] and by 1940 it had converted the manor on the property into a science center. The school made a transition in the mid 1940s by where it became strictly a four-year college preparatory institution. It phased out both 7th and 8th grades during the 1946-47 and 1947-48 school years. It continued as a day school and boarding school for boys while its enrollment continued to increase.

In 1957, Archmere Academy celebrated its 25th anniversary with the ground breaking for St. Norbert Hall, the school's main academic building, which was completed in 1959.[3] Going into the 1960s, it continued to expand to accommodate the increase in enrollment which had reached 394 students by the end of that decade. A new science center, the Justin E. Diny Science Center, was opened in 1973 with classrooms for physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental science.[7] The old science center was turned into a center for the Arts which held classes for the school's chorus, band, theater, and studio arts program.[7]

Archmere Norbert Hall

The 1970s brought about two major changes for Archmere Academy. It moved away from being a boarding school and became a day school exclusively.[2] In 1975 it also announced the decision to become a co-ed institution,[2] enrolling 50 women into the school. It was near the end of the 1970s that the academy established a Board of Trustees, the first meeting of which took place in 1980. The Board has been attributed to expanding the curriculum and extracurricular activities at the academy as well as further expansion to accommodate the new programs. One expansion included a renovation of St. Norbert Hall which included an addition to the current building. Additional expansion in the early 1980s included a new auditorium that seated 750 people as well as a new library constructed on campus.

In April 2001, an internal dispute among the Norbertines relating to the establishment of Claymont Priory separate from Daylesford Abbey spilled over into the administration of Archmere Academy. Interventions from alumnus calmed the turmoil and resulted in the Academy taking control of the former Raskob residence, known as "The Patio."[8] 2003 marked the beginning of the academy's "Building on Mission & Heritage" campaing that included goals to complete the Justin E. Diny Science Center expansion, the construction of a Student Life Center, and renovations to the athletic field.

The school broke tradition in 2010 with the implementation of a non-Norbertine headmaster. Michael Marinelli, a 1976 graduate of Archmere Academy took over at the beginning of 2010.[9]

Architecture[edit]

Archmere
Patio Archmere 2.JPG
The Patio, country estate of John J. Raskob
Location 3600 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, Delaware
Area 15 acres (6.1 ha)
Architectural style Renaissance, Other, Italian Renaissance
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 92001143[10]
Added to NRHP September 9, 1992

Archmere Academy was built between 1916-18 and was once the country estate of John J. Raskob and his wife. Raskob was known as a financier and also attributed as the developer of the Empire State Building and a previous Chairman for the Democratic National Committee. The name Archmere was given to the estate because of the natural arch of the trees formed over the Delaware River vista. The original building that Raskob constructed, which is also known as The Patio, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.[3] In 2009, the Delaware Public Archives dedicated Archmere Academy with a historical marker.[3]

Academics[edit]

Archmere students are required to take courses in a variety of areas, including eight semesters of English, as well as seven semesters of religion, and six semesters of mathematics, foreign language, history, and the sciences. Choices for elective classes include art, yearbook (which meets during class time), band, chorus, and computer courses.

Archmere offers a large number of AP courses, including Spanish, French, German, Statistics, Calculus, both AB and BC, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, Art Portfolio in 2-D and 3-D, Computer Science, English, Composition, US History, European History, and World History.[9] It also has been ranked high for overall student SAT scores, ranking 2nd in the state of Delaware for the 2011-12 school year.[11]

Music program[edit]

The music program at Archmere Academy is an elective program that focuses on performance practices from the Renaissance to the 20th century including jazz and Broadway. Instruction is provided mostly through rehearsal experience although there is also a course on music theory for advanced students as well as a songwriting course. Performing groups include the Concert Band, Concert Choir, Stage Band, and Mastersingers. The Mastersingers was founded in 1988 and consists of 21–25 students selected by audition at the beginning of the school year. In addition to giving community concerts, they compete nationally and internationally and supply music for school liturgies. The academy also has a partnership that allows student musicians to study with the Serafin String Quartet.[12]

Athletics[edit]

Archmere competes in the Diamond State Conference for interscholastic sports such as football, field hockey, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, swimming, diving, lacrosse, volleyball, golf, tennis, cheerleading, baseball, softball, cross country, track and field, and wrestling.

Archmere's campus features two artificial turf fields (utilized by football, M/W soccer, M/W lacrosse, and field hockey), a baseball field (upgraded with dugouts), a softball field (upgraded with dugouts), six tennis courts, and a running track.

Notable alumni[edit]

Joe Biden at Archmere Academy

References[edit]

  1. ^ MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  2. ^ a b c "Archmere Academy". Delaware Today. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "The Delaware Public Archives Dedicates Historical Marker at Archmere Academy". CLaymont Renaissance News. Summer 2009. 
  4. ^ Johnson, Hugh S. "Wall Street Buys The New Deal". Reformation.org. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Barkan, Elliott Robert (2013). Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptation, and Integration. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781598842197. 
  6. ^ "Delri League All Stars Divide Twin Bill on Cadet Court". Delaware County Daily Times. 7 March 1939. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Eager students await opening". Delaware County Daily Times. 26 February 1974. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  8. ^ Margot Patterson (May 11, 2001). "Turmoil follows school firings - Archmere Academy". National Catholic Reporter
  9. ^ a b Medoff, Theresa Gawlas (January 2010). "The Private School Primer". Delaware Today. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  11. ^ Nardone, Mark (August 2014). "Classical Learning Style Yields Positive Test Results". Delaware Today. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  12. ^ Nardone, Mark (August 2014). "Serafin String Quartet Books Big-Time Fall Gigs". Delaware Today. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Canton, Shannon (July 2003). "Family Business". Delaware Today. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  14. ^ Amis, Matt (May 2014). "Sunny Sides and Local Ties to Sprout". Delaware Today. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Kates, Amy (May 2009). "Shop Cheap, Look Fab". Delaware Today. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 

External links[edit]