Academy of the Holy Angels

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Academy of the Holy Angels
Holy Angels.JPG
Academy of the Holy Angels is located in Bergen County, New Jersey
Academy of the Holy Angels
Academy of the Holy Angels
Academy of the Holy Angels is located in New Jersey
Academy of the Holy Angels
Academy of the Holy Angels
315 Hillside Avenue


United States
Coordinates40°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
TypePrivate, all-female, high school
MottoVitae Via Virtus
("Let virtue be your way of life")
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
FounderSister Mary Nonna Dunphy, SSND
OversightArchdiocese of Newark
CEEB code310-390
PresidentMelinda Hanlon
PrincipalJean Mullooly
Faculty55.0 FTEs[1]
Enrollment594 (as of 2015-16)[1]
Average class size19
Student to teacher ratio10.8:1[1]
Campus size25 acres (100,000 m2)
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)     Royal Blue and
SongAHA Alma Mater
Athletics conferenceBig North Conference
Team nameAngels[2]
RivalImmaculate Heart Academy, Paramus Catholic High School
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools[3]
PublicationBlueprint (literary magazine)
AHA International (international events newsletter)
NewspaperThe AHA Voice
Tuition$16,600 (2016-17)[4]
AffiliationSchool Sisters of Notre Dame
Dean of StudentsAndrea Beyer
Admissions DirectorMichèle Sovak
Athletic DirectorPatti 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.[5] The school operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.[6] The Academy of the Holy Angels draws students from North Jersey, Rockland County, New York, and surrounding areas.

As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 594 students and 55.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.8:1. The school's student body was 69.4% White, 12.6% Asian, 7.6% Hispanic, 6.1% Black, 0.2% American Indian / Alaska Native and 4.2% two or more races.[1]

The Academy of the Holy Angels is a member of the National Catholic Educational Association and the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools.[7]


"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."[8]


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.[9]

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.[10][11]

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.[12]

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.[3] 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.[13]


Since 2007, upon entering the school, each student is required to buy a Fujitsu Tablet. Students use these tablets during school and at home to complete assignments, access the internet for research, take notes, and 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. 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 2015 a student was awarded the National Scholastic American Visions Award in Drawing & Illustration. 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
  • Armenian Club
  • Art for the Community
  • Asian Cultural Society
  • Black and Hispanic Cultural Society
  • Blueprint Literary Magazine
  • Book Club
  • Comic Book Heroes on Film
  • CSI Angels
  • Deep Relaxation
  • Diversity Club
  • Drama Club
  • Echoes Yearbook
  • Embroidery Club
  • French Club
  • French for Travelers
  • Go Green
  • History Society
  • I'm Puzzled
  • Instrumental Ensemble/Orchestra
  • International Students Club
  • Italian Club
  • Japanese Club
  • Latin Dancing
  • Lean In
  • Literature on Film
  • Math Club/3D Design
  • Math Tutoring
  • M.E.D.S.
  • Music Makers
  • Outreach
  • Pen Pals
  • Project Greenhouse
  • Quillow 101
  • Quick and Easy Crafts
  • Real Life 101
  • Roman Personalities on Film
  • SADD
  • Scrabble, Checkers, Chess
  • Spanish Club
  • Student Athletic Association
  • Student Council
  • Study Period
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Yoga
  • Young Entrepreneur


After-school activities[edit]

  • Academy Chorus
  • Advisory Council
  • AHA Dance Team
  • AHA Voice (newspaper)
  • AHAnime
  • Angel Ambassadors
  • Angels for Animals
  • Angels For Life
  • Angels over Africa
  • Art Club
  • Asian Cultural Society
  • Big/Little Sister
  • Black & Hispanic Cultural Association
  • Blueprint Literary Magazine
  • Book Club
  • Bridges
  • Chess
  • CSI Angels (Forensics)
  • Dean's Council
  • Debate
  • Drama Club
  • Drawing from Model
  • Echoes (yearbook)
  • Embroidery
  • E-portfolio
  • Equality Now
  • Equestrian
  • Eucharistic Ministers
  • French Club
  • Gaelic Society
  • GO Green
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Handbell
  • Hellenic Angels
  • Honduras Club
  • Instrumental Ensemble
  • Italian Club
  • Jazz Band
  • Jeweled Angels
  • JOY (Joining Old & Young)
  • Just Angels
  • Knitwits
  • Korean Club
  • Liturgical Ministers
  • Math Club
  • MEDS
  • Middle Eastern Club
  • Mock Trial
  • Model UN
  • Music Makers
  • Operation Smile
  • Orchestra
  • Outreach
  • Photography
  • Quidditch
  • Quiz Bowl
  • Retreat Leadership Teams
  • SADD
  • Service Organizations
  • ScoliAngels
  • Space Angels
  • Spanish Club
  • Stress Busters
  • Student Athletic Association
  • Student Council
  • Theater Productions
  • Vocal Ensemble
  • Walking for Fitness
  • Watercolor Painting
  • Writers' Club

Honors Societies[edit]


The Angels of the Academy of the Holy Angels[2] compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.[15] 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.[16]

The Academy of the Holy Angels has a long-standing rivalry with fellow Catholic school, Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township. In 2018, the Varsity Soccer Team beat the Eagles 1-0 for the first time in history. [17]

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

Basketball coach Susan Liddy was recognized in the fall of 2008 for having reached a milestone 600th win.[19]

Sports offered to students at AHA include:[2][20]

Fall sports
Winter sports
Spring sports

Alma mater[edit]

The official alma mater for Holy Angels was written by Margaret Mary Powers Gidez (Class of 1942). The original lyrics of the first two lines were, "With stately dome arising high and golden cross above." When the Academy relocated to Demarest in 1965, the lyrics were changed to reflect the move.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d School data for Academy of the Holy Angels, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed October 20, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Academy of the Holy Angels, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 29, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Academy of the Holy Angels Archived 2012-03-30 at the Wayback Machine, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed July 4, 2011.
  4. ^ Scholarship & Financial Info, Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed June 13, 2016.
  5. ^ Holy Angels - Greetings, Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 2, 2009.
  6. ^ Bergen County Catholic High Schools, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. Accessed November 12, 2016.
  7. ^ List of Member Schools, New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. Accessed November 12, 2016.
  8. ^ Mission and Goals, Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 10, 2009.
  9. ^ "Holy Angels - History", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 2, 2009.
  10. ^ Schools Recognized 1982-1983 Through 1999-2002, p. 52, National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Accessed October 20, 2017.
  11. ^ "Holy Angels - Blue Ribbon School of Excellence", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 10, 2009.
  12. ^ "Holy Angels - National Service-Learning Leader School", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 10, 2009.
  13. ^ "Holy Angels - Middle States", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 9, 2009.
  14. ^ "Clubs & Teams Activities Handbook" Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed October 5, 2016.
  15. ^ League Memberships – 2016-2017 Archived 2012-11-09 at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  16. ^ New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association League Memberships – 2009-2010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 24, 2011. Accessed August 14, 2017.
  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. ^ 2016 NJSIAA Group Cross Country Championships Program, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 9, 2017.
  19. ^ "Hall of Fame: Inductee Susan Liddy reached milestone." Tidings 2 (Winter 2009): 15.
  20. ^ "Holy Angels - Athletics", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 12, 2009.
  21. ^ "AHA Alma Mater" Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed December 6, 2014.

External links[edit]