Academy of the Holy Cross
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|Academy of the Holy Cross|
|4920 Strathmore Avenue
Kensington, Maryland, (Montgomery County) 20895
|Type||Private, College Preparatory|
|Motto||Women of courage, compassion, and scholarship|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic
(Sisters of the Holy Cross)
|President||Kathleen R. Prebble|
|• Grade 9||126|
|• Grade 10||125|
|• Grade 11||130|
|• Grade 12||130|
|Campus size||28-acre (110,000 m2)|
|Color(s)||Lavender and White|
|Athletics conference||Washington Catholic Athletic Conference|
|Rival||Our Lady of Good Counsel|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Publication||Images (Literary Magazine)|
|Yearbook||Cross and Anchor|
|Admissions Director||Louise Hendon|
|Athletic Director||Lisa Schrader|
The Academy of the Holy Cross is a Catholic college preparatory school sponsored 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, with support from St. Matthew’s parish in the District of Columbia, to promote the education of young women in the ideals expressed by Father Moreau. For the first few years, the Academy’s facilities were temporary and shared with St. Matthew’s parish school. The Academy grew rapidly, and by 1877, the newly arrived superior, Sister Mary LaSalette, realized that a permanent building able to handle the growing number of students had become essential. Soon a lot adjacent to Thomas Circle, at 1312 Massachusetts Avenue, NW was secured. Students and faculty moved in early in 1879. Holy Cross’s position as a preeminent school for young women in Washington was clear by the mid-1880s, and by that time the Academy had gained a new superior, Sister Mary Angelica. Sister Angelica was to guide Holy Cross for three decades, until well into the Twentieth Century. She oversaw not only the growth and development of the curriculum, but the planning and construction of the Academy’s expansion into a more suitable location on Upton Street, NW, west of Rock Creek Park and one block from Connecticut Avenue.
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.
- Martha Manning (’70) - Writer
- Helen Hayes
- Hilary Rhoda ('05) - Model
- Georgia Keehan ('11) - Egg Donor
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