Academy of the Sacred Heart (New Orleans)

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Academy of the Sacred Heart
"The Rosary"
4521 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana, (Orleans Parish) 70115
United States
Coordinates 29°55′37″N 90°6′14″W / 29.92694°N 90.10389°W / 29.92694; -90.10389Coordinates: 29°55′37″N 90°6′14″W / 29.92694°N 90.10389°W / 29.92694; -90.10389
Type Private
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic,
Society of the Sacred Heart
Established 1887
Founder Saint Philippine Duchesne
Headmistress Sr. Melanie A. Guste, RSCJ, Ph.D.
Grades Toddler-12
Gender Girls
Color(s) Red and White         
Athletics conference LHSAA
Mascot Cardinal
Accreditation SACS[1]
Yearbook Souvenons-Nous
Affiliation Network of Sacred Heart Schools
Dean of Students Kimberley Trinacria (Middle Sch)
Brynn Cleveland (Upper Sch)
Director of Admission Christy Sevante
Athletic Director Sarah Reiss

Academy of the Sacred Heart is an all-girls private, Roman Catholic high school in New Orleans, Louisiana. The school was founded in 1887. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans and is part of the network of Sacred Heart Schools. Within the Sacred Heart Network family, it is often referred to as "The Rosary." The school's student body ranges from toddler to 12th grade.
Sacred Heart is a member of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest and athletically, it competes in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.


Academy of the Sacred Heart was established in 1867 by the Society of the Sacred Heart. [2]

St. Philippine Duchesne, a missionary to the New World, arrived in New Orleans in 1818, exactly one hundred years after Bienville founded the city. After fifty years of pursuing missionary work in unsettled areas along the river, the nuns returned to establish a convent in the Vieux Carre.[3]

In the late 19th century, the French Quarter was in decline. Most importantly, the established French, Catholic families from the Quarter and Esplanade Ridge, whose daughters were the mainstay of the student body, were moving across town into what was the American sector. In addition, second generation English and Irish families, who were already uptown, were seeking for their daughters a school that provided the same type of education that the religious had been providing downtown. It was therefore no surprise that the religious sought refuge from their deteriorating urban environment and turned their attention upriver. Demographically, the nuns and the city were moving in the same direction.

The new location chosen by the nuns was the John Calhoun-S. J. Peters Greek Revival mansion built in 1847. The estate comprised two squares. The first contained the main house set far back from the major thoroughfare, St. Charles Street. The second was separated from the first by Apollo Street, now Carondelet. It was spacious enough for a vegetable garden, orange grove and farmyard. When the Mother Superior requested permission in June 1886 to purchase these two lots for $30,000,the Mother General in Paris sent a one-word telegram: "Achetez." Soon after this concise mandate "to buy," the Academy was ready to open.

"Convent of the Rosary", 1900

This charming villa served the nuns admirably for thirteen years. By then, however, the house proved inadequate for the volume of students. As a result, the religious decided to demolish the old house and to construct a new building. The lone reminder of the Academy's origins is the large, wrought iron fountain with a swan atop that still stands today. The new building, Colonial Revival in style, designed by the architects, Diboll and Owen, was dedicated in 1900. As spacious as the new Academy was, it underwent three expansions in 1906, 1913, and 1996.

On August 1, 2002, the Board of Trustees authorized the purchase of the First Baptist Church property on St. Charles and Napoleon avenues. This was the first property acquisition for the school in 115 years. At one and a half square city blocks, the new property nearly doubles the size of the Sacred Heart campus and is located just two blocks from the Rosary Campus. Called the Mater Admirabilis Campus, it is named for the original French Quarter school.

The Mater Campus opened in the fall of 2005 and is home to the Preschool and Lower School. The new Little Hearts Early Learning Center for toddler and nursery students is also located on the site. The Bob and Jeri Nims Fine Arts Center, an auditorium with the capacity to seat 1,200 people and accommodate the entire student body for all-school liturgies as well as other large events, is a prominent feature of the campus. Other features are the gymnasium, dining hall, library, Chapel and 100-car parking lot.

Goals and Criteria[edit]

As part of the Sacred Heart Network, the school's administration and students commit themselves to five educational goals:

  • Develop a personal and active faith in God
  • Explore a deep respect for intellectual values
  • Engage in a social awareness which impels action
  • Share in the building of community as a Christian value
  • Realize personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom

Notable alumnae[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  2. ^ ASH. "School History". Archived from the original on October 12, 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-11. 
  3. ^ ASH. "School History". Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2007-05-11. 
  4. ^ J. Mark Souther (1 October 2006). New Orleans on Parade: Tourism and the Transformation of the Crescent City. LSU Press. pp. 57–58. ISBN 978-0-8071-3193-0. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Biographical Note". Retrieved September 29, 2014. 

External links[edit]