Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart (Texas)

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Duchesne is located in Texas
Duchesne is located in the US
10202 Memorial Drive
Houston, (Harris County), Texas 77024
United States
Coordinates 29°46′40″N 95°29′08″W / 29.77778°N 95.48556°W / 29.77778; -95.48556Coordinates: 29°46′40″N 95°29′08″W / 29.77778°N 95.48556°W / 29.77778; -95.48556
Type Private, Girls
Motto "Wise hearts, sharp minds."
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Patron saint(s) Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
Established 1960
Founder St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
Head of School Patricia Swenson
Faculty 164
Grades PK 312
Gender Girls
Enrollment 671 (2015)
Average class size 14
Student to teacher ratio 8:1
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Blue and Gold         
Song "Coeur de Jesus"
Athletics 15 Sports
Mascot Cha Cha the Charger
Team name Chargers
Rival St. Agnes
Accreditation Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS)
Average SAT scores 641 Critical Reading
645 Writing
598 Mathematics
Average ACT scores 27
Head of Upper School Donald Cramp Ph.D
Head of Middle School Tony Houle
Head of Lower School Ginger Montalbano
Academic Dean (Upper School Underclassmen) Ginny Crosthwait
Academic Dean (Upper School Upperclassmen) Alaina Scorsone
Dean of Students (Upper School) Jill Hess

Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart (/djˈʃɛn/ dew-SHEN)[1] is a combined primary and secondary independent girls' school located at 10202 Memorial Drive in Houston, Texas. A member of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, it offers a college preparatory curriculum for girls.[2]

Duchesne, which enrolls girls from pre-K3 to the 12th grade, is part of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest.

Duchesne is in the Memorial area and is east of the city of Hunters Creek Village.


Commencement of the class of 2008

Duchesne was established in September 1960 as a part of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, with 58 high-school pupils. The school is named after Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, the first member of the Society of the Sacred Heart to come to America. The school is part of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.

The campus was built around a large oak tree, in the center of its campus. It became a symbol for the school because the name "Duchesne" is French for "of the oak". The oak tree also represents a notable tradition at Duchesne, graduation. As each senior is called up to receive her diploma, she passes under the oak tree.

On September 17, 2014, the original oak tree fell during a thunderstorm; however, it was over fifty years old and had been weakened after surviving a severe drought. On February 17, 2015, a new oak tree was transported by crane to a location near where the old oak tree previously stood and is currently still standing.[3] The new oak tree allows the graduation tradition to continue for many years to come.

Another fixture of the campus is a two-story white house that stood on the property when it was purchased for the school. It faces the oak tree and houses the RSCJ who live on campus. Some of the school's classes were originally conducted here.

Student life[edit]

The school is divided into three divisions: the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School. The school has an annual tradition known as Congé - a day where classes are canceled and the Senior class organizes games and activities for the entire school to participate in.[citation needed]

Academics and culture[edit]

In 1974, Texas Monthly stated that students from Duchesne and nearby Saint Agnes Academy originated from "mostly business and professional people with money".[4]

In 2017, Niche ranked Duchesne among the Best Private High Schools in the Houston metro area.[5]

Upper School Curriculum[edit]

Upper school students must complete four years of Mathematics, English, History, Science, Religion, as well as three years of Foreign Language to graduate. As a part of the student's religious studies, freshman and sophomores must complete two service projects each semester, while juniors and seniors do off campus service every Wednesday during school hours. Additionally, Upper School students must have of one fine arts credit and computer credit by the time they graduate. Each student receives a half credit for each fine arts and computer course taken, each year, as well as a half credit for Duchesne's 1:1 laptop program.[6]


Duchesne offers 11 sports for students to participate in throughout the academic year. In the fall, Duchesne offers field hockey, cross country, and volleyball as sports. Soccer, basketball, and swimming are played in the winter season. In the spring, students play tennis, track and field, softball, and lacrosse. Golf is offered year-round, and Swimming occurs during the end of the fall season, all of the winter season, and part of the spring season. Duchesne is affiliated with the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS).[citation needed]

Notable Organizations[edit]


Iron Plaid 3103 is the school's all-girl high school robotics team associated with FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Founded in 2009, the team has won numerous awards, including the Rookie All-Star award and a Finalist award in 2009, the Engineering Inspiration award, Industrial Design award and Industrial Safety award in 2014, the Engineering Inspiration award in 2015 and in 2017. The team has attended championships a total of 4 times.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The school approximates the French e vowel rather than using the anglicized dew-SHAYN.
  2. ^ "About Duchesne". Archived from the original on 2010-08-07. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  3. ^ Chilson, Andie. "Duchesne Academy Plants a New Oak Tree". The Buzz Magazines. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "Texas Monthly's Guide to Private Schools Part Two." Texas Monthly. Emmis Communications, October 1974. Vol. 2, No. 10. ISSN 0148-7736. Start page 83. Cited: p. 87.
  5. ^ "2017 Best Private High Schools in Houston Metro". Niche. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Upper School". Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 

External links[edit]