Holy Names Academy
|Holy Names Academy|
|728 21st Avenue East
Seattle, Washington, (King County), 98112
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Principal||Elizabeth Swift '71|
|Vice principal||Kim Dawson,
|Student to teacher ratio||14:1|
|Color(s)||Maroon and grey|
|Athletics conference||WIAA 3A – Seattle Metropolitan League|
|Accreditation||Northwest Association of Independent Schools
|Affiliation||Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary|
|Admissions Director||Eileen Denby|
|Athletic Director||Lacey London|
Holy Names Academy is a Catholic private all-girls college-preparatory high school located on the east slope of Seattle's Capitol Hill at 21st Avenue East between E. Aloha and E. Roy Streets. It is the oldest continually operating school in Washington state. Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, the school has been named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education four separate times. Holy Names Academy emphasizes academics, community service, ethics, and leadership. The school sends many of its students to highly selective universities every year. Of the graduating Class of 2015, 100% were admitted to 190 different colleges and universities, from which the graduates have chosen to attend 74, located in 24 states, the District of Columbia, and two foreign countries. More than 87% of the Class of 2015 earned merit-based college scholarships collectively valued at $26.3 million.
For 2014-2015, Holy Names Academy enrolled 690 students. The student-teacher ratio is 14:1, and the average class size 22. Tuition is $14,856 for the 2015-2016 school year. 32.3% of current students receive financial aid. Of the enrollment, 33% are students of color. More than 27% of current students are of a faith other than Roman Catholic. The school is under the trusteeship of the order and has a number of religious sisters on the governing board and teaching staff.
Holy Names Academy was founded on November 9, 1880, by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Its original location was in two buildings at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Seneca Street in downtown Seattle. In 1884, the school moved to 7th Avenue and S. Jackson Street in the International District. Construction of the present building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood began in 1906 and was completed in 1908. The architect of the neo-classical-style, domed building was Albert Breitung; its design has been carefully preserved over the years with few exterior changes. The adjacent Jeanne Marie McAteer Lee Gymnasium was built in 1990 on what was previously tennis courts; an atrium connects the gym to the main building.
Holy Names Academy originally incorporated a boarding school and grade school, and a normal school was added in 1908. The normal school closed in 1930, the grade school in 1963, and the boarding school in 1967.
Every aspect of the school is guided by the Holy Names Academy Mission and Philosophy Statement as last revised by the Board of Trustees in 2003:
"Holy Names Academy, the oldest continually operating school in the State of Washington, was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary on November 9, 1880. This Catholic secondary school serves young women of diverse ethnic, economic, and religious backgrounds. The unique character of a Holy Names education is achieved in various complementary ways.
"We teach, model, and promote Gospel values. This heritage is transmitted to students through school policies, academic programs, and co-curricular activities that encourage personal growth and respect for others. The Academy seeks to prepare young women for lives of leadership and loving service through excellent academic offerings and meaningful student life programs. The academic curriculum challenges students to develop their scholastic capabilities and individual talents through a four-year program of college preparatory courses. An extensive student leadership program offers multiple avenues for participation.
"Holy Names Academy seeks to prepare educated women for a life that proclaims the love of God for the human person. Instructed in an atmosphere that fosters the formation of a conscious ethical stance, young women who graduate from the Academy will discover the power that is theirs to direct their lives in peace, justice, and mercy––a manner befitting those whose faith inspires others. We pledge ourselves to preserve the lasting values of our tradition while we design the Academy of the future."
Academics: Advanced Placement
Holy Names Academy is strongly committed to offering its students broad access to Advanced Placement courses and national testing in a wide range of subjects. All students enrolled in an AP class are required to take the corresponding AP exam. In May 2014, 838 AP exams in 15 subjects were proctored to 406 candidates at Holy Names Academy, including 81% of all students enrolled in Grades 10, 11, and 12. Of students tested in 2014, 90% earned a grade of 3 or higher on one or more AP exams (which are graded on a scale of 1 to 5). Of the grades received by HNA candidates, 84% were a 3 or higher, and 57.4% were a superior grade of 4 or 5. In 2014, the College Board awarded 188 AP Scholar designations to 179 Holy Names Academy students, including nine National AP Scholars and 72 AP Scholars with Distinction. Among the Class of 2014, 95.6% earned a score of 3 or above on one or more exams during their years at HNA, and 72.3% received an AP Scholar designation.
Other academic information
The graduation requirements from Holy Names Academy include four years of English, three years of Mathematics, two years each of International Language, Laboratory Science, and Social Studies, at least one year of a Fine Arts subject, one and a half years of Physical Education, and three years of elective subjects chosen from among all the various departments. The curriculum also requires four years of Religion, covering the topics of world cultures, scripture literature, morality/service, and contemporary problems.
Student life and school spirit
Over 40% of students hold leadership positions during their years at HNA, including service on the Associated Student Body, Campus Ministry & Community, or Sport & Spirit. Leadership positions also include service as Class Officers and Representatives, Club Officers, Athletic Team Captains, Peer Mentors, and Student Ambassadors. There are more than 40 student clubs, ranging from History Bowl and the Global Issues Club to the Harry Potter Club. A Multicultural Student Union provides venues for the 33% of enrollment who are students of color, including the Black Student Union, Asian/Pacific Islander Focus Group, and El Movimiento de Mujeres Hispanas. A National Honor Society is active, as are competitive teams in Speech and Debate. HNA often pairs with O'Dea High School, an all-boys Catholic school also located in Seattle, for social events including dances such as Homecoming and Winter Ball, though the Academy hosts its own Junior and Senior proms. In addition, Holy Names Academy hosts its own homecoming.
Students at Holy Names Academy demonstrate school spirit by wearing their school colors to athletic games, as well as their class colors. These class colors are worn especially on Class Spirit days. The 9th-grade students are always green, and the rising sophomore class adopts the color of the previous year's seniors, which they keep until their own graduation. Each color corresponds to a name. The names are as follows:
Green: (voted on by the 9th grade at the beginning of the year)
Blue: Pipers (formerly orange)
Holy Names Academy fields highly competitive interscholastic teams in 13 sports; nearly 95% of current students participate in at least one during their years at the Academy.
Fall sports: Crew, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Swimming, Volleyball
Winter sports: Basketball, Crew (conditioning), Gymnastics
Spring sports: Crew, Golf, Lacrosse, Softball, Tennis, Track, Ultimate Frisbee
Teams in 10 of the 13 HNA sports compete in the 3A-level Seattle Metropolitan League (or Metro League); crew, lacrosse, and Ultimate Frisbee are non-league, club sports. Several sports are offered on a non-cut basis: crew, cross country, and swimming in the fall; crew conditioning in the winter; track and crew in the spring. The newest of the sports to the school is Ultimate Frisbee; it was offered for the first time as an interscholastic sport in spring 2012.
For the entire 2014-2015 school season, HNA teams collectively won the Seattle Metro League's All Sports Trophy for a record eighth consecutive year and for the 10th time in the last 15 years.
From 1996 to the end of the 2014-2015 school year, Holy Names Academy sports teams have won:
• 12 State Team championships through the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Swimming, Track)
• 22 Sea-King District 2 championships (Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Gymnastics Softball, Swimming, Track)
• 57 Metro League championships (Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Gymnastics, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Track, Volleyball)
• 20 Washington State Team Academic championships
Holy Names Academy is one of only two high schools in the Pacific Northwest states to offer crew (rowing) as a full-fledged, interscholastic sport. Since 1982, the crew program has qualified boats to compete 14 times at the USRowing Youth Invitational National Championships and 15 times at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston.
Theatre and music
Every year Holy Names Academy performs theater productions for the students and the community. In the spring, a musical is produced; in the fall, a play. The New Works Festival, also in the spring, consists of one-act plays and short films written, directed, acted, and produced by students. Advanced, state-of-the-art lighting equipment and software were installed in the school's auditorium in 2011.
Music ensembles include a concert choir and advanced concert choir, vocal ensemble, jazz band, chamber ensemble and orchestra; all give at least two concerts per year, travel to competitions, and perform at school events. The school provides students with advanced music recording and production studios, with state-of-the-art editing software.
Awards and recognition
During the 1984-85, 1990–91, 1995–96 and 2001-02 school years, Holy Names Academy was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive. As of 2007, the school was one of only five schools nationwide to be honored as a Blue Ribbon School on four separate occasions.
In 2014, the Puget Sound Business Journal honored Holy Names Academy as one of "Washington's Best Workplaces." In 2012, the same publication awarded Holy Names Academy the first-place gold medal in the medium-size businesses category of its annual competition. Also in 2012, Seattle Business Magazine named Holy Names Academy the "Best Non-Profit Company to Work for" in Washington state. In 2008, Washington CEO Magazine chose Holy Names Academy as one of the best 100 companies to work for in Washington state.
- Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
- CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department, Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
- Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test; The Washington Post. September 29, 2005 "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
- Berger, Susan. "School gets 4th Blue Ribbon: Carmel Catholic is only one in state honored this year", Chicago Tribune, October 10, 2007. Accessed November 1, 2007. "Carmel also received the Blue Ribbon Award in 1985, 1996 and 2002. Only four other high schools nationwide have won the award four times."
- Puget Sound Business Journal: Washington's Best Workplaces 2012
- Seattle Business, July 2012: 100 Best Companies To Work For: Non-Profit Companies
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