Immaculate Heart Academy

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Immaculate Heart Academy
Immaculate Heart Academy Crestl.jpg
500 Van Emburgh Avenue

, ,

United States
Coordinates40°59′30″N 74°04′41″W / 40.991601°N 74.078059°W / 40.991601; -74.078059Coordinates: 40°59′30″N 74°04′41″W / 40.991601°N 74.078059°W / 40.991601; -74.078059
TypePrivate, College-prep Day school
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
OversightRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark
PresidentPatricia Molloy[1]
PrincipalJason Schlereth[1]
Faculty67 FTEs[2]
Enrollment676 (as of 2018-19 School Year)[2]
Student to teacher ratio12.6:1[2]
Color(s)     Navy blue and
Athletics conferenceBig North Conference
MascotRosie the Blue Eagle
Team nameBlue Eagles[3]
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools[4]

NJAIS Membership[5]

Blue Ribbon School[6]
PublicationSeasonal School Newsletter (Winter, Spring, Summer) ORB Literary Magazine
School fees$600 (registration)[7]
Tuition$16,600 (2019-20)[7]

Immaculate Heart Academy (IHA) is an all-girls college preparatory private Roman Catholic high school located in Washington Township, in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. The school was founded in 1960 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace as the first regional high school for girls in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.[8] From 1990 to 2008, administration shifted to the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.[9] The school colors are blue and white, and the school's athletes are known as the Blue Eagles.[3]

Immaculate Heart Academy has been accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools since 1971.[4] For the 1996-97 school year, Immaculate Heart Academy was recognized with the National Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence from the United States Department of Education, the highest honor that an American school can achieve.[6]

As of the 2017-18 academic year, the school had an enrollment of 704 students and 67 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis). In 2016, school's student body iss 84.2% White, 8.7% Hispanic, 4.0% Asian, 1.5% Black, 0.7% Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander, 0.4% American Indian/Alaska Native and 0.5% two or more races.[2] Students come to IHA from Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County and Hudson County in New Jersey, and from Rockland County and Orange County in New York.

Consultative Board[edit]

The Immaculate Heart Academy Consultative Board officially began its duties on July 1, 2009. In prior years, a Finance Committee had been established and was effectively providing financial advice and direction to the school. With the expansion of the board to four committees (as of 2018)—Strategic Planning, Building and Grounds/Technology, Institutional Advancement/Development, and Finance—wide-ranging advice and counsel is available to the president. Members of the 2018-19 Consultative Board are: Valerie Gradel Keenan'76, Chair; Richard Cervini; Elizabeth Colombo'00; Cathy Corbett; Dennis Crowley; Dan Daniello; Michael Devaney; Denyse Coyle Galda'71; Laura Coti Garrett'75; Patrice McDonough; Patricia Molloy; John O'Neil; Martha Post'77; Christine Marzullo Rock'90; Chris Sperber; Richard Spohn; and Robert Van Dyk.


Immaculate Heart Academy is noted for its extensive laptop program. Starting with the incoming freshman class in the 2011-2012 academic year, students purchased MacBook Pro laptops. The student owns the laptop and the use of the resource is integrated into the academic programs of the school. In conjunction with IHA's laptop program, all classrooms are outfitted with SmartBoards, DVD players, projectors, iPads and other media devices.[10]

Extracurricular Activities[edit]

IHA offers about 50 clubs, organizations, extracurricular activities and honors societies. Some of these opportunities include C.A.R.E. (Christian Action Reaching Everyone), Student Council, an award-winning Mock trial team, both a Science League and Math League, Model United Nations, Junior State of America, the National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, French Honor Society/Société Honoraire de Français, Spanish Honor Society/Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, and Tri-M (Modern Music Masters). In addition, art, theater, and music related clubs are available for students to join, including an a cappella group, chorus, orchestra, jazz band and handbell choir.

Student-run publications within Immaculate Heart Academy include Accents (the school newspaper), Halcyon (the school yearbook) and ORB, a literary magazine of students' works.

The communication club, known in school as WIHA, uses the school's in-house television studio to broadcast daily news, announcements and special events directly to each homeroom every morning. GET REEL, the sister club to WIHA, creates video features for the morning show and coordinates the filming of school functions, including school musicals, assemblies, prayer services, concerts, and other school events. During filming, GET REEL students often work in conjunction with the school's Tech Corp, students who work as stage crew, audio-visual technicians and lighting crew for school events.

Over the past 10 years, IHA has produced the musicals The Secret Garden, Beauty and the Beast, Guys and Dolls, Cats, A Chorus Line, Legally Blonde, Seussical, The Boyfriend, 42nd Street, The Little Mermaid, and Into The Woods. The student performers in these musicals are of the highest caliber, some with NJ high school theatre awards, such as Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards, Montclair State University Theatre Night Awards, and Metropolitan High School Theatre Awards (formerly Helen Hayes). These musicals are performed in conjunction with students from St. Joseph Regional High School, Don Bosco Preparatory High School, and Bergen Catholic High School.

Christian Service and Volunteerism[edit]

Students at Immaculate Heart Academy put their faith into action by serving their immediate community and ministering to people in need through interactive service opportunities. By participating in the IHA Christian Service Program, students apply their Catholic Christian values by practicing them in projects that expand the students' awareness of God, others, and themselves.

Based on this call to action, IHA requires students to complete hours in two categories: Christian Service and Volunteerism.


Freshmen: 6 hours of Christian Service; 6 hours of volunteering

Sophomores: 8 hours of Christian Service; 8 hours of volunteering.

Juniors: 10 hours of Christian Service; 10 hours of volunteering

Seniors: 12 hours of Christian Service; 12 hours of volunteering.

Christian Service is described as responding to the Gospel call to minister to those truly in need of love, hope, and compassion. Students engage in this kind of service by directly serving the poor, sick, elderly, or those with special needs face-to-face. Students are supported by a student-led Christian Service Board to help keep their peers on track.

Volunteering is defined by performing acts of supportive service to our immediate community. Students learn the value and importance of serving in the places they live, study, and worship. Volunteering would be serving your parish, the IHA community, your town, or a non-profit organization through events and activities that make a difference.

Students interested in service and social justice beyond school requirements have the opportunity to get involved with CARE, a student life club that provides both Christian Service and Volunteerism initiatives. Additionally, a summer mission trip is held annually for students of all grades.

Golden Jubilee[edit]

The school celebrated its Golden Jubilee during the 2010-11 academic year. Throughout the year, IHA held events celebrating the history of the school, the successes of its alumnae and the tradition it passes on to its students of the present and the future.[11]


The Immaculate Heart Academy Blue Eagles[3] play in the Big North Conference, a super conference that includes 40 public and private high schools in Northern New Jersey and operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[12] Before the realignment in 2010, IHA played as a member of the North Jersey Tri-County Conference, an interim conference created to facilitate the realignment.[13] Until the NJSIAA's 2009 realignment, the school had participated in Division C of the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League, which was made up of high schools located in Bergen County, Essex County and Passaic County, and was separated into three divisions based on NJSIAA size classification.[14]


The main building was completed 1961 to the designs of architect Anthony J. DePace of New York City.

A FieldTurf artificial surface was installed on the soccer/softball field and was completed in the fall of 2004. Landscaping and grounds maintenance have been significantly upgraded. A major renovation of the existing library space into an Information Commons was completed in the fall of 2006. The Information Commons provides the resources of a traditional library with advanced information management and retrieval capabilities including multiple desktops, two scanners, printers, etc. The Information Commons also provides small meeting rooms, a conference room, a school archive section, and comfortable workspaces for students using laptops.

A new gymnasium floor was installed in the summer of 2008.

A TV studio, as well as a chapel in honor of the members of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Franciscan Sisters of Peace who served at Immaculate Heart Academy, was installed in the early spring of 2009.

In April 2011, IHA began the building of a small addition to the school to be located on the southern end of the building (left side when looking at the main entrance from Van Emburgh Avenue.) The addition consisted of four new classrooms at the end of the first (ground) and second levels, as well as a new art studio located on the lowest level of the school, where the school's cafeteria is located. The Vincent Herold Fitness Center was also completed, replacing where the old school store was located, on the cafeteria level. The school's former art room, located on the main floor across from the Sisters' Chapel, was renovated into office space for the school staff and administration.

In collaboration with the Archdiocese of Newark, IHA has also entered into a solar energy program, in which panels have been added to the roof, estimated to generate about 40% of electricity used, saving the school energy costs.

Notable Alumnae[edit]


  1. ^ a b New Leadership Team at IHA, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, April 28, 2016. Accessed February 3, 2017. "Effective July 1, 2016, Immaculate Heart Academy will be instituting the President/Principal Model of governance in order to reflect the changing and more complex educational and fiscal needs of Catholic secondary education in the 21st century. Patricia Molloy, current principal of the school, will assume the role of President, and current Vice Principal Jason Schlereth will assume the role of Principal."
  2. ^ a b c d School data for Immaculate Heart Academy, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed October 20, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Immaculate Heart Academy, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed February 3, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Immaculate Heart Academy, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed November 12, 2017.
  5. ^ New Jersey Association of Independent Schools Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ a b Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
  7. ^ a b Tuition & Financial Aid, Immaculate Heart Academy. Accessed February 3, 2017.
  8. ^ Bergen County Catholic High Schools, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. Accessed July 20, 2016.
  9. ^ History & Alma Mater, Immaculate Heart Academy. Accessed October 25, 2017. "In 1989, the Sisters of St. Joseph resigned and were replaced in 1990 by the Apostles of the Sacred Heart.... The Apostles if the Sacred Heart were re-assigned in June 2008 but have left an incredible mark on the school."
  10. ^ Technology Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine, Immaculate Heart Academy. Accessed November 20, 2011.
  11. ^ Jubilee Calendar of Events Archived 2010-12-16 at the Wayback Machine, Immaculate Heart Academy. Accessed June 13, 2011.
  12. ^ League & Conference Affiliations 2016-2017 Archived 2012-11-09 at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Home Page, Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 9, 2009. Accessed December 16, 2014.
  15. ^ Rohan, Virginia. "'Rock' & a good place; Wyckoff's Katrina Bowden gains rich experience on NBC's surging sitcom.", The Record (Bergen County), December 24, 2006. "It's a big change from the "typical Catholic school uniform" that Bowden not so long ago wore at Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township, where she juggled her studies with auditions, acting and modeling work."
  16. ^ From, Arielle. "New York Times Bestselling Author Holds Book Signing At Shaw's" Archived 2011-09-02 at the Wayback Machine, Westwood-Washington Township Patch, January 8, 2011. Accessed April 14, 2011. "After moving to Westwood at age 6, Clark went to St. Andrew's for grammar school, and the Immaculate Heart Academy for high school."
  17. ^ Schroeder, Robert. "A Very Busy Sunday", Assemblyman Robert Schroeder. Accessed April 14, 2011. "My morning began at Immaculate Heart Academy in Township of Washington, where I took part in the 47th Annual Commencement Exercises. The Keynote Address was given by an IHA alum, the Honorable Erin C. Conaton, who currently serves as Under Secretary of the U.S. Air Force."
  18. ^ Mancari, Jim. "Great Irish Fair Honorees 2013", The Tablet, September 12, 2013. Accessed October 25, 2017. "Born in the Bronx, Keane grew up in Pearl River, N.Y., where she attended St. Margaret’s School and then went to Immaculate Heart Academy, an all-girls high school in Washington Township, N.J."
  19. ^ Kelly, Mike. "Mike Kelly: Image of former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly doesn't fit résumé" Archived 2014-01-13 at the Wayback Machine, The Record (Bergen County), January 9, 2014. Accessed January 18, 2014. "Kelly grew up in Ramsey, the daughter of Richard Daul, now the director of veterans services in the Bergen County government. In 1990, she graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in Washington Township."
  20. ^ Mazzola, Jessica. " Mahwah Beauty Queen Places Miss New Jersey Top 10The Miss Bergen County winner says pageants help her fight bullying", Mahwah Patch, August 1, 2012. Accessed October 25, 2017. "Moore, who attended through eighth grade and then graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy, is currently studying Computer Engineering and Math and Computer Science."
  21. ^ Sarah Pagano - 2012-13 Track and Field, Syracuse Orange. Accessed December 11, 2017. "Hometown: Ringwood, N.J.; High School: Immaculate Heart"
  22. ^ Winters, Debra. "Wayne native Tracey Wigfield scores Emmy for '30 Rock' writing", Wayne Today, September 27, 2013. Accessed October 27, 2013. "Wigfield graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy, an all girls school located in Washington Township, in 2001."
  23. ^ Kamińska, Paulina. "Interview with Alyssa Monks". Artophilia. Artophilia.

External links[edit]