National Cathedral School

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The National Cathedral School for Girls
National Cathedral School Seal.jpg
Mount Saint Alban
Washington, D.C. 20016
United States
Type Private, day, college prep
Motto Noblesse Oblige (French)
("Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." St. Luke XII, 48)
Religious affiliation(s) Episcopal
Patron saint(s) Hilda of Whitby
Established 1900
Head of School Kathleen O'Neill Jamieson
Faculty ~70
Grades 412
Gender Girls
Enrollment ~580
Student to teacher ratio 8:1
Color(s) Purple and gold
Slogan "We believe in the power of young women."
Athletics conference ISL
Team name Eagles
Accreditation MSA

National Cathedral School (NCS) is an independent Episcopal private day school for girls located on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., United States. Founded by philanthropist and suffragist Phoebe Apperson Hearst and Bishop Henry Yates Satterlee in 1900, NCS is the oldest of the institutions constituting the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation.

The school[edit]

Woodley North Classroom building
Hearst Hall

NCS has about 580 students in grades 4 through 12. Its mascot is the eagle. Its brother school, St. Albans, and the shared coeducational elementary school (K-3), Beauvoir,[1] are also located on the 57-acre (230,000 m2) Cathedral Close in Northwest Washington near the Washington National Cathedral. Kathleen O'Neill Jamieson is the Head of School.[2] The school motto is "Noblesse Oblige" ("Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required," St. Luke XII, 48).


As the National Cathedral School is chartered by the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation, and is a selective Episcopal School, it holds a mandatory chapel service for Upper School students on "G" days, and on "C" days it holds a morning service in the National Cathedral for all students. Graduation is held in the Washington National Cathedral. However, students of various religions attend the school, and the chapel services are generally ecumenical in nature.

Flag Day, when academic awards are given to students, is held the day before commencement. The ceremony is held on the northwest lawn of the Cathedral grounds, next to Hearst Hall. Graduating seniors wear white dresses or pantsuits and carry a bouquet of roses as they process into the outdoor ceremony. The final award, given to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average, is an American flag.

The school's patron saint is Hilda of Whitby.

The school has charity functions and music and choral performances.

Final Cathedral services for the year include the induction of seniors into the Alumnae Association at the Alumnae Service and a "Senior Service" in which the graduating seniors plan and run the service.

NCS also has two school hymns, one dating back to the beginning of the school, and one for the school's centennial celebration composed by Richard Wayne Dirksen, former director of the National Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys.

Extracurriculars and clubs[edit]

Extracurriculars include student government (grades 7-12), two student newspapers, literary publications (including Half in Earnest), Mitre (a yearbook), and more than 30 different clubs, including the BSU (Black Student Union), GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance), Model U.N., Vestry, Chorale, Madrigal Singers, Choristers, and Service Board.

Students from classes 7-12 can serve as acolytes for the school's cathedral services.

NCS students also have the unique opportunity of participating in the Whitechapel Guild to learn traditional change ringing on the cathedral bells.

Notable alumnae[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Beauvoir
  2. ^ [1] National Cathedral School
  3. ^ "National Cathedral School ~ Election Experts Speak at NCS". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  4. ^ "Rob Carter's Story • Strive: A Campaign for St. Albans". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  5. ^ "Family Assets - Al Gore, Kristin Gore :". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  6. ^ Tapper, Jake. "Daddy's girl". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  7. ^ Tribune, Chicago. "Libby Fischer Hellmann follows suspenseful new paths". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  8. ^ "National Cathedral School ~ Lynda Bird Johnson Robb '62 Recalls Her NCS Days". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  9. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (January 25, 2014). "Old Democratic Name (Nunn) Stakes Bid on Shifting Georgia". The New York Times. p. A1. 
  10. ^ "ComPost". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 14, 2012. 
  11. ^ Pickert, Kate (December 2, 2008). "2-Minute Bio: Susan E. Rice". Time Magazine. Retrieved November 14, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Virgil E. McMahan (1995). The Artists of Washington, D.C., 1796–1996. Artists of Washington. ISBN 978-0-9649101-0-2. 

Coordinates: 38°55′53″N 77°04′20″W / 38.9313°N 77.0722°W / 38.9313; -77.0722