Preston High School (New York City)

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Preston High School
Preston High School Bronx NY.jpeg
Main entrance.
2780 Schurz Avenue


United States
Coordinates40°48′50″N 73°49′10″W / 40.81389°N 73.81944°W / 40.81389; -73.81944Coordinates: 40°48′50″N 73°49′10″W / 40.81389°N 73.81944°W / 40.81389; -73.81944
TypePrivate, All-Female
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
PrincipalJane Grendell
Enrollment580 [1] (2015)
Student to teacher ratio13:1
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
PublicationVeritas (literary magazine)
NewspaperPreston Echoes
Tuition$10,900 (2017–18)
Dean of StudiesCynthia Chambers
Dean of StudentsAndrew Pipchinski
Admissions DirectorCristina Fragale
Athletic DirectorJamie Skrapits

Preston High School is a Roman Catholic high school for girl students and is located in the neighborhood of Throgs Neck in the New York City borough of the Bronx. Preston is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Preston’s enrollment is about 600 young women from the Bronx and the metropolitan surrounding areas. Fifty-one percent of students are minority, and 49 percent are white. The student-faculty ratio is 13 to one, and 100 percent of graduates are accepted into post-secondary institutions.


Preston High School was established in 1947 by the Sisters of the Divine Compassion, as an independent, college-preparatory school.[citation needed] The original school building, also known as "The Huntington Mansion" or "the mansion" to students & faculty, was the 19th century waterfront mansion of Collis P. Huntington, whose wife Arabella Duvall Huntington purchased the property from Frederick C. Havemeyer, Jr. in 1884.[3] Havemeyer lived there from 1863 when he purchased the property from the heirs of Dominick Lynch Lawrence.[4] Prestonites believe the mansion is haunted by a ghost named Archie.

The estate was sold to the Sisters of the Divine Compassion in 1927 and they established The House of the Holy Family as a residence and a school for girls. This was converted to a high school in 1947 and the name was changed in the memory of Monsignor Thomas Preston, who with Mother Mary Veronica (Mary Caroline Dannat Star) founded the Sisters of the Divine Compassion. The school was expanded in 1960 and in 1965 to add another building, referred to by students as the "new building". This new building included many more classrooms, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, a library and science labs. Over the years, a computer room was added as technology changed. The school's motto is "Virtus Mille Scuta," a Latin phrase meaning, "Virtue is a Thousand Shields." The school shield comprises the coat of arms of Monsignor Thomas Preston and the seal of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion. In 1997, on the school's fiftieth anniversary, the familiar school logo was modified to add elements of the official shield. The Throggs Neck Bridge is incorporated in the logo and represents the "bridge to opportunity," which represents the rite of passage of attending high school and moving on to be a productive member of the community and of society.


As all classes are college-preparatory, 100% of Preston students go on to attend university.[citation needed] Past graduates have attended Harvard, Yale, Brown, Cornell, Columbia, New York University, Vassar, Trinity, East Carolina University, and many other distinguished institutions. Students are urged to consider careers in all fields, especially those in which women are under-represented. Students are particularly encouraged to consider engineering, mathematics, early childhood education and computer science. The academic program is enriched by engineering exploration days, annual math and science contests, and numerous science and computer based electives. The school has equipped labs for computers, science, and mathematics. Advanced technologies are implemented for AP Calculus and related courses.

The average SAT score for graduating seniors is approximately 1510 on the 2400 scale, with a breakdown of 500 in both critical reading and mathematics, and a 510 average in writing. The school maintains excellent percentiles in the New York State Regents exams—particularly in the fields of English, Social Studies, and Humanities. Foreign language proficiency is also prominent at Preston. Italian, Spanish, and Latin classes are mandatory for all students and courses are available for advanced speakers. The school serves the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, but is not directly affiliated with a particular parish. Rather, the school continues in the tradition of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion. The building actually served as the residence for the school's sisters until the summer of 2004, when their apartments were converted to accommodate a growing student body.

Notable alumnae[edit]

  • Jennifer Lopez (1987), Singer, dancer, actress. Lopez rose to fame for her Golden Globe–nominated role as the slain Tejano singer in the 1997 film Selena. Lopez has also released multi–platinum solo albums such as On the 6, J.Lo, This is Me...Then and Rebirth.[2]
  • Lynda Lopez (1989), New York news anchor, journalist, former DJ and VJ and host of the GLOW television show. Lopez is the younger sister of Jennifer Lopez.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Niche - Preston High School - Bronx, NY
  2. ^ MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Archived from the original on 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
  3. ^ "Land Records". Office of the Westchester County Clerk. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Land Records". Office of the Westchester County Clerk. Retrieved 1 April 2016.

External links[edit]