Saint Joseph Preparatory High School
|Mount Saint Joseph Academy (Boston, Massachusetts)|
Mount Saint Joseph Academy (Boston, Massachusetts)
617 Cambridge Street
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Head of school||Thomas Nunan Jr.|
|Color(s)||Maroon and Navy Blue|
|Athletics conference||Catholic Conference|
|Team name||The Phoenix|
|Accreditation||New England Association of Schools and Colleges|
|Affiliation||Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston|
Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, formerly the Mount Saint Joseph Academy, is a Catholic, college-preparatory high school founded. Its most recent organization followed upon the 2012 closings of Mount Saint Joseph Academy and Trinity Catholic High School. The school occupies Mount Saint Joseph Academy's former campus, and both institutions were named in honor of Saint Joseph.
The school was founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston. When the Sisters of St. Joseph settled in Boston in 1873, they continued their educational ministry begun in Brooklyn, NY. In 1884, under the leadership of Mother Mary Regis and Msgr. Magennis, they purchased and remodeled the Fresh Pond Hotel in Cambridge, converting the property into an academy for young ladies, known as Mount Saint Joseph Academy. The academy, a boarding school for elementary and high school girls, opened on September 7, 1885 to educate and prepare students with a secular education combined with Catholic religious instruction.
When the school opened eleven students attended. These young ladies were taught by Mother Regis and three other sisters, S. Mary Agnes, S. Mary Genevieve and S. St. James. On June 29, 1886, the Mount held its first commencement exercises, graduating three students.
In May 1891, the Academy was forced to relocate. The City of Cambridge reclaimed the land at Fresh Pond by public domain, and the school moved to its present site in Brighton, Massachusetts in 1892. The formal opening and dedication of the new Academy in Brighton was held on the Feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, 1892. The faculty, which initially consisted of four Sisters of Saint Joseph, has expanded to include professional members of religious congregations and lay people. Since then the Sisters of Saint Joseph, along with many lay women and men, have worked on the mission of its founders, "to cultivate the intellect and make a special training of the heart."
The classroom building opened in 1913, and originally served girls from grades one through twelve. It had dormitories and private rooms for the seniors on the fifth floor, two large rooms for elementary students on the fourth floor, and included large classrooms, an auditorium, music rooms, two science laboratories, dining and day student locker areas. As the enrollment expanded dormitories were converted into classrooms. In the early 1950s the elementary school was closed, and by the end of that decade all boarding was discontinued. Since then, Mount Saint Joseph Academy has served as a high school for young women in grades nine through twelve.
During the next several decades the school continued to grow, and physical and program changes were made. In 1964, the gymnasium and the cafeteria were built. In the 1980s, the science laboratory and the guidance facilities were restructured. In 1983, the Congregation separately incorporated Mount Saint Joseph Academy. A Board of Trustees was composed of nine lay persons together with six Sisters of Saint Joseph.
In the early 1980s, the religious identity of the student population become more diverse. In response to this change, the services offered by Campus Ministry were expanded to maintain the Catholic identity of Mount Saint Joseph Academy. As part of the Academy's mission to foster its students' spiritual development, the chapel in the Motherhouse continued to be used for religious celebrations and important selected school events.
In the 1990s a computer classroom was added to the school. The science laboratory was renovated, and further additions to the school in the 1990s included the installation of tennis courts and a softball field.
In 2012, Mount Saint Joseph Academy closed its doors as an all girls school to later reopen as the coed Saint Joseph Preparatory High School. Saint Joseph Preparatory High School has stated that they are striving to create "a rigorous academic program...grounded in Christian values and morals."
- Maura Hennigan, former Boston City Councilor
- Frances Sweeney (1908-1944), anti-fascist activist and journalist