St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 38°49′02″N 77°06′05″W / 38.8173°N 77.1015°W / 38.8173; -77.1015

St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School (SSSAS)
SSSAS Seal.jpg
Living Our Mission
Alexandria, Virginia
United States
Type Independent preparatory school
Established 1924
Head of school Kristen Adams
Grades JK - 12
Enrollment 1,123 (450 in Upper School)
Color(s) Red, White, Green,
Athletics Boys: Interstate Athletic Conference
Girls: Independent School League
Mascot Saints
Newspaper The Voice
Yearbook Traditions
Affiliation Episcopalian
Richard B. Lloyd House

St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School (SSSAS) is an independent Episcopal coed private college preparatory school in Alexandria, Virginia. The school was created from the 1991 merger of St. Agnes School (a girls school founded in 1924) with St. Stephen's School (a boys school founded in 1944). The school consists of three campuses within a 1.5-mile radius. The Lower School, grades JK-5, is located on Fontaine Street; the Middle School, grades 6-8, is located on Braddock Road; and the Upper School, grades 9-12, is located on St. Stephen's Road.

St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School serves students from across Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Currently enrolled students hail from the City of Alexandria, Arlington County, the City of Fairfax and Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, and the District of Columbia. The old St. Stephen's was one of the founding schools of the Interstate Athletic Conference, a league composed of private schools that once dominated the region's high school sports scene. With strong emphases on academics, arts, athletics, and community service, SSSAS regularly sends graduates to the Ivy League and other elite private colleges and universities. St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School also boasts a strong alumni network for graduates.


Advanced courses offered[edit]

Art History, Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Comparative Government, Economics (Micro and Macro), English, European History, French Language, Latin, Music Theory, Physics, Psychology, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, Statistics, Studio 2-D Art, Studio 3-D Art, US Government and Politics, and US History [1]


There are 1144 students total enrolled at SSSAS. The Lower School, representing Junior Kindergarten through Fifth grade, has 399 students with the following breakdown: 10 in Junior Kindergarten, 52 in Kindergarten, 57 in First grade, 66 in Second grade, 70 in Third grade, 73 in Fourth grade, and 71 in Fifth grade. The Middle School, representing grades 6 through 8, has 295 students total with the following breakdown: 103 in Sixth grade, 89 in Seventh grade, and 103 in Eighth grade. The Upper School, representing grades 9 through 12, has 450 students total with the following breakdown: 110 in Ninth grade, 108 in Tenth grade, 120 in Eleventh grade, and 112 in Twelfth grade.[1]


27% of the student population is students of color. 21% of students receive grants in aid.[1] 65% of the faculty holds advanced degrees.[2]


The school is governed by a Head of School, Kirsten Prettyman Adams, an Assistant Head of School, Bob Weiman, and a Board of Governors.

The Board of Governors consists of 27 members. Twenty-three members are elected, two serve ex officio and do not have voting rights, and two are non-voting members of the Association of Parents and Teachers and the Alumni Association. The Board is primarily responsible for the school's finances, and determines the school's long-term policies.

Honor code[edit]

St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School is known for its student-established honor system, which is modeled after the honor system at the University of Virginia. Its foundation, the Honor Code, states, As a member of the St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School community, I pledge that I will not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do. The student-run Honor Council is responsible for the administration of the Honor Code in the Upper School. Every year in the fall, at the beginning of the school-year, students pledge their commitment to the Honor System by signing copies of the Honor Code.[3]


St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School competes in the Interstate Athletic Conference (boys) and Independent School League (girls). The girls' lacrosse team is a perennial power, currently ranked in the top five in the nation, having finished the 2008 season undefeated. In 1997 the girl's lacrosse team was ranked #1 in the nation.[citation needed] The 2010 girls varsity lacrosse won the ISL league title and the VISAA State Championships. The in 2009, the girl’s lacrosse team won their third consecutive VISAA title as number one.[4]

The success of the girl’s lacrosse team lies behind Kathy Jenkins, the team’s coach. In 2008 Jenkins had been coaching the team for 32 years, and had even started the whole program along with Alix Fellows. Jenkins, who also works as a fifth grade PE teacher and coaches the seventh and eighth grade teams, works to teach girls how to play at a very young age,[5] and as one athlete puts it, "Coach Jenkins basically breeds lacrosse players".[6] Many of the varsity team has been at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes since the lower school, and so are raised by Jenkins to succeed in the sport. Jenkins teaches the girls initially to master a wooden lacrosse stick instead of a metal one, which she claims is easier to throw and catch with. Jenkins asserts that in order to be a top team, intensity and dedication are integral, but wishes that the girls on her team would feel less pressure.[5]

The school's wrestling program also has a rich history, regularly turning out state and IAC champions; three wrestlers to date have won the Lehigh National Prep Tournament, two of them twice. The 2010 varsity softball team won the ISL AA Tournament Championship and also finished the season tied for first place in the league. The 2010 boys varsity lacrosse team won the VISAA State Championship. The girls varsity tennis won the ISL Championship in 2010. The girls varsity field hockey also won the ISL and State Championships in 2010. Many St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School's athletes go on to play at the collegiate level each year. Recent SSSAS alumni compete for Wake Forest University, Yale University, Dartmouth College, The College of William and Mary, Denison University, Princeton University, Duke University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Kenyon College, Georgetown University, Columbia University, Norfolk State University, Davidson College, University of Virginia, Colgate University, Amherst College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Williams College, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Vanderbilt University, and University of Maryland, College Park, Oberlin College among other schools.

The sports offered include: baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling.[7]


The award winning school theatre program, known as the Stage One Players, has won several regional awards for their performances including the Cappies. The 2009 fall production of A Midsummer Night's Dream was nominated for four Cappie Awards (Critics and Artist Program) including lighting, make-up, and supporting actor, putting each in the top five out of 54 productions. The instrumental and choral programs also have particularly strong reputations. In 2010, students won seats in regional musical groups including the All-District Chorus and All-District Band, as well as participating in solo and ensemble juried events. In 2010, the Upper School String Orchestra received a rating of "Superior" as a level five orchestra at the District X Festival. Also in 2010, the Wind Ensemble received a rating of "Excellent" for the fifth straight year as a level four wind ensemble. In addition, more than 25 students have been inducted into the Tri-M, the high school music honors society.

In 2003, the school completed construction of a Chapel and Performing Arts Center (CPAC). The auditorium seats 500 and has complete blackout capability to darken the space during daylight hours. The stage is full-sized and is equipped with complete theater rigging, an S model Steinway baby grand piano, and complete sound and lighting systems. There is a green room equipped with audio of live on-stage acts and male and female dressing rooms with special lighting and paging systems. The CPAC also includes music classrooms, a recording studio, and a music library.


Students For Sustainability[edit]

St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School has a drive for sustainability. The school hosted the second, third, and fourth annual “Students For Sustainability” conference in 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively.[8] The third sustainability conference earned local recognition, where a few attendees were interviewed on by Fox 5 reporters.[9] Students For Sustainability is a conference in which approximately 100 students from the Washington D.C. metro area come together to learn about the issues and discuss plans for achieving better sustainability in schools.[10]


The cause for the school’s aim towards more sustainable options is to demonstrate to the students the importance of positive environmental changes. The school believes that in order to prepare their students for the world as it is in 2011, they must educate them on what the issues are and the role that human’s have played in its cause. The school seeks to see this through by creating a sustainability committee, a group of students, faculty, staff, and administrators from all three campuses who get together to achieve the school’s goals of sustainability.[11] St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes also has sustainability initiatives within each campus. At the lower school, there is Kinder Garden, a project in which the kindergarteners plant and maintain their own garden. Another is the Fifth Grade Sustainability Committee, a group of fifth grade students who oversee all smaller student-led projects. The middle school has Students Engaging in Environmental Dedication or SEED, where the students promote awareness of how an individual can make “green” choices and positively effect the environment. This group encourages students and faculty to engage in sustainable acts, and sets an example through their SEED garden. At the upper school, there is the Perkins Courtyard. The Perkins Courtyard is home to harvested vegetables and native plants maintained by the upper school students. The vegetables are served in the dining halls of all three campuses.[12]

Notable alumni[edit]

Additionally, John McCain, senator and Republican presidential candidate in 2000 and 2008, attended St. Stephen's from 1946 to 1949 before ultimately graduating from Episcopal High School in 1954.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Private School Review: St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School". Private School Review: St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School. 
  2. ^ "Prep School Review: St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School". Prep School Review: St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School. 
  3. ^ "St Stephens & St Agnes School Honor System". Retrieved 29 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Nelson, Jeff (17 May 2009). "Saints Win Third Straight VISAA Title". Saints Win Third Straight VISAA Title. 
  5. ^ a b "Lacrosse At Its Finest". Lacrosse At Its Finest. 
  6. ^ Nelson, Jeff (17 May 2009). "Third Straight VISAA Title". Third Straight VISAA Title. 
  7. ^ "Private School Review: St. Stephen's and St. Agnes". Private School Review: St. Stephen's and St. Agnes. 
  8. ^ "Students For Sustainability Conference". Students For Sustainability Conference. 
  9. ^ "Students Learn Environmental Responsibility at Students For Sustainability Conference". Students Learn Environmental Responsibility at Students For Sustainability Conference. 
  10. ^ "Sustainability S4S". Sustainability S4S. 
  11. ^ "Sustainability Overview". Sustainability Overview. 
  12. ^ "Campus Initiatives". Campus Initiatives.