Hockaday School

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The Hockaday School
Hockaday coat of arms
11600 Welch Road


Coordinates32°54′27″N 96°49′38″W / 32.907400°N 96.827190°W / 32.907400; -96.827190Coordinates: 32°54′27″N 96°49′38″W / 32.907400°N 96.827190°W / 32.907400; -96.827190
TypePrivate, Day & Boarding, College-prep
MottoVirtus Scientia
(Virtue through knowledge)
FounderEla Hockaday
HeadmistressDr. Karen Warren Coleman
Number of students1,089
Campus100 acres (0.40 km2)
Athletics conferenceSPC
Sports13 sports teams
MascotUnicorn, Killer Daisy
PublicationVibrato; The Fourcast
Tuition$25,000- $55,000
Brother schools

The Hockaday School is an independent, secular, college preparatory day and boarding school for girls located in Dallas, Texas, USA. The boarding school is for girls in grades 8–12 and the day school is from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. The Hockaday School is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest.


The School was founded in 1913 by Ela Hockaday in response to parental demand for a preparatory day school for girls. She added a junior college in 1931 which operated until 1951.[1] The first class consisted of only ten students. Sarah Trent was one of the first teachers at the school and was influential in its development. As of the 1940 census, Ela Hockaday was living at the school that was located in the block between 5601 Bonita and 2407 Greenvile Avenue in Dallas.[2]

Hockaday founded her school on four cornerstones that were to form the basis of the students' educations: character, courtesy, scholarship, and athletics. Today, the Founder's Day award is the most noteworthy award a graduating senior can receive; the honor is given to young women who best exemplify these four cornerstones.


Hockaday's Residence Department boards 74 students from 8 states and 12 countries. Girls who board live in one of the School's two dormitories—Morgan and Trent. Hockaday Boarders take advantage of the educational offerings of Hockaday as well as extracurricular activities, including sports, clubs and organizations, and community service. In addition, Hockaday Boarders have their own student (House) Council and participate in a number of trips, outings and events organized by the school.

Campus facilities[edit]

The academic classrooms for the Middle and Upper Schools are held in two adjoining and parallel two-story buildings near the center of campus recently renovated in 2005. They house Hockaday's Middle and Upper School Foreign Language, History, English, and Math classes in addition to two student commons and break-out study rooms.

The Lyda Hill Steam Institute has chemistry, physics, and biology labs as well as an outdoor green area, Idea Labs equipped with two 3D printers, an engineering lab, a planetarium, and Clements Lecture Hall.

The Nasher-Haemisegger Fine Arts Center, completed in 2016, is home to the majority of Hockaday's fine arts courses and features an art studio, a black box theater, a choir room, an orchestra room, several rooms in which students can practice or hold private vocal and instrument lessons, a state of the art theater, a ceramics studio, an art gallery, a room dedicated to set design for theater productions, and various other common rooms and study areas.

Completed in 2002, the Liza Lee Academic Research Center, known as the ARC, is a facility that houses Hockaday's libraries, technology hub, science exploration lab, audiovisual editing bays, and publications rooms.

The Lacerte family gymnasium, known as the Small Gym, contains two basketball courts, Hockaday's indoor pool, and a variety of equipment. Middle and Upper School physical education and wellness classes take place in the Penson Athletic Center.

Adjoining the Penson Athletic Center, Hockaday's Wellness Center, completed in 2003, includes the 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) Hill Family Fitness Center, a 1,800-square-foot (170 m2) aerobics room with aerobic and resistance equipment, and athletic training facilities that are equipped for the treatment of sports-related injuries.

Hockaday's athletic fields are located east of Penson Athletic Center. They include five playing fields, a softball diamond and an all-weather six-lane track. The tennis center includes a covered gallery and 10 tennis courts, some of which are lit.

The Ashley H. Priddy Lower School building adjoins the Liza Lee Academic Research Center. The artwork of Lower School students lines the hallways; and a large common room is the stage for special events, such as Pioneer Day and the Medieval Festival. The Lower School building also houses an art room and several music rooms as well as a French café.

The Lower School Addition, which houses pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and primer classrooms, opened in the fall of 2001. Each room features hand-painted tiles created by the Lower School girls themselves and child-height cooking and food preparation areas. The space is finished with a wall of windows that look out on Hockaday's playground, the duck pond, and the new Wellness Center.


The tuition averages $32,000 for upper school day students (not including books). For resident students, costs are approximately $52,828 - $54,191. Financial aid is granted on the basis of demonstrated family need and the school's availability of funds. In 2015-2016, 16% of the Hockaday student body received financial aid.[3]


Athletics are another aspect of student life at Hockaday. Hockaday competes in the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) in 11 sports: basketball, cross-country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

Hockaday has won SPC Championships in basketball (2008), field hockey (2010 and 2014), golf (2008, 2011 and 2012), soccer (2008, 2011 and 2012), swimming & diving (2008 and 2009), tennis (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016), Cross Country (2011) and volleyball (2008). Hockaday lacrosse was named 2008, 2009, and 2012 Texas State Division I Champions and the 2010 and 2017 Texas League Lacrosse North District Division I Champions. The basketball and field hockey teams won Division II titles in 2010. Seven seniors from the Class of 2010 signed as student athletes in soccer, tennis, track, rowing and swimming.

From age four, girls participate in daily PE classes, and even in high school, students must participate in either physical education class or athletics (varsity, junior varsity, or out-of-school with demonstrated level of intensity) during every quarter.

Clubs and organizations[edit]

Some of the more popular clubs are Model United Nations, Quizbowl, Junior Engineering Technical Society and Robotics club, Mosaico (the Spanish literary magazine), ORFF, Math Club, SCRATCH(a computer coding program), as well as Junior World Affairs Council (JWAC). If a particular club does not exist, students may enlist a faculty sponsor, recruit members, and create a chapter on campus.

Middle School and Upper School schoolers are given the opportunity to contribute to various student-run publications. In Middle School students learn leadership and responsibility in addition to journalism skills as they write, edit and conduct interviews for Newsway, a student-run newspaper that is published several times a year. Currently, Newsway is an option on elective choices. It is not required for Middle Schoolers to attend this elective, but those who choose it may.

Students are active in several publications. In Upper School, students have the opportunity to experience the atmosphere and process of a professional newspaper while working on The Fourcast. The Vibrato literary magazine also showcases the works of upper school students. It was recently inducted into the NSPA (National Scholastic Press Association) Hall of Fame for earning 10 All-American ratings in an 11-year stretch. Vibrato was also ranked the top high school literary magazine in the country in 2016 by NSPA, while that organization ranked the yearbook and newspaper among the top three publications of their type in the U.S.[4] The Middle Schoolers also put out Banner, a literary magazine which teaches them skills in editing and drawing, layout and design, cooperation, and judging works anonymously.

Beginning in the fifth grade there are areas for extracurricular leadership by serving as a club officer or participating in an elected council. Upper schoolers may participate in student government, community service board, the honor council, athletic board, fine arts board, technology board, form council (grades 9-12 are referred to as forms I-IV), academic council and house council (boarding department governing system) as well.

The School has a community service program, which operates in conjunction with St. Mark's. In the middle school, each grade level is required to do service, with supervision by the school, with St. Marks. The program later requires every upper school student to perform at least 15 hours of service every year, although many students far exceed this quota. H-Club, the school's hosts and tour guide society, is a popular program. Another notable organization is Hockaday's debate team, which ranks in the top five nationally for secondary schools.

Notable alumnae[edit]


  1. ^ "Ela Hockaday". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  2. ^ 1940 U.S. Census, ED: 255-38 Page 28-9
  3. ^ "Affording a Hockaday Education" (PDF). Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Cheryl Hall: Ex-Hockaday girl wrangles wrestlers". Dallas Morning News. 2005-09-27. Retrieved 2006-08-22.
  6. ^ The Hockaday School (2005-06-20). "Hockaday Alumna Wins Tony Award". Alumnae News. Archived from the original on 2007-05-26. Retrieved 2006-08-22.
  7. ^ Associated Press (2000-04-04). "Bush used private school option". Archived from the original on 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2006-08-22.
  8. ^ They're Engaged!, San Antonio Express-News, April 16, 1961
  9. ^ NNDB. "Patricia Richardson". Retrieved 2006-08-22.

External links[edit]