Visitation Academy of St. Louis

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Visitation Academy of St. Louis (Viz)
3020 North Ballas Road
St. Louis, Missouri, (none) 63131
United States
Coordinates 38°38′12″N 90°26′29″W / 38.63667°N 90.44139°W / 38.63667; -90.44139Coordinates: 38°38′12″N 90°26′29″W / 38.63667°N 90.44139°W / 38.63667; -90.44139
Type Private, All-Girls
Motto Live + Jesus
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1833
Founder The founders of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary are St. Jane de Chantal and St. Francis de Sales
School number (314)-625-9100
Administrator Margaret Karl (Lower School), Jane Eshamann (Middle School)
Principal Barbra McMullen(Upper),
Margaret Karl (Lower)
Head of school Daniel M. Hildebrand (Interim)
Faculty 53 Full time,
21 part time
72% have advanced degrees
Grades PK12
Enrollment 622 (410 in 7-12) (2008)
Average class size About 80 girls[1]
Student to teacher ratio 9:1
Hours in school day 8 hours
Color(s) Red and White         
Song Visitation, We Thy Daughters
Athletics conference Metro Women’s Athletic Association
Nickname Viz
Team name Vivettes
Accreditation Independent School Association of the Central States
Average ACT scores 29[2]
Publication Vizions (literary magazine)
Newspaper Paper Moon
Yearbook Crescent
Tuition About $18,680[3]
Athletic Director Paul Stoecklin, Lisa Studnicki

Visitation Academy of St. Louis is a private, all-girls, Roman Catholic high school in St. Louis, Missouri. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Louis.


Visitation Academy was established in Kaskaskia, Illinois in 1833 by a group of sisters from the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. The group originated from the Georgetown Visitation Monastery in Washington, DC, and were invited by Bishop Joseph Rosati of St. Louis to start a school in the region.

The school moved to St. Louis in 1844, in part due to flooding in Kaskaskia. The school moved again in 1892 and moved once more to their current location in 1962.[4]


Visitation Academy is divided into three parts, the Lower School, the Middle School, the Upper School. The Lower School comprises preschool through fifth grade;The Middle School is for 6th through 8th grade;the Upper School is for 9th through twelfth grade. The school is co-educational in the preschool, which uses the Montessori method, and is single sex (girls) in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The Lower School is the only all-girls school in the St. Louis region.[5]

The school is known for its small size. The Lower School has approximately 200 students; the Upper School approximately 500.[6]


Visitation is known regionally for its rigorous academics. Students participate in the Advanced Placement (AP) program and in St. Louis University's 1818 college credit program.[7]

The school offers classes in Latin, Spanish, and French. Lower School students receive instruction in both French and Spanish. In seventh grade, all girls take Latin; in eighth grade, they choose to pursue either Spanish, Latin, or French for the remainder of their education.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


The Lower School competes in the Catholic Youth Council of St. Louis (CYC) in soccer, basketball, and volleyball.

The Upper School participates in the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA). Sports for fall include golf, tennis, softball, cross country, and field hockey, and volleyball. Winter sports include swimming, diving, racquetball, basketball, and cheerleading. In the spring, lacrosse, track and field, and soccer are played.

Fine arts[edit]

The Upper School stages several plays throughout the school year, including musicals, dramas, and student-directed plays.[8] The theater program auditions boys from area boys' schools or co-ed schools for male parts, and sometimes recruits girls from the Lower School for child parts, e.g. for the orphans during a staging of Oliver!.

The music program in the Upper School includes a vocal choir, a handbell choir, and a liturgical choir. Two concerts are staged each year, one in the spring and one at Christmas. The Lower School also holds Christmas and Spring concerts.[9]

The school has an art gallery where student work is displayed and, sometimes, sold. Art shows are also held in conjunction with the Upper School Spring and Christmas Concerts.

School song[edit]

Visitation, we thy daughters call to thee.

Proudly do we claim thee as our own. Loving mother, hear our voices as we gratefully proclaim the shining ways our youth has known.
Here then we beseech thee, grant we may not fail thee, may we hold thy vision 'ere in view.
Seeing, learning, loving, living, holding thee so dear. Our Visitation as thy daughters true.

Notable Alumnae[edit]

  • Madonna Buder, Catholic religious sister and triathlete, known as the Iron Nun[10]
  • Pauline Pfeiffer, second wife of Ernest Hemingway
  • Mary Daly Hickey, 1959, quilt designer, author and lecturer
  • Mary Engelbreit, 1970, graphic artist, designer, author, illustrator, entrepreneur
  • Lucille Mullhall, attended 1899-1900, America's first 'Cowgirl' declared by Teddy Roosevelt
  • Kiley Hunkler, 2009, 2013 Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, U.S. Military Academy graduate
  • Robin Jones Shields, 1975, captain, American Airlines, Boeing 747
  • Nancy Mogab, 1974, the first woman lawyer in the Eastern District elected to serve on the Appellate Judicial Commission
  • Loreto "Lori" Geisse, 1985, federal immigration judge, San Francisco
  • Wendy Wiese, 1979, television broadcaster, KMOX-AM, KTRS-AM

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]