Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart

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Woodlands Academy of the
Sacred Heart
760 East Westleigh Road
Lake Forest, Illinois 60045
United States
Coordinates42°14′0″N 87°49′43″W / 42.23333°N 87.82861°W / 42.23333; -87.82861Coordinates: 42°14′0″N 87°49′43″W / 42.23333°N 87.82861°W / 42.23333; -87.82861
TypePrivate, boarding & day school
MottoExcellence in leadership: Women for Tomorrow
DenominationRoman Catholic
PrincipalChris Schmidt
Head of schoolMeg Steele
Student to teacher ratio8:1
Color(s)Red and White         
Athletics conferenceIndependent School League
Team nameWildcats
AccreditationNorth Central Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
PublicationLa Nouvelle (literary magazine)
WAstyle (style magazine)
NewspaperThe Woodlander
Tuition$22,500 (Day)
$40,150 (Boarding)
AffiliationSociety of the Sacred Heart

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart (Woodlands, WA, or WASH) is a private, Roman Catholic girls' high school in Lake Forest, Illinois, north of Chicago. Founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart, it is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago but is run by lay staff with several Sisters sitting on the Board of Trustees.


The Convent of the Sacred Heart was established in 1858 by Mother Margaret Crawley RSCJ.[2] In 1860 it moved to its new premises in Taylor Street and was renamed Academy of the Sacred Heart. In 1904, the Sisters moved the school to Lake Forest, Illinois, on the outskirts of Chicago. The now-defunct Barat College was founded in 1918 and the college and academy shared the large "Old Main" building. In 1961 the present name "Woodlands Academy" was adopted following a restructuring of the elementary and secondary schools. Donors later purchased the premises of the former Barat College and donated it to the academy, reuniting the campus with its roots.[3]

Student life[edit]


Woodlands competes in the Independent School League (ISL), and as a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). WA sponsors volleyball, tennis, field hockey, basketball, soccer, and softball as varsity sports. The school sponsors golf as a club sport, in addition to being affiliated with North Suburban Crew and the Lake Forest Scouts ice hockey team to permit participation in crew and ice hockey.[4]


  • W.A.C.O.R: Woodlands Academy Council of Representatives.
  • Service Club: each advisory (see above definition) elects a member to represent them and report back information pertaining to service.
  • H.O.P.E. (Help Others Protect Esteem)
  • Campus Ministry
  • Spirit Club
  • Baking Club
  • French Club
  • Audio Visual Club
  • Common Ground
  • Japanese Animation Club
  • Recycling Awareness Group
  • Harry Potter Forum
  • La Nouvelle (A literary magazine)
  • WAstyle (style magazine)


Over the over 150 years of the school's existence, a number of secular and religious traditions have evolved, some of which are unique to Woodlands:[5]

  • Congé is a day when classes are cancelled and students spend the rest of the day having fun. It is often not announced in advance.
  • Sacred Heart Awards are awards given to two members of each class and a faculty member at the end of each quarter. Students submit nominations based on compassion and service.
  • Goûter are snacks and other refreshments which are served on special occasions, or as a surprise to students and staff.
  • Wildcat of the Week Award is a spirit award given to students who show the most school spirit. The winner is decided by the student council.
  • Cache Cache is a French game of hide and seek played on special days throughout the year.
  • Red and White Days are days when students are allowed to dress out of uniform while wearing the school's colors.
  • Honors Assemblies are held twice a year to honor academic achievement.
  • May Crowning is a traditional Catholic ceremony which honors Mary, by crowning a statue of her with a wreath of flowers. Students and faculty choose the participants.
  • A Ring Ceremony is held every Spring where Juniors are given their school rings by members of the senior class.
  • Lambs at the Crib is a Christmas tradition involving the school's crèche scene. Each student is assigned a figurine of a lamb to place by the scene, and moves it closer to the manger as students complete projects or good works.
  • Switch Night is a night when the non-boarding students spend the night at the boarding house.
  • Feast of Mater Admirabilis is an October religious celebration which honors Mary, and the sophomore class.
  • Mass of the Holy Spirit and Flag Ceremony is a celebration of the school's diversity. The celebration begins with a procession of students and staff carrying the flags of their homelands to the chapel for mass. The flags remain in the chapel for the remainder of the year.
  • Feast of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne is celebrated each year to honor the saint who brought the message of Sacred Heart education from France to North America in 1818.

Notable alumnae[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
  2. ^ "School Mission Statement". Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
  3. ^ Our History
  4. ^ "Athletics". Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Woodlands Traditions". Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
  6. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20160313062903/http://www.woodlandsacademy.org/news/item/index.aspx?linkid=842&moduleid=52
  7. ^ Mullery, Virginia (14 January 1996), "Star ingredients: Actress Susan Saint James takes center...", Chicago Tribune, retrieved 20 December 2010, Star ingredients: Actress Susan Saint James takes center stage with her recipe for pasta sauce in the new hardcover cookbook "Secrets of the Sacred Heart," compiled by the Woodlands Academy Mothers' Club. Saint James, an alumnus of the Lake Forest school, said she got the recipe from "a nice lady in the supermarket."
  8. ^ "OnQ: Woodlands celebrates 150 years of Sacred Heart education", Lake Forester (Lake Forest, IL, USA), 2 October 2008, retrieved 20 December 2010, Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart will feature alumna and actress Susan St. James speaking at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Woodlands Chapel ...
  9. ^ Goudie, Chuck (24 June 2009). "N. Shore native is jilted wife in gov scandal". article. ABC 7 News Chicago. Retrieved 20 December 2010. When Jenny Sullivan was growing up in north suburban Winnetka and attending the prominent Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart college prep in Lake Forest, she must have learned a few things about forgiveness ... Now, as the spurned spouse of high-profile Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) she is turning the other cheek.
  10. ^ Borrelli, Christopher (18 February 2010), "Winnetka native Jenny Sanford comes home: Dignity intact, the admired wife of a scandalized governor returns to Winnetka", Chicago Tribune, retrieved 20 December 2010, Asked at the Four Seasons about her childhood, Sanford spoke of field hockey and horseback riding in Lake Forest ... She attended grade school at Faith, Hope & Charity in Winnetka ... and she went to high school at Woodlands Academy in Lake Forest, then graduated from Georgetown University.

External links[edit]