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Academy of the Holy Angels

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Title: Academy of the Holy Angels  
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Subject: Big North Conference, New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, Indian Hills High School (New Jersey), Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, Academy of St. Aloysius
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Academy of the Holy Angels

Academy of the Holy Angels
Vitae Via Virtus
"Let virtue be your way of life"
315 Hillside Avenue
Demarest, NJ, 07627
United States
Type Private, All-Female, High school
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1879
Oversight Archdiocese of Newark
CEEB Code 310-390
President Melinda Hanlon
Principal Jennifer Moran
Faculty 46.5[1]
Grades 912
Enrollment 539[1] (2009-2010)
Grade 9 145
Grade 10 135
Grade 11 134
Grade 12 125
Average class size 19
Student to teacher ratio 11:1[1]
Campus size 25 acres (100,000 m2)
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Blue and White         
Song AHA Alma Mater
Athletics conference Big North Conference
Team name Angels
Rival Immaculate Heart Academy, Paramus Catholic High School
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Publication Blueprint (literary magazine)
AHA International (international events newsletter)
Newspaper The AHA Voice
Yearbook Echoes
Tuition $15,495 (2013-14)[3]
Affiliation School Sisters of Notre Dame
Dean of Students Jean Mullooly
Admissions Director Michèle Sovak
Athletic Director Patti Gorsuch

The Academy of the Holy Angels is an all-female Roman Catholic college preparatory high school located in Demarest, Bergen County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in ninth through twelfth grade.[4] The school operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.[5] The Academy of the Holy Angels draws students from North Jersey, Rockland County, New York, and surrounding areas.

As of the 2009-10 school year, the school had an enrollment of 539 students and 46.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis) for a Student–teacher ratio of 11.6:1.[1]

The Academy of the Holy Angels is a member of the National Catholic Educational Association and the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools.[6]


"Rooted in the conviction of the School Sisters of Notre Dame that 'the world can be changed through the transformation of persons,' education at the Academy empowers each young woman to reach the fullness of her potential spiritually, morally, intellectually, socially, and physically, so that she, in turn, may share her gifts with others. The vision of a new global community based on gospel values permeates life at the Academy, impelling each young woman to embrace generous leadership."[7]


The Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private school in Bergen County. Founded in 1879 by Sister Mary Nonna Dunphy, one of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the school was opened in Fort Lee, New Jersey as a boarding and day school for girls from kindergarten to twelfth grade. In 1890 it was incorporated as Holy Angels, Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies and Preparatory School for Little Girls. Its motto was then and remains now "Vitae Via Virtus." The Holy Angels Board voted to change the name of the school to the Academy of the Holy Angels in 1934 when Sister M. Angeline Hughes was Principal. The school accepted a developer's offer for the school's location in Fort Lee and purchased a large property in Demarest. The school had operated a grammar school in addition to the high school for decades and many graduates were known as "12 year Angels." The grammar school was discontinued completely in 1964 prior to the move from Fort Lee. Building commenced and the school relocated to its current location in Demarest in 1965.[8]

Awards and recognition

During the 1999-2000 school year, the Academy of the Holy Angels was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.[9][10]

Furthermore, the Corporation for National Service selected the Academy of the Holy Angels as a National Service-Learning Leader School, due to its excellence in service learning. Holy Angels is one of two Catholic high schools nationwide to receive this honor.[11]

Middle States accreditation

The school is accredited by the [2] AHA chose Accreditation for Growth, a strategic planning method in which diverse constituent groups participate in discussions, which are then used as a method for growth and improvement, both academically by the students, as well as by the institution.[12]


Since 2007, upon entering the school, each student is required to buy a Fujitsu Tablet, which students use these tablets during school and at home to complete assignments, access the internet for research, take notes, as well as communicate with the faculty. Equipped with a pen and with a screen that can function as a notebook, students are able to use these tablets for all subjects such as History and Math. Features such as the Dropbox and Student Commons allow students to access notes and papers from the teachers on the school network, as well as place their own completed assignments within the folders on the network and, in effect, decrease the amount of paper used.

In addition, AHA is currently using Turnitin, a website that scans finished papers and assignments for plagiarism and helps prevent it as well. Beginning with the class of 2011, AHA has recently introduced LiveText, an online storage site in which each student is able to upload their best papers and projects, ultimately creating their own ‘online resume.’ With this new addition, each student is given an edge that many students from other schools do not have as this program allows each student to create their own video introducing themselves to prospective colleges.


Holy Angels is a top-performing Bergen County school in Fine Arts. In 2014, AHA was the only Bergen County Catholic High School to receive Gold and Silver Regional Awards in the prestigious Scholastic Arts Competition. A total of 41 Scholastic Awards in diverse areas of fine arts, including Painting, Photography, Drawing, Digital Art, Jewelry, and Architecture were awarded to AHA students, as well as a Gold National Scholastic Art Award for Photography. In recent years, students have also been the recipients of the Pentel Art Award, the Papermill Playhouse Award for Best Graphic Design, and the Bucknell Art Department Art History Scholarship. Fine Arts courses at AHA include Graphic Arts, Digital Design, Painting, Photography, Color & Design, Drawing, Visual Arts I and II, AP Studio Art: 2-D Design, AP Studio Art: Drawing, and AP Art History. A special portfolio course, Studio I Honors, is also offered to art-track students. AHA facilities include four art studios and a lab for digital media. Winter and Spring Art Shows are held annually to feature artists. The school also has an active chapter of the National Art Honor Society, Art Club, and Photography Club.


The Academy of the Holy Angels provides a range of clubs and organizations that students can join based on their own interests and availability. In addition to after-school activities, the schedule of AHA allows a 45-minute activity period at the end of the day once a cycle, during which students can participate in in-school clubs and organizations. There are two cycles that alternate, and students can, therefore, choose two in-school activities to participate in.

In-School activities

  • AHAnime
  • Armenian Club
  • Art for the Community
  • Asian Cultural Society
  • Black and Hispanic Cultural Society
  • Blueprint Literary Magazine
  • Book Club
  • Comic Book Heroes on Film
  • CSI Angels
  • Deep Relaxation
  • Drama Club
  • Echoes Yearbook
  • Embroidery Club
  • French Club
  • French for Travelers
  • Go Green
  • History Society
  • I'm Puzzled
  • Instrumental Ensemble/Orchestra
  • International Students Club
  • Italian Club
  • Japanese Club
  • Latin Dancing
  • Lean In
  • Literature on Film
  • Math Club/3D Design
  • Math Tutoring
  • M.E.D.S.
  • Music Makers
  • Outreach
  • Pen Pals
  • Project Greenhouse
  • Quillow 101
  • Quick and Easy Crafts
  • Real Life 101
  • Roman Personalities on Film
  • SADD
  • Scrabble, Checkers, Chess
  • Spanish Club
  • Student Athletic Association
  • Student Council
  • Study Period
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Yoga
  • Young Entrepreneur

After-School activities

  • Academy Chorus
  • Advisory Council
  • AHA Dance Team
  • AHA Voice (newspaper)
  • AHAnime
  • Angel Ambassadors
  • Angels for Animals
  • Angels For Life
  • Angels over Africa
  • Art Club
  • Asian Cultral Society
  • Big/Little Sister
  • Black & Hispanic Cultural Association
  • Blueprint (literary magazine)
  • Book Club
  • Chess
  • CSI Angels (Forensics)
  • Dean's Council
  • Debate
  • Drama Club
  • Drawing from Model
  • Echoes (yearbook)
  • Embriodery
  • E-portfolio
  • Equality Now
  • Equestrian
  • Eucharistic Ministers
  • French Club
  • Gaelic Club
  • GO Green
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Handbell
  • Honduras Club
  • Instrumental Ensemble
  • Italian Club
  • Jazz Band
  • Jeweled Angels
  • JOY (Joining Old & Young)
  • Just Angels
  • Knitwits
  • Korean Club
  • Liturgical Ministers
  • Math Club
  • MEDS
  • Middle Eastern Club
  • Mock Trial
  • Model UN
  • Music Makers
  • Operation Smile
  • Orchestra
  • Outreach
  • Photography
  • Quidditch
  • Retreat Leadership Teams
  • SADD
  • Service Organizations
  • Space Angels
  • Spanish Club
  • Stress Busters
  • Student Athletic Association
  • Student Council
  • Theater Productions
  • Vocal Ensemble
  • Walking for Fitness
  • Watercolor Painting
  • Writers' Club

Honors Societies

  • La Societa Onoraria Italica (Italian Language)
  • Mu Alpha Theta (ΜΑΘ - Math Society)
  • National Honor Society
  • National Science Honor Society
  • NBEA (National Business Honor Society)
  • Rho Kappa (National Social Studies Honor Society)
  • Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica (Spanish Language)
  • Societas Latina Honoris (Latin Language)
  • Societe Honoraire de Francaise (French Language)
  • Thespian Honor Society (Performing Arts)
  • Tri-M Honor Society (Music)


The Academy of the Holy Angels now competes in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.[14] Prior to realignment in 2010, the school competed in the North Bergen Interscholastic Athletic League, which consisted of public and private high schools located in Bergen County.[15] Basketball coach Susan Liddy was recognized in the fall of 2008 for having reached a milestone 600th win.[16]

The Academy of the Holy Angels has a long-standing rivalry with fellow Catholic school, Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township.[17]

The cross country team won the Non-Public A state titles in both 2006 and 2009.[18]

Below is a listing of the sports offered to students at AHA:[19]

Fall Sports

Winter Sports

Spring Sports

Alma Mater

The official alma mater for Holy Angels was written by Margaret Mary Powers Gidez (Class of 1942). The original lyrics of the first two lines were, "With stately dome arising high and golden cross above." When the Academy relocated to Demarest in 1965 lyrics were changed to reflect the move.


With heads bared we stand
With land that’s new, tradition strong
With guidance from above,
Imbued by age with majesty
Embracing all in love;
Our surest refuge and our stay,
Undimmed by storm or strife,
Thy guiding light burns all the years
Protecting us through life.
Blaze in deathless glory;
Carve on souls thy name.
Thy strength is in thy children
Chanting out thy fame.
And as years go winging
Never touching thee,
We shall e’er be singing
Hail all hail to thee.
We shall e’er be singing
Alma Mater, all hail!



  1. ^ a b c d Academy of the Holy Angels, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed July 4, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Academy of the Holy Angels, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed July 4, 2011.
  3. ^ Scholarship & Financial Info, Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed November 26, 2014.
  4. ^ Holy Angels - Greetings, Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 2, 2009.
  5. ^ Bergen County High Schools, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. Accessed July 4, 2011.
  6. ^ School Search, New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. Accessed July 4, 2011.
  7. ^ Mission and Goals, Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 10, 2009.
  8. ^ "Holy Angels - History", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 2, 2009.
  9. ^ Schools Recognized 1982-1983 Through 1999-2002, p. 52, Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Accessed July 4, 2011.
  10. ^ "Holy Angels - Blue Ribbon School of Excellence", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 10, 2009.
  11. ^ "Holy Angels - National Service-Learning Leader School", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 10, 2009.
  12. ^ "Holy Angels - Middle States", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 9, 2009.
  13. ^ "Clubs & Teams Activities Handbook" Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 15, 2009.
  14. ^ League Memberships – 2012-2013, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 27, 2012.
  15. ^ New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association League Memberships – 2009-2010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 4, 2012.
  16. ^ "Hall of Fame: Inductee Susan Liddy reached milestone." Tidings 2 (Winter 2009): 15.
  17. ^ Chessari, Joe. "AHA, IHA READY TO REKINDLE BUDDING RIVALRY", The Record (Bergen County), February 14, 1999. Accessed October 26, 2007. "It's a friendly rivalry, this one between the girls basketball teams of Academy of the Holy Angels and Immaculate Heart Academy."
  18. ^ Cross Country State Group Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 1, 2011.
  19. ^ "Holy Angels - Athletics", Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed April 12, 2009.
  20. ^ "AHA Alma Mater" Academy of the Holy Angels. Accessed December 6, 2014.

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