Our Mission & History

Mission

At Nazareth Academy High School we live our mission each day through our caring, family atmosphere.

Embracing faith, family, and education, we challenge each student to attain her full potential academically, spiritually, and personally.  While focusing on service to God and community and varied extra-curricular activities that inspire each student to achieve academic excellence and become a life-long learner in a global society.

Values

The administration, faculty, and staff of Nazareth Academy High School, is committed to upholding our school’s values.

  • Each student is a valued individual with unique gifts and passions. 
  • Students learn in different ways, promoting a variety of instructional practices and learning activities to address these differences.
  • Administrators, faculty and staff share the responsibility with students and parents for supporting the mission of the school.
  • Challenging expectations inspire the individual student to achieve high personal and academic goals.

The environment at Nazareth Academy High School is rich in Catholic tradition and values. Our students begin each day with daily prayer and they are encouraged to share their special intentions with their classmates. Our entire school community gathers together in our chapel to celebrate liturgical masses and prayer services. Opportunities abound for students to practice their faith by joining the Liturgy Team and Choir Connection. Students can also participate in school Masses as altar servers, lectors and liturgical dancers.

The faculty and staff inspire our students to live their faith and develop their spirituality on a daily basis. This begins with the eight course theology program and is reinforced through class retreats, social awareness clubs and community service. Qualities such as respect, love and acceptance permeate the student’s educational experiences as we shape Catholic girls into Catholic women.  

History

Nazareth Academy High School began with the prayers of Mother Mary Frances, Mother Foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. She wanted to establish a convent in Philadelphia where Our Lord could be continually adored. While on a train ride to visit Mother Katherine Drexel in 1893, Sister Mary Frances gazed at the land near the Torresdale Station saying, “Here I should like to see a house of Nazareth established for the perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament”. Her vision was fulfilled on December 6, 1920 when the deed of the twenty-three acre Middleton Estate was signed by Mother M. Valentine. Four years later, the Sisters purchased the adjoining property. Planning began for a building that would serve as a provincial home, a novitiate and a high school. The groundbreaking ceremony was conducted on April 24, 1927. Construction on the impressive Holmesburg granite building commenced. On August 15, 1928, the first Eucharistic Liturgy was celebrated in the new Chapel by the Chaplain, Reverend Stephen Wyborski. The new building quickly became a hub of activity. On August 21, 1928 fifty postulants were invested and the novitiate was canonically established. Thirty novices from the Chicago province arrived to complete their second year of their novitiate. Classrooms and living quarters were furnished. The dream of the late Mother Mary Frances had become a reality. His Eminence Dennis Cardinal Dougherty dedicated the building on Oct. 7, 1928.  

Nazareth Academy High School’s first Principal, Sister M. Neomisia, welcomed ten students in the fall of 1928. Their teachers, Mother M. Lawrence, Sister M. Felicia and Sister M. Pius, created an atmosphere of academic excellence in which the girls would be prepared for their future as Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. The objective of the school administration was to “fit the individual as best as humanly possible for the great work of a teacher in Christ’s Church”. From the beginning, the academic program of the high school was college preparatory. Orchestra, dramatics, glee club and journalism complemented the curriculum.

Sister Mary Joan Jacobs
Principal
215.637.7676

Sister Mary McDevitt, `76
Vice Principal
215.268.1065

Patricia Quinn
Dean of Academic Affairs
215.268.1056

Sister Teresa Mary Lukaszewski
Assistant to the Principal
215.268.1064

Jacqui McClernan Makowski, `85
Director of Institutional Advancement
215.268.1026

Nazareth Academy High School

  • 4001 Grant Avenue
  • Philadelphia, PA 19114
  • T: 215.637.7676
  • F: 215.637.8523

About Naz

"Embracing Faith, Family, and Education"

Admissions

"Naz because...it's where you belong."  How will you finish the sentence, "Naz because..."?

Academics

Our student to faculty ratio of 9:1 allows our teachers to interact with students 1-on-1, providing constant help and support.

Campus Life

Our activities provide a diverse set of opportunities for spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual growth for the students.

Athletics

Learning about commitment, dedication, hard work, discipline, and teamwork not only helps on the field, but in the classroom as well.

Fine Arts

The Fine Arts at Naz allow students to release their creativity, whether it be through song and dance or a piece of fine art.

Giving to Naz

We are called to give to "Nazareth" - not the building, but to “Nazareth” the home...our home.

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