Legacy of Leadership

Sr. Antonine's legacy of leadership has continued through the efforts of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who have followed in her footsteps as principal of the school. Sacred Heart Academy graduates Sr. Ellen Cronan '58 and Sr. Ritamary Schulz '59 were each principal during the 1970s, and each returned later for a second term. Current principal Sr. Kathleen Mary Coonan '76 is also a graduate of SHA, as is Sr. Sheila O'Neill, '71, who is SHA's first President, as the school has moved to the Principal/President model of leadership starting with the 2010-2011 school year. Sr. Carol Sansone, a 1967 graduate of Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis, enjoyed a term as principal in the 1990s. Former principal Sr. Colleen Smith is also a Cor Jesu alumna, class of 1981. Like Sr. Antonine, each has pursued excellence and responded to the needs of the time. Growth in the facility, the curriculum, and the athletic program have been accompanied by more subtle adaptations like new uniforms and carpeted classrooms.
In brief:

1970s

Softball is the first sport in the athletic program; today there are 14.
New cranberry plaid uniform replaces brown plaid with the saddle shoes

1980s

The Mary and James DiMeo Library and Fine Arts Center is completed, providing a media center able to house 40,000 volumes.
SHA is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

1990s

SHA is named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Macintosh computer labs, at the time a cutting-edge feature, are added. The Philip Paolella, Jr. Recreational Center, which houses a newly-renovated gymnasium, music rooms, and an alumnae room, is completed. This addition marks a significant step in the SHA athletic program which finally boasts a gym floor which meets the standards of athletic competition in this era. Both the integrated multimedia language lab and the computer lab are completed as resources for the students. A fitness center is added in the balcony of the gym.  

2000s

A new track is constructed.
Capital Campaign, "Celebrating 50 Years of Giving from the Heart" is launched along with the United States Province of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Renovations of the Mount Sacred Heart building, made possible by the campaign, allow SHA to extend into the convent building on two floors, adding much-needed classroom and office space. Chemistry lab and prep room are renovated.
Physics and research labs are renovated.
Solar-powered scoreboards are added to SHA's athletic fields. The second floor of the Mary and James DiMeo Library is renovated.

2010s

Softball Field renovated; new ceilings and lighting is installed in the original classroom building; lighting in the rest of the building is upgraded to be energy efficient; tile in the two main hallways is replaced; Classroom technology is upgraded: new “short throw” projectors and ceiling speakers are installed in all classrooms, the Lecture Hall and the Tech Room.

The success of these many projects attests to the generous support of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the faculty and staff, the Mothers' and Fathers' Clubs, the Alumnae Association and many other benefactors throughout the years.

Since its accreditation by the state of Connecticut as a standard four year high school in 1949, the school has maintained its high standards. The school remains accredited by NEASC. The school is a member of the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS), and Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS).

As Sacred Heart Academy grows, the warmth and concern which had been so much a part of the early years endure, making that spirit a distinctive characteristic of the school. Dedicated religious maintain a strong presence within the educational facilities founded by their congregation. Together with lay faculty and staff, they continue the tradition of quality Catholic education. More than 6,000 young women have shared in the Sacred Heart Academy experience, and the identity of the school has remained the people who comprise it, who are faithful to its past, committed to its present, and eager for its future.

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