September 1, 1962, marked the opening day of the Boys Academy, an elementary school located on MacDill Avenue directly behind the Bayshore Boulevard campus of the Academy of the Holy Names, an all-girls school. The building was the gift of an anonymous benefactor in honor of Ms. Kate V. Jackson, an 1874 graduate of the Holy Names Convent in Key West, Fla. Ms. Jackson’s family played an integral role in the establishment of the Sisters of the Holy Names in Tampa in 1881. The physical plant of the school included eight classrooms, administration offices, a library, cafetorium and athletic fields. The school opened with 100 pupils, 25 students in each of the grades 1 through 4.
After the first year, a new grade was added each year until all eight grades were full, and the first class graduated in 1967. The school was built around an inner court where all students gathered each morning for prayer, a flag-raising ceremony and announcements. The school’s objective was “to give basic training to produce a well-rounded individual” in a Christian environment.
The athletic program was fundamental from the beginning under the direction of Lt. Col. Joseph Gutierrez, USAF (Ret.). Military aspects included standing in formation, respect for the flag and small military ceremonies. A band and chorus also were established. Two uniforms initially were required: a dress uniform consisting of white shirt, navy bow tie, navy blazer with the Boys Academy crest, white trousers and dress shoes, and a standard uniform consisting of white shirt, navy bow tie, navy blazer with the Boys Academy crest, navy trousers and dress shoes.
The Boys Academy grew in size and prestige in the 1960s. During its nearly 30 years, the Boys Academy held many distinctions, both academically and athletically. From state spelling bee champions and science fair winners to Catholic Youth Athletic Association League Basketball Champions, the Boys Academy Crusaders were winners.
In 1989, the provincial of the New York Province of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary approved the recommendation that the Boys Academy and the elementary division of the Academy of the Holy Names be combined into one coeducational elementary school. Today, the former Boys Academy physical plant is home to the AHN Athletic Complex which includes the campus gym, an aquatic center, a renovated soccer field, softball field, tennis and basketball courts, a track and field and fitness center.
Sister Edna Mary Gagnon (aka Sister Robert Marie) 1962-1965
Sister Kathleen Gibbons (aka Sister John Gabriel) 1966
Sister Marilyn Marx (aka Sister Mark Marie) 1966-1968
Sister Elinor Sevigny 1968-1970
Sister Lois King 1970-1975
Sister Dolores Wehle 1975-1977
Sister Mary Elise Glavin 1978-1979
Sister Mary Patricia Vandercar 1979-1986
Sister Ann Regan 1986-1989