Past SNJM Schools
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
Sacred Heart Academy was opened in the fall of 1931. At that time, Reverend Theodore Ray, S.J., was the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish which sponsored the new school. The Sisters of the Holy Names, under the guidance of Sister Mary of Lourdes, Superior, took up residence in the new convent on the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady. Despite the lack of prayer desks, the first Mass was offered in the tiny chapel on the following morning.
On September 13, 1931, the Right Reverend Patrick Barry, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, presided at the dedication ceremony of the school and convent. His Excellency blessed each room and the cornerstone which bears the inscription “For the honor and glory of God and for the education of youth.”
Sacred Heart Academy opened to 326 boys and girls the morning following the dedication ceremony. The children were eager to come to their new school and willing to endure its lack of desks. We can only imagine what school days were like that first year when the complete shipment of desks did not arrive until November! In 1931, the General Chapter was held at the Mother House in Montréal and Sister Mary of Lourdes was the delegate from the New York Province. When Sister returned to the States as provincial superior, Sister Mary Joanna replaced her as superior of Sacred Heart.
It is interesting to note that the first State Sodality Convention ever held in Florida met in the auditorium of Sacred Heart Parish School from March 12 through March 14, 1932, under the direction of Reverend Roger Lyons, S.J. The first registrations for high school were held on September 11, 1933. Twenty girls were members of the freshman class. In May 1937, the first graduating class received high school diplomas from Bishop Barry.
The high school was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1938. Throughout the years of its existence, the Sisters of the Holy Names labored zealously to promote Catholic education at Sacred Heart. Enrollment continued to increase. The elementary school was co-educational, but the high school was for young women only. The Sacred Heart Academy high school closed in 1971 and the elementary school closed in May of 2012, but the Sisters of the Holy Names continue to play an important role in the lives of their faithful alumni through the programs of the Holy Names Alumni Association.
Sister Mary of Lourdes 1931
Sister Mary Joanna 1931-1933
Sister M. Marianna 1934-1935
Sister M. Rosalina 1936-1937
Sister Veronica of Mary 1941-1946
Sister Ellen Rose 1947-1950
Sister Lucy Josephine 1951-1953
Sister Francis of the Eucharist 1954-1957
Sister Clara Brunelle (aka Sister Charles Raymond) 1957-1958
Sister Marie Marks (aka Sister William of Mary) 1958-1959
Sister Lucy Josephine 1960-1962
Sister Rose of Mary 1963-1965
Sister Alice Maureen 1966-1969
Sister Ann Marean (aka Sister John Vincent) 1970
Sister Patricia Mills (aka Sister Mary Bernice) 1970
Sister Elizabeth Crean (aka Sister Jerome Michael) 1971