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Our History

                                                                  

Responding to the rapid growth of the young St. Therese of Lisieux Parish and sensitive to the fact that education is one of the most important ways by which the Church fulfills its commitment to the dignity of the person and the building of community, construction of St. Therese of Lisieux School began in 1955. From the outset, there has been a fundamental bondedness between the school and the parish. Indeed, we can say that the school lies at the very heart of the parish. It is an authentic participant in the evangelizing mission of the Church.

The school opened its doors to the first four grades on September 3, 1957 under the direction of Father Joseph Moynihan, Pastor, and the Felician Sisters of Lodi, New Jersey.  Sr.Cyprian was the first principal, followed by Sr. Hilarie, Sr. Claudine, Sr. Rosemary. The first class of 38 students graduated in June of 1961. 

In 1976, Mrs. Edith DeWald became Principal and served the school for ten years. Mrs. DeWald was followed by Sister Gloria Jean Henchy and then Sr. Irene Laurence, mfic, who was Principal from September 1986 to June of 1994. School year 1994 – 1995 was under the direction of Miss Kerr.

In October 1995, a new wing was added to house the pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grades. The addition of a spacious room designed for special parish and school functions and dedicated to the memory of Father Armand Mayville, O Carm. was also part of this renovation.

In 1995, the Missionary Franciscan Sisters assumed the leadership role under the direction of Sister Lucy Flaherty who served from 1996 – 2002.In June of 2002, the leadership of the school was assumed by Sister Helene Byrne, mfic, as Principal and Sister Agnes Regan, mfic, as Vice-Principal. During their 10 year leadership, Sister Helene and Sister Agnes helped the school achieve "Academy" status.

In July 2012, Mrs. Dawn Daniels assumed the leadership role of Principal.

In 2005, Saint Therese School was fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. During school year 2006 – 2007, with pride in its accomplishments and amid the great rejoicing of Rev. Joseph P. O’Brien, Pastor, and the Carmelite Fathers who over the years have continued to support the Parish School, the school celebrated its Golden Jubilee. Parents, graduates, friends and a host of well wishers joined the school during a year of celebration and remembrance and forward planning.

The Saint Therese School Advisory Board was established in 2006 in response to a directive from the Archdiocese of Newark that each school have a functioning consultative school board no later than 2008.

In 2009, following an extended visit from Brother Ralph Darmento, FSC, Deputy Superintendent of Schools, and Sister Marie Gagliano, Area Superintendent, the school was given the status of Academy. From the letter of conferral, we quote the following: Sister Marie Gagliano and I found the school to be in compliance with the Guidelines for Transitioning a School to an Academy. Great work has been accomplished in establishing an atmosphere where academic rigor and right relationships are clearly evident. Truly the hard work of this community has created an academy where students and teachers strive for excellence, where they build up one another through encouragement and challenge, and where all achieve as a result of the dynamic teaching/learning interaction .

Throughout its history, the Academy of Saint Therese has been supported and enriched by the Home School Association. The Association provides funds to enrich the academic program, administers the hot lunch program, assists in the supervision of the students during recess, coordinates special events for the students and they engage in fund raising in an effort to keep tuition affordable for the school families.