Mount Saint Mary Academy is all about sisterhood.
As a Catholic private school that isn’t part of a diocese, its focus is on educating the young women who attend this college preparatory high school.
“Because we are all girls, there are so few distractions,” says Director of Admissions Donna Venezia Toryak. “There isn’t a social undercurrent that exists when there is a male-female setting. They become much closer friends. There isn’t that cattiness, trying to impress the boys. They can focus on their work and the development of self. The sisterhood is impressive.”
Mount Saint Mary was founded in 1908 by the Sisters of Mercy, who still own the 84-acre hilltop campus. The setting is more akin to a Catholic college campus, with young women shuttling between buildings for classes and 40-some extra-curricular clubs, sports and academic activities.
“We empower young women to be their best selves in a spiritual atmosphere,” Toryak says. “An atmosphere that is very nurturing and supportive, and very conducive to the girls developing a sisterhood so that they are well-equipped in every way to face the challenges of their future upon graduation.”
The school used a hybrid schedule last year, one aided by the fact that it has long used technology for snow days. But there are no plans for virtual learning this year.
“We are hoping for the new year to have a whole renewed sense of community because of that,” Toryak says. “In addition to all the opportunities for our young women to be enriched spiritually and academically, culturally, we are very attuned to wellness of mind, body and spirit. One thing about our graduates, we want them to be well-rounded.”
That begins and ends with sisterhood.
1645 Rte. 22, Watchung