Mission Statement & School Profile   top

Holy Names Academy, the oldest continually operating school in the State of Washington, was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary on November 9, 1880. This Catholic secondary school serves young women of diverse ethnic, economic, and religious backgrounds. The unique character of a Holy Names education is achieved in various complementary ways.

We teach, model, and promote Gospel values. This heritage is transmitted to students through school policies, academic programs, and co-curricular activities that encourage personal growth and respect for others. The Academy seeks to prepare young women for lives of leadership and loving service through excellent academic offerings and meaningful student life programs. The academic curriculum challenges students to develop their scholastic capabilities and individual talents through a four-year program of college preparatory courses. An extensive student leadership program offers multiple avenues for participation.

Holy Names Academy seeks to prepare educated women for a life that proclaims the love of God for the human person. Instructed in an atmosphere that fosters the formation of a conscious ethical stance, young women who graduate from the Academy will discover the power that is theirs to direct their lives in peace, justice, and mercy––a manner befitting those whose faith inspires others. We pledge ourselves to preserve the lasting values of our tradition while we design the Academy of the future.


View Our School Profile (pdf)

Faculty & Staff   top

2016-17 Faculty Staff on Steps

(Click image to enlarge)

One of "Washington's Best Workplaces"
Puget Sound Business Journal

Alfieri, Lisa
Development Officer


Alvarado, Angel


Anderson, Amy
Fine Arts Department Chair, Visual Arts


Antilla, Jocelyn
Development Assistant


Argueta, Francisco


Ayer, Elizabeth


Bachhuber, Michael
Science Department Chair, Biology, Environmental Science


Baumgartner (Seymour), Amanda


Berry, Melinda


Briner, Darren  
Director of IT and School Plant


Bromfield, Val
Receptionist, Chapel Weddings Coordinator


Broscious, Joe


Butler, Adam


Cavanaugh, Tricia


Clark, Sawsan
Staff Accountant


Clark, Teri
Academic Administrative Assistant


Crowell, Dawn


Cudaback, Ethan
Mathematics, Computer Science


Dallman, Barbara
Executive Assistant to the Head of School/Principal, Secretary to Board of Trustees


Dawson, Kim
Vice Principal of Student Life, English


Dees, SNJM, Sister Dorothy
Library Assistant


Denby, Eileen
Admissions and Marketing Director


Diefenbach, Megan
College Counselor


Doyle, Veronica


Drake, Abby
Social Studies


Dworshak, SNJM, Sister Mary Annette


Eiken, Jennifer


Ficele-Bowen, Kim
International Language Department Chair, Spanish


Foust, Marnie
Auction & Deck the Dome Coordinator


Gavino-Lutu, Ruth
Social Studies Department Chair, Social Studies


Groppo, Aoife
Alumnae Director, Columns Editor


Haley, Kelly


Harris-Campf, Sean
Social Studies


Hawes, Jen
Academic Mentor/Counselor


Holland, Renee
Auction & Deck the Dome Assistant


Hudac, Julia


Hunt, John


Johnson, Clarise
Business Office Assistant


Johnson, Tricia
Development Director


Karp, David
Art History, English


Karp, Lauren


Kelly, Jennifer


Kershner, Jessica


Knight, Lora
Library Specialist, Receptionist, Yearbook


Koon, Marissa


Kuzmanich, Kristin


Little, April
Vice Principal of Academics


Lofqvist Traum, Cecilia
French, Spanish


London, Lacey
Athletic Director, Physical Education


Lundquist, Andrew


MacIntyre, Meghan
Health, Physical Education


McClain, Caitlin
Assistant Admissions Director, Crew Coordinator


McGah, Marianne
Religion Department Chair, Assistant Campus Minister, Religion


McKenzie, Emily
Academic Mentor/Counselor


Merlino, Matt
English Deparment Chair, English


O’Connor, Tom
Publications Editor, Website Manager


Olson, Francis
Business Manager


Perisich, SNJM, Sister Rosemary
Community Liaison


Procopio, Sam
Mathematics Dept. Chair, Computer Science


Raney, Julie
Assistant Business Manager


Rice, Don
Maintenance Director and IT Assistant


Riggers, SNJM, Sister Linda
Registrar/Attendance Director


Rugon, Detra


Sager, Rebecca


Sarewitz, Julia
Music Director


Schulz, Kayli


Sebree, Anna


Shope, Becca
Chemistry, Physics, Statistics


Smith, Patti


Spielman, Christie


Swift, Elizabeth
Head of School and Principal, Physics


Tanaka, Alice
College Counselor 


Tilghman, Julie
Campus Minister, Religion


Tracey, Donna
Development Assistant


Vickrey, Gina
Biology, Chemistry


Wahlen, Sarah
Director of Theatre and Film, Religion


Webber, Taryn
Assistant Music Director


Wicklund, Erin
Planned Giving Officer


Wielbruda, Jenny


Williams, Brenin
Director of Grounds and Vehicles, Technology Assistant


Employment Opportunities   top

Holy Names Academy, founded in 1880 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, is an independent Catholic school for young women in grades 9–12 with an enrollment of 695. For 137 years, the passionate, inspiring teachers of Holy Names Academy have successfully prepared young women of diverse ethnic, economic, and religious backgrounds for lives of leadership and loving service.
   • The school was named one of “Washington’s Best Workplaces” by the Puget Sound Business Journal and the 1st-place winner among nonprofit companies in “Washington’s 100 Best Companies To Work For” by Seattle Business magazine.
   • The U.S. Department of Education has honored Holy Names Academy four times as a Blue Ribbon School.
   • Academy students are sought by the nation’s most selective colleges and universities. 86% of the Class of 2016 received entrance honors and academic scholarships valued at $30.7 million. More than 10,000 young women have graduated from Holy Names Academy, and today its alumnae serve their communities around the world, professionally and personally.


Holy Names Academy seeks a full-time health and physical education teacher in 2017-2018. Full-time position teaching health and physical education. The candidate will also have some responsibilities in the athletic program. Required: BA or BS in physical education or related field.
• Competitive salary
• Medical, dental, and life insurance; retirement program; faculty-led wellness programs
• Summer sabbatical program
• Variety of school-funded professional development opportunities, including travel
• Stable, inclusive, welcoming corps of faculty colleagues
• Opportunities to moderate clubs or coach athletics in a highly competitive sports program (collective winner of the Metro League All-Sports Trophy for nine consecutive years)
• Motivated, high-achieving students from a wide array of ethnic, economic, religious, and geographic backgrounds
To apply: Send letter of inquiry and resume to Elizabeth Swift, Head of School. Open until filled.

Holy Names Academy seeks a full-time religion teacher in 2017-2018. The candidate must be a practicing Catholic, and must have a degree in theology, religious studies, spirituality, or a related field. Desired: experience on the secondary level.
• Competitive salary
• Medical, dental, and life insurance; retirement program; faculty-led wellness programs
• Summer sabbatical program
• Variety of school-funded professional development opportunities, including travel
• Stable, inclusive, welcoming corps of faculty colleagues
• Opportunities to moderate clubs or coach athletics in a highly competitive sports program (collective winner of the Metro League All-Sports Trophy for nine consecutive years)
• Motivated, high-achieving students from a wide array of ethnic, economic, religious, and geographic backgrounds
To apply: Send letter of inquiry and resume to Elizabeth Swift, Head of School. Open until filled.

Updated: March 16, 2017

Board of Trustees   top

2016-2017 Holy Names Academy Board of Trustees

Diane Irvine, President

Joan Sullivan, Vice President

Sam Verhovek, Secretary

Diana Perkinson, Treasurer

Elizabeth Eldredge Swift ’71, Head of School and Principal


Sister Jocie-Rhea Chism, SNJM

Celeste McDonell '73

Mark Dean

Mary Moran

Joan Delay

Ed Pillitteri

Roberta Fraese

Sister Mary Slater, SNJM ’72

Theresa Gallant

Jennifer Bosa Sorensen ’00

John Holt

Camilla Manca Tilford '64

Caryn Geraghty Jorgensen ’89

Jim Walker

Jo-Ann Pizzello Kelly ’66

Steve Washburn

Cindy Oh Lohman ’80

Mike Whitlock

Alumnae Board Representative:

Parent Board Representative:

Shon Gates-Wertman '02

Anne Moran




Bill Conner

Jeanne Marie McAteer Lee ’47

Bill Dempsey

Mary Lou Wickwire

School History   top

The First Century 

Holy Names Academy was founded in 1880 by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.  This religious community, guided by the vision of its foundress, Blessed Mother Marie Rose Durocher, was dedicated to providing education for young women, just as the Academy is today.  In 1859 the Congregation sent its first sisters to Oregon and, some 20 years later, responded favorably to the request of Father Francis Xavier Prefontaine to establish a Catholic school for young women in Seattle.  Four sisters, led by Sister Mary Francis Xavier, arrived on November 9, 1880, a date celebrated every year at Holy Names Academy as Foundation Day.


Second and Seneca

Seventh and Jackson

The Academy was first located in two buildings at Second and Seneca Streets.  It opened with 21 day students, one boarder, and one music student.  Within four years, the growth of the school and the press of downtown development necessitated the Academy’s move to a new site, at Seventh and Jackson Streets, where a new building was built and dedicated in 1884.  By the turn of the century, the growth of both the school and the city once again caused the sisters to consider moving, this time to what was then considered “the wilderness” of Capitol Hill.  Under the leadership of their energetic new Superior, Sister Mary Leontine, construction of the present Holy Names Academy was begun in 1906.  Bishop Edward J. O’Dea presided at the laying of the cornerstone in 1907 and at the dedication of the school on November 9, 1908, occasions that brought together many members of the community.  Mother Martin of the Ascension, Superior General of the Sisters of the Holy Names, came from Montreal, Canada, for the dedication.  

The new building, although not quite finished, accommodated all 12 grades and a new Normal School for the training of teachers.  Seventeen sisters taught a student body made up of 155 day students and 127 boarders.  In 1909, the auditorium was completed, a project given priority so that proceeds from music and drama presentations could be used to fund other work in the building.  The chapel was completed in 1925, the music department in 1929, and the underground tunnel, now used for locker space, in 1948.  The school’s historic elevator, one of the oldest in Seattle and renovated in 2004, was installed in 1931.

The Academy’s imposing architecture, designed in the neo-classical style by Albert Breitung, has been carefully preserved over the years.  Few exterior changes have occurred other than the removal of the north tower after a 1965 earthquake, and the addition in 1990 of a new gym––which so closely resembles the original building that visitors often think it has been in place for much longer.  Inside the main building, however, educational needs have prompted a number of changes.  Classrooms and offices have been remodeled, technological infrastructure has been upgraded, and new facilities such as a digital art lab, a science center, and a professional-grade recording studio have been added.  In 2016, a fitness center and student commons area were built between the gym and the 1908 building; the three-story project also added an ADA-accessible elevator.  Renovations have always been respectful of the school’s history; for example, new moldings and floors match the originals throughout the building, and the old laundry chutes now house technology cables and telephone wires.


Recent Times

In 1972 Holy Names Academy encountered a major challenge when the Seattle Fire Department ruled that the school was out of compliance with fire safety regulations and needed substantial renovation.  The issue galvanized the HNA community of parents and friends, and the sisters engaged an advisory board to assist with fundraising and facility planning.  This original advisory board evolved into a high-functioning Board of Trustees which became the policy-making body for the school and assumed full responsibility for the fiscal health of the organization.  In 1980 the Board launched its first official capital campaign in order to repair the roof and dome, renovate the physics lab, and create a college counseling center.  Five years later, on June 21, 1985, Holy Names Academy was separately incorporated from the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.  This mutual agreement, which grew out of a strong and vibrant relationship with the sisters that remains to this day, ensures the long-term future of the school.

Another major milestone in the recent history of the school was the construction of the Jeanne Marie McAteer Lee Gymnasium in 1990 on the former site of the tennis courts.  Prior to completion of the gym, all athletic practices and competitions were held in rented or loaned spaces.  The new gym provided a tremendous resource as HNA developed its athletic program.  The capital campaign that funded this project was so successful that the school was able to establish a reserve fund for future repairs and maintenance of the new gym.

In the mid-1990’s, HNA undertook a third capital campaign, Secure the Future, which resulted in wonderful enhancements to the school that coincided with the growth of its program and enrollment.  The campaign provided funds for extensive building improvements, new science, computer, and art laboratories, classroom renovations, computer networking of the entire school, dome and parlor restoration, and endowment growth.

A fourth capital campaign, Momentum: Advancing the Mission, was launched in fall 2004 and successfully raised over $4.6 million to support the complete replacement and redesign of the roof and cornices on the main building, the construction of a new high-tech music facility, and the strengthening of the endowment.

In the wake of a long-range study plan in 2012, the school successfully undertook an endowment and building campaign, Transcend: Beyond Excellence.  By the campaign’s conclusion in 2015, over $10.5 million was raised to maintain the school’s historic commitment to keeping an Academy education affordable to young women from a variety of economic backgrounds and to enhancing the educational experience of its students.  A new science center was created on the fourth floor, a robust wireless system installed, the cafeteria renovated and enlarged.  The campaign also provided funds to launch the fitness center and student commons addition.


HNA Today

Today, those entering the Academy will find within the traditional walls an up-to-date, future-oriented academic program and facility.  They will encounter an optimal learning environment in which students succeed wonderfully in all arenas: an extensive Advanced Placement program, pace-setting commitment to digital learning and STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math), impressive arts presentations, spiritual and service commitments, and highly competitive sports teams.  The school’s continuing success in enhancing its program and facilities has earned HNA the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon School Award four times.  In 2012, the Academy received first place among nonprofit organizations in a Seattle Business magazine survey of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and was named a Gold Medal Workplace in the Puget Sound Business Journal’s survey of “Washington’s Best Workplaces.” In 2014, the Academy was again named one of “Washington’s Best Workplaces” by the Business Journal, and in 2016 won third place among companies with 50-99 employees.

More than 10,000 young women have graduated since the school’s founding in 1880.  Students at Holy Names Academy today inherit the traditions of the past while preparing for success in the contemporary world.  They discover that an Academy education includes not only academics and activities but values that have been present from the beginning.  What continues to inspire the school community is the guiding vision of Mother Marie Rose as expressed in the Holy Names Academy Mission Statement and as lived out in every aspect of school life.


Last updated: August 2016



From the Archives & the Alma Mater

SNJM Connection   top

Holy Names Academy was founded in 1880 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), an international congregation of Catholic Women Religious, Associates and Lay Consecrated who are dedicated to the full development of the human person through education, social justice, contemplation, and the arts.

The SNJM congregational headquarters is located in Longueil, Québec (near Montréal).

Congregational website:

English-language http://www.snjm.org/en/

French-language http://www.snjm.org/fr/

The SNJM United States/Ontario Province headquarters is located in Marylhurst, Oregon.

US/Ontario Province website http://www.snjmusontario.org/


Other SNJM High Schools in North America:



Academy of the Holy Names High School - Tampa, Florida

Academy of the Holy Names - Albany, New York

Holy Names High School - Oakland, California

Ramona Convent School - Alhambra, California

St. Mary's Academy - Portland, Oregon

St. Mary's Academy - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Chapel Rental   top

The chapel, completed in 1925, is the spiritual center of Holy Names Academy. It provides not only a place for student worship and reflection but a sacred and beautiful setting for Catholic weddings, for which it can be rented.

Wedding rehearsals are usually scheduled for one hour. Rental of the chapel on the wedding day is in blocks of 3-1/2 hours, with the first 2-1/2 hours being preparation/picture-taking time followed by an hour-long wedding. The bride and groom provide their own priest, musician(s), florist, photographer, and videographer.

The cost is $1,250 for alumnae and $1,500 for non-graduates. This cost includes a refundable $250 damage deposit. Renters are also obligated to obtain liability insurance in the amount of $500,000 to cover the dates of the rehearsal and wedding.

Please contact Val Bromfield, Chapel Weddings Coordinator, at  (206) 323-4272 or vbromfield@holynames-sea.org.

Contact Us & Directions   top

Holy Names AcademyHNA Neighborhood Aerial Map
728 21st Avenue East
Seattle WA 98112-4058 

P: (206) 323-4272

F: (206) 323-5254

Attendance Office: (206) 720-7823      Report student absence by e-mail

Admissions Office: (206) 720-7805      admissions@holynames-sea.org

Copyright information: Contact Webmaster

For specific contact information, please see the Faculty & Staff section


Contribute Information and Photos to HNA

We welcome your suggestions of information—especially photos—that we may consider for inclusion in the school’s publications and on its Facebook pages. Please e-mail information and attached photo images to communications@holynames-sea.org. Please include your contact information and all relevant information.


Driving Directions

Holy Names Academy is located at the intersection of 21st Avenue East and East Aloha Street on Capitol Hill in Seattle (click here for Google Maps directions).

From North or South I-5
Take I-5 to SR-520 East. Take the Montlake Blvd. exit; turn right, heading south on Montlake Blvd., which will turn into 24th Ave. East. At the top of the hill, turn right on Aloha. Go two blocks west; turn left on 21st Ave. East.

From the Eastside
Take SR-520 West. Take the Lake Washington Blvd. exit; at the end of the off-ramp, turn right and follow to Montlake Blvd; turn left, heading south on Montlake Blvd., which will turn into 24th Ave. East. At the top of the hill, turn right on Aloha. Go two blocks west; turn left on 21st Ave. East.

Metro Bus Service and Link Light Rail Connections
King County Metro buses serving Holy Names Academy include #8 (via East John St.), #10 (via 15th Ave. East), #12 (via 19th Ave. East), and #43 and #48 (via 23rd Ave. East). The #8, #10, and #43 buses connect to the Capitol Hill Station on Sound Transit's Link Light Rail; the #43 and #48 buses connect to the University of Washington Station on Sound Transit's Link Light Rail.