St. Hilary School is a proud two-time recipient of the U.S. Department of Education's Blue Ribbon Award for excellence in education. The school received the honor for the first time in 2001, and most recently received the distinction in 2008. Established in 1959, St. Hilary School proudly celebrates a tradition of excellence in Catholic education spanning nearly 60 years.
ST. HILARY SCHOOL HISTORY
History of St. Hilary School
St. Hilary Parish was established August 1, 1958, by the late Archbishop Edward F. Hoban. Father Edward H. Horning was named founding Pastor and 325 families formed the nucleus of the new Parish. Ground was broken for the new church-school and rectory by Father Horning and Monsignor Hilary Zwisler, Pastor of St. Sebastian Parish, on June 10, 1959. The church opened and the first mass was offered on Easter Sunday, 1960. On September 5, 1960, St. Hilary School opened its doors for the first time to 261 first through eighth grade students. Sister Mary Rose, O.P., served as the first principal, and four Sisters of St. Dominic and one lay teacher staffed the school.
Throughout the early years of St. Hilary Parish and School, membership gradually rose each year, necessitating additional staffing and space. In June 1965 ground was broken for the present Church, designed to seat 852 people. A school addition, including the present Media Center and four classrooms, was added in 1969. Also at this time, kitchen facilities and a large meeting room were constructed.
The 1970’s saw enrollment rise and hold steady at nearly 450 students each year. Members of the Sisters of St. Dominic, including principals Sr. Mary Charlotte (‘66-74), Sr. Mary Joanne Lamert (‘74-77) and Sr. Mary Conrad Roth (‘77-79) continued to staff the school along with a growing number of lay people. In 1979, Mr. John Antonelli was hired as principal. An additional classroom (room 100), the maintenance office and three additional garages were added to the building in 1980. In 1980, enrollment dropped below 400 for the first time since 1965. A teaching staff of 25 and a 10-person support staff provided a Catholic education for the students. Through the remainder of the 1980’s enrollment slightly increased. Mr. Robert Kochanski served as principal from 1986-1993.
Many changes have taken place in the past two and a half decades. In 1990, Fr. Thomas Koegel broke ground for the Spiritual Center, which adjoins the church and houses a large gathering area, a kitchen, parish office space and six meeting rooms. At the same time, 4 additional classrooms were added to the school. Enrollment topped 500 students for the first time in 1992 and continued to climb in subsequent years. In 1993, Dr. Patricia Nugent was hired as principal. The following year, the position of assistant principal was added to meet the needs of the increasing school population. Mrs. Karen Alestock was hired as the assistant principal.
Recognizing the growth of the parish and the needs of the school, Fr. Gordon Yahner established the St. Hilary Growth Committee in 1994. After extensive research, this committee recommended a three-phase building project. In 1997 enrollment rose above 600. During this year a second floor, housing eight classrooms, a faculty lounge and workroom, and a conference room, was completed. At the same time, the school office area was expanded and remodeled. It now includes an outer waiting area, copy room, three office spaces, and a clinic.
The second phase of the building project concentrated on improvements at the Church. The third phase of the building project included the renovation of a new art room, a science lab, the completion of gymnasium/locker rooms, a meeting room, staff office and a faculty lounge. School enrollment peaked at 726 in the 2004-2005 school year.
Over the years, classrooms and other interior spaces have been repurposed as enrollment and student needs have changed. Several rooms now have multiple functions. Air conditioning was added to the school in 2012. In an effort to maintain vibrant learning spaces for students and a welcoming environment for all who enter the school, some areas have received cosmetic renovations, as well. The media center was remodeled in 2011, the multi-purpose room was modernized in 2016, and the interior main entrance area was updated in 2019. St. Hilary Parish and School continue to be devoted to meeting the needs of families served, and facility maintenance and improvement are always of importance.
In 2007, Fr. Steven Brunovsky took the helm as Pastor of St. Hilary Parish. Mrs. Tracey Arnone was hired as Principal beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, and Mrs. Michele Detore was hired as Assistant Principal that same year. Additional Assistant Principals during Mrs. Arnone’s tenure included Mr. Nathan Baxendale, Mrs. Annie Deemer, and Mrs. Jennifer Woodman.
Today, the school enrollment approaches 550 students in 27 classrooms. A staff of over 70, including teachers, specialists, auxiliary staff, and support staff, is led by Principal Mrs. Jennifer Woodman and Assistant Principal Mrs. Darcy Alexander, both hired to their respective roles in 2018. St. Hilary School is recognized as being one of the top schools in this area and was awarded the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Award as a National School of Excellence in 2001 and 2008. The school also received the Governor’s Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in STEM Education and Research in 2017. A commitment to providing a quality Catholic education, while keeping Christ at the center of every action, is the top priority of St. Hilary School.
Our mission is to keep Christ at the center of all that we do. In partnership with our parents and parish community, we will inspire our students, through innovative and challenging academic experiences, to be leaders capable of making a positive change in the world.
STATEMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
The purpose of St. Hilary School is to create a Christian educational community where a quality Catholic education is offered in an atmosphere enriched by Christian values and beliefs, sound and realistic discipline, and the dedication and concern of a qualified staff.
We have set our goals and organized our total curriculum to achieve this purpose. Underlying all our efforts to attain these goals is the belief that each of our students is a unique child of God. Our endeavor is to help them realize their God-given potential to its fullest. Only by working together—teachers, students and parents—can those goals be reached.
To develop our students' understanding of and loyalty to the teachings and heritage of the Roman Catholic faith, help them to acquire Catholic moral and spiritual values, and provide them with opportunities for prayer and worship.
To foster our students' understanding of human knowledge and culture in this technologically advanced world, encourage their powers to reason independently, solve problems, be creative, and to accept responsibility for self-evaluation and continued self-instruction.
To help our students acquire a sense of responsibility for themselves, their home, church, school, community, and country.
WHY ST. HILARY SCHOOL?
Read what our students, parents and graduates say about St. Hilary School...
a tradition of excellence in Catholic education.
From Our Students...
“I like my teachers. They are really nice. We get to do a lot of fun things. I love to go to school every day and see my friends.”
“What I like about St. Hilary School is that the teachers are very, very nice. I like the church. The activities are terrific! St. Hilary School is wonderful!!”
First Grade Student
“I like St. Hilary School because the teachers are the best teachers you’ll ever have. I also like this school because it teaches you how to be a good person. We have Mass every Wednesday, and celebrate sacraments. The students are great, and so are the classes! I like St. Hilary School and I think you will, too!”
Second Grade Student
“I like going to St. Hilary School because there are awesome teachers. There are also cool ‘specials’ classes. My school is also fun to go to because you learn a lot of things. I love St. Hilary!”
Third Grade Student
“Going to St. Hilary is great because I get to learn many things I wouldn’t get to learn at other schools. The teachers are really nice and I love to see my friends every day. Learning is fun at St. Hilary.”
Fourth Grade Student
“St. Hilary is a great school. We get to go to Mass every week with our friends. The classes are fun and you can really learn a lot. The teachers are nice and really care about us, what we are learning, and what is happening in our lives. There is always someone to give you extra help if you need it.”
Fifth Grade Student
“I like attending St. Hilary School for many reasons. It is always nice coming into our classes and seeing our friends and wonderful teachers. The teachers at St. Hilary are kind, wise, caring, and good role models. The academics are great. Students feel safe and secure at St. Hilary School.”
Sixth Grade Student
“St. Hilary School is simply amazing. The classes offer much more than the average learning experience. The teachers here make school a fun place to learn, and really go out of their way to help us. We have advanced math classes for students who are eager to learn more than the basics. Extracurricular activities are offered to help students make the most of their elementary experience. St. Hilary is outstanding and I am truly grateful to attend school here.”
Seventh Grade Student
“I’ve gone to St. Hilary School since kindergarten, and I’m glad I attend this school. St. Hilary gives me classes that let me learn beyond the basic expectations, and also gives me plenty of opportunities to have fun with my friends. The academics are outstanding, and I know I’ve benefited from the rigorous curriculum. St. Hilary is the kind of school where kids don’t just learn facts – we learn about life. Our religion and literature classes are particularly interesting because of the thoughtful discussions we have there. St. Hilary is a great school.”
Eighth Grade Student
From Our Parents...
“St. Hilary School has helped our children develop a strong foundation both academically and spiritually. We love the fact that our children are enabled and encouraged to pray at school every day. We feel that Catholic education at St. Hilary reinforces self-worth, self-respect, and respect for others. These basic building blocks, which complement our family values, will hopefully guide our children throughout their lives.”
“St. Hilary offers an outstanding education and gives children an excellent head start. The teachers are interested and genuine in wanting to meet and work with parents, reinforcing that education is a coordinated effort between parents and teachers. We are impressed with the availability of computers and foreign language beginning in kindergarten, and are especially pleased that our children are taught religion daily in all they do.”
From Our Graduates...
“St. Hilary School prepared me for high school not only academically, but also morally.”
"I felt St. Hilary School prepared me well for high school by offering a rigorous and demanding curriculum. The faculty and staff's interest in each student was obvious every day as they helped each student reach their full potential. I would recommend St. Hilary to anyone who is looking for a serious, top-notch education."
The Catholic School Graduate Is...
A faith filled disciple of Christ who is:
Called by baptism and nourished in the Eucharist
Active in the sacramental life of the Church through regular participation in Eucharistic liturgy and Reconciliation
Centered in Gospel values
A Christian leader who is:
A decision maker whose conscience is formed by the teachings of the Catholic church
A witness to the FAITH
A person of integrity
Committed to justice
A community builder
A steward of the environment
Active in parish life
A centered, well-rounded person who is:
Open to growth
An active, productive citizen
A loving person who is:
Appreciative of diversity
A peace-filled mediator
Respectful of the talents and ability of others
A life-long learner who is:
Academically and spiritually competent
A critical thinker
A problem solver
A healthy person who is:
Respectful of life
Practicing good health habits
Committed to reaching one's full potential
A good sport