The original Sacred Heart Academy (School) was founded in 1907 and staffed by the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (later known as the Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament). The original building (shown left) was located in the 900 block of East LaRua Street in Pensacola, Florida.
Initially, accommodations were made for boarding students. The school was a two story house (later to be made the Rectory) on 9th Avenue and East LaRua Street and the Convent building was located at 10th Avenue and LaRua. The large white Sacred Heart statue now located on the present school grounds at the corner of 12th Avenue and Moreno Street is the original one that stood in front of the old Convent.
The original school housed first floor classrooms for boys, second floor classrooms for girls and an attic sleeping area for the sisters. Duties for the sisters also included one hour adoration periods in the Church, day and night. A recollection by one former student of the fourth grade was daily dusting in the Church made necessary by the ever-present coal dust generated by nearby trains. Girls from surrounding areas of Bagdad, Milton, Crestview, Warrington and Innerarity attended as boarding school students.
School uniforms appear to have been "de rigueur" from at least 1938, beginning with dark plaid skirts and jumpers of today's students. A general liberal arts program was pursued with time for plays and pageants as many old photographs of costumed students can testify! A typical report card from 1937, sent home monthly, listed the following: Christian Doctrine, Geography, US History, Reading, Spelling, English, Writing, Arithmetic, Physiology, Deportment Application, Height and Weight.
When the Most Holy Sacrament Sisters departed in 1945, the Benedictine Sisters came and staffed the school for one year. In 1946 the Dominicans from Adrian, Michigan, staffed the original school and made the transition from boarding school to day school. In 1951, the present school building was constructed and the move was made to the new building in 1952. The gym/parish hall was used for Masses until the new Church was completed in 1968. After the Dominican Sisters left in 1970, lay teachers continued the administration and instruction in the school for the next seven years.
In March 1977, Sister Ann Murie, a Sister Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, became principal. In August of 1978, two additional sisters of the same congregation joined the faculty. In June of 1980, Sister Ann Murie resigned as principal and Sister Lois Morgan, one of the Sisters who came in 1978, became principal.
Sacred Heart School received its initial accreditation from the Florida Catholic Conference in 1979. In 1991 the school began a Morning Star Program which meets the needs of developmentally handicapped students. We recognize the diverse needs of our students and work to meet these needs through a variety of programs and alternate learning strategies. Morning Star provides for our special-needs students whom we wish to become valued members of society. We recognize that parents are the primary educators of their children. Parents need to work in partnership with teachers in order to promote an excellent academic environment and in the students themselves.
Located in an older, established – but changing – neighborhood, Sacred Heart Cathedral School serves the educational needs of our own parish children as well as many from other parishes, and some non-Catholics.
Children presently enrolled at Sacred Heart come from Pensacola and surrounding towns as well as Alabama. Approximately half of the students are non-parishioners coming from neighboring Catholic parishes.
For over 100 years, Sacred Heart School has maintained its quality education and Christian standards. The dedication of its staff, students, faculty and parents makes it possible for the school to look forward to many more years of Catholic education for the future leaders of our country.