Dear Stone Ridge Community,
It’s time to celebrate! The much anticipated 2023-24 Centennial school year has arrived.
One hundred years ago, the pioneering spirit of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat inspired the sisters at the Convent of the Sacred Heart on Massachusetts Avenue to open a school, which began with three young women in attendance. Today, Stone Ridge continues to motivate hundreds of eager young learners to realize their special gifts and bring Christ’s love into the world.
This year, the Stone Ridge community pays particular attention to Goal V: Personal Growth in an Atmosphere of Wise Freedom. As we reflect on our roots and remain grounded by the timeless values of the Society of the Sacred Heart, we continue to innovate, meet new challenges, set new goals, and move confidently into the future.
Catherine Ronan Karrels '86
Head of School
The first Sacred Heart school in Maryland, 1871–1873.
Foundress St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
In 1818, the Society of the Sacred Heart arrived on the shores of North America in the person of Mother Rose Philippine Duchesne.
With the blessing of the Bishop of Baltimore and Washington, the Religious of the Sacred Heart opened an elementary school for girls, with boys up to the third grade, at 1719 Massachusetts Avenue in September 1923.
The official move from 1719 Massachusetts Ave, to Stone Ridge in Bethesda, Maryland took place in September on Labor Day weekend, 1947.
Congregation of lay women, many former students of the Sacred Heart, taking the mission of the Society into the world.
Construction stalls at Stone Ridge and Mother Barry takes action.
Stone Ridge's weekday boarding program began with six Upper School students who joined the student body in the 1956-57 school year taking up residence in the Cottage. The program lasted through the spring of 1973.
How Stone Ridge became known as the "Gators."
A history of the Stone Ridge uniform, "Drawing the Hemline," excerpt from "House on the Hill," by Mary Schaller '61.
Beloved Nun Ma Mere: Reflections of a Stone Ridge icon.
In 1900, George Hamilton paid $6,000 for twenty acres of farmland along the dusty, unpaved Rockville Pike. In 1904, he added thirty more acres to his property and built a white clapboard summer home in the colonial revival style. The Hamiltons called their home “Stone Ridge.”
Reflections from alumnae who remember life at 1719 Massachusetts Ave.
As the School grows, so do the clubs, activities, and its surroundings. Take a trip back to life at Stone Ridge in the early- to mid-fifties with tea dances and “hops.”
The changes that would rock the Stone Ridge’s equilibrium a decade later started with the first spade of dirt dug for the foundation of the next “new” building during the summer of 1958.
In every school and convent of the Sacred Heart around the world, there is always a picture of Mater Admirabilis, Mother Most Admirable, hanging in a prominent place. This depiction of Our Lady as a young girl just before the Annunciation changed her life forever is an image unique to the Sacred Heart Order.
Mother Mouton was known for her many witty “Moutonisms” which she often used with good effect during her General Instructions.
At Stone Ridge, Dr. King’s violent death upset the student body, according to Mother Mouton’s Journal. The following day, she invited Reverend Joe L. Gipson, pastor of Franklin Nash Methodist Church to speak to the Upper School about Martin Luther King, Jr.
“For Sister “Kit” Collins, Vatican II was a godsend. The new freedoms allowed by the ground-breaking Ecumenical Council were not only soul liberating, but physically liberating as well.”
Stone Ridge was changing with the abolition of the Blue and Green Ribbons and a new student governing body—a new era was ushered in.
In November, the HERE & NOW ran a letter from a student who complained about the Blue and Gold Teams, a controversy that had been brewing since 1968.
"Educators from the various Sacred Heart schools began to confer with each other in order to find a way to safeguard the legacy and the vision of the Sacred Heart education in the United States during these agitated times. Sister Catherine Collins, RSCJ, had already laid the groundwork for this type of organization while she was still at Stone Ridge."
“For the first time, the new Board of Trustees had to hire a new Head of School. They didn’t have far to look. Sister Anne Dyer ’55, RSCJ, head of the Lower School, was the perfect candidate. Not only was she an alumna of Stone Ridge, but she also had been a teacher and administrator at her alma mater since 1968.”
“To mark the Society’s Bicentennial as well as the Millennium, Stone Ridge added a number of special events to celebrate these special anniversaries.”
The year drew to a close and with it came the day that Stone Ridge said farewell to Sister Anne Dyer ’55, RSCJ. On May 20, 2006, the Stone Ridge community and friends gathered in Gym 3 to celebrate the Liturgy that marked Sister Dyer’s retirement and departure from Stone Ridge.
On May 5, Special Olympics Founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, mother of Maria Shriver ’73, was the guest of honor at the Special Olympics meet held at Stone Ridge.
On April 20, 2007, the Board of Trustees announced that Catherine Ronan Karrels ’86 had accepted the position of Stone Ridge’s permanent Head of School.
Gator Field and the adjacent loop road to Stone Ridge’s campus has been transformative.
On September 28, 2017, the whole school turned out to line the road on both sides to bid a loving farewell to the last two Sacred Heart nuns who had lived in the cloister and had taught at Stone Ridge.
On October 30, 2019, the Lower School’s new playground was officially declared open.
Stone Ridge meets the challenge of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Mater Center opened in the 2021-22 school year; the final step in the Cor • Unum Campaign.