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School closed today, 1/23/19, due to snow event.

Dear DSHA Community,
 
This message is to inform you that school is closed today due to the current snow event that is impacting road conditions throughout the metro Milwaukee area.
 
The following information pertains to our seniors participating in Vocare.
 
Vocare Snow Policy
 
Students are not required to report for Vocare if DSHA is closed due to severe weather. They are, however, required to contact their site to inform them of the snow day. They do not need to make up these hours. If a student’s Vocare site is officially closed due to severe weather, they are not to report to their site and will not need to make up those hours. If DSHA is open and the Vocare site is open, students are required to serve at their site.
 
 We look forward to seeing everyone back at school tomorrow!
 
Sincerely,
 
Dan Quesnell
Principal


Who We Are

History

1892 | IN THE BEGINNING

Holy Angels Academy opened September 15, 1892, at what is now 12th and Kilbourn. Operated by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVMs), the new school welcomed 20 girls and boys in grades 1-10 on its first day. Within a year it became an all-girls school and by 1922 focused on grades 9-12 only.  

1896 | LEADING LADIES

The first graduates to complete four years of high school at Holy Angels were Katherine Reilly, Alice Meehan and Mary Forrestal (top row), and Adelaide Ott and Mary Carpenter (bottom row). Their class motto: “Don’t just dream great deeds. Make them happen!” 

1926 | RISING TO THE WEST

The Sisters of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians) welcomed 20 students to the new Divine Savior High School, located in the Order’s motherhouse at 35th and Center. All students were “preps”—young women preparing to become Salvatorian sisters. Lay students began attending in 1948.

1927 | HALLOWED HALLS

Holy Angels tripled in size after opening this new building at 12th and Kilbourn. The distinctive, neo-Gothic structure served as Holy Angels’ much beloved home until the school’s closing in 1970. 

1930 | GIRLS IN CHARGE

Sister Mary Immaculate Reilly, principal, introduced co-curricular activities to give girls opportunities to lead. Students immediately excelled in theatre, choir (the Angelaires is DSHA’s oldest student group), forensics, a student newspaper, sports and more. The orchestra (shown) broadcast live weekly on WTMJ radio.

1938 | POP MUSIC

Holy Angels' first father-daughter dance was organized by the Mother’s Guild. Divine Savior inaugurated father-daughter dances in 1949. Dashers have danced with dads every year since.

1944 | SUPPORT OUR TROOPS

“Uncle Sam’s nieces at Holy Angels will not sit idly on the sidelines,” promised a student editorial at the outbreak of World War II. Students sent more than 10,000 books to overseas soldiers and were credited with financing the purchases of two jeeps, a tank and an Army flight trainer through war bond sales.

1948 | LIFE AT THE TOP

Sister Mary Evangela led Holy Angels’ juniors and seniors on the first week -long jaunt to New York and Washington D.C. The trips became a tradition, combining history and sight -seeing for up to 100 students annually. This group posed atop the Rockefeller Center in 1956. The tradition of travel -based learning continues today with annual trips to France, Ecuador, Ireland and more.

1951 | A BEACON ON A HILL

Divine Savior moved into its new home before construction was finished, but the dust and mayhem did not deter enrollment. From an initial enrollment of 186, Divine Savior rose to 567 students in just five years, becoming the Archdiocese’s fastest growing high school.

1952 | STEM STRONG

Divine Savior expanded course offerings in science and math after moving to its new building. During the fifties Divine Savior and Holy Angels led area Catholic high schools in the number of science and mathematics courses offered. Today DSHA offers more than 30 courses focused on science and mathematics, including courses in engineering, computer programming and six Advanced Placement courses in science and mathematics topics.

1955 | SODALITY'S HEYDAY

During the fifties, up to 11,000 students from Archdiocesan high schools gathered annually for the three -day “SUMA” conference —the Sodality Union of the Milwaukee Archdiocese. Most Holy Angels and Divine Savior students were members of Sodality, a group committed to daily prayer, weekly spiritual discussions and regular community service.

1957 | THE "DREAM HOUSE" FUND DRIVE

Divine Savior students sold more than 10,000 entries to a jingle contest offering a new house at 100th and Grantosa as its main prize. Their efforts netted $50,000 for a new gym that opened in 1959.

1965 | PINNACLE OR PRECIPICE?

Enrollments topped 600 at Holy Angels and 700 at Divine Savior, setting enrollment records at both schools. But the heyday of Catholic girls schools ended suddenly. By 1970 enrollment had dropped 45 percent at Holy Angels and 23 percent at Divine Savior.

1968 | THE SWEETEST SOUNDS EVER HEARD

Under the direction of Sister St. Genevieve (Eileen) Bergen, Holy Angels students produced throughout the sixties a string of great musicals such as Little Mary Sunshine, The King and I, Song of Norway, Oklahoma and My Fair Lady (shown). The tradition continues today. DSHA productions have earned Wisconsin’s top musical theatre awards for six years running.

1970 | FROM RIVALS TO CLASSMATES

With enrollments falling and sisters departing, the late seventies and eighties challenged Catholic schools everywhere. About 60 percent of all Catholic girls high schools closed during the era. With Holy Angels on the verge of closing, parents at Divine Savior and Holy Angels proposed an affiliation between the two schools. Combining the former rivals was difficult, but in the long run it preserved a strong Catholic, college-prep high school option for girls in Milwaukee.

1972 | ENTITLED TO COMPETE

The adoption of a federal law known as “Title IX” required schools that offered competitive athletics programs for boys to provide them for girls, as well. The Wisconsin Independent Schools Athletic Association quickly launched a volleyball tournament that became the first -ever statewide athletic tournament for girls. DSHA won. Dashers have won 39 state championships since.

1976 | NEW LEADERSHIP AND CHANGE

In 1976 the Sisters of the Divine Savior chose Dr. Angela Pienkos, DS ’58, to serve as the school’s first chief administrator. During her twenty-one years (1976-1997), her efforts were directed at preserving and strengthening the school in challenging times. She led the academic transition from a school staffed largely by Sisters to one built on a strong foundation of lay faculty. Along with two capital campaigns, she began fund-raising activities such as bingo, the annual fund drive, and an annual auction to supplement tuition as the school’s main revenue source.

1983 | A DASH FOR CASH

The first Dash-A-Thon was conceived as a way to welcome new students while raising money to support their education. Its steady success has brought nearly $2 million in contributions to DSHA.

1985 | EXEMPLARY

The U.S. Department of Education and the American Council of Private Education recognized DSHA as one of America’s exemplary schools, the only Wisconsin school chosen that year for the honor.

1998 | BARTEL BEGINS

The Sisters of the Divine Savior chose Ellen Bartel as DSHA’s first president. Charged with raising funds to strengthen and expand academic programs, she has overseen two building campaigns, carried out a long -term plan to lift salaries to market levels, and led scholarship fund drives that today benefit about one -third of DSHA’s students.

2001 | PUTTING ART IN OUR HEARTS

Theatre, music and art have enlivened Holy Angels and Divine Savior from their beginnings. These rich traditions got a strong boost from the $15 million “Vision DSHA” campaign. It made possible the Robert and Marie Hansen (HA, '43) Family Fine Arts Theatre, the Art Education Suite and the “Quad,” a student gathering and dining space named in honor of its donor, Betty Quadracci, HA ’57.

2007 | ALL TOGETHER NOW

DSHA’s Board of Directors launched the Diversity Task Force to ensure the school’s culture included girls from all backgrounds and enriched learning for everyone. Today 29% of DSHA’s students are young women of color.

2013 | TO BELIEVE IS TO SERVE

After U.S. Catholic Bishops issued new guidelines for schools, DSHA faculty and campus ministry officials connected theology courses and service requirements in a holistic faith formation program for all students. Seniors devote two weeks to service and reflection through “Vocare,” the capstone of DSHA’s Salvatorian Service requirement.

2014 | THAT CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR

State championships in rugby, basketball, volleyball and ice hockey. Recognition as an “exemplary” Catholic high school. Awards for student council leadership and independent scientific research projects by students. Top state honors in musical theater, forensics and robotics. The year brought a bumper crop of awards even for a school that expects its students to excel.

2016 | BUILT ON OUR FAITH

DSHA’s largest fund drive ever — Building on Our Faith —reached its $19.5 million goal by the end of 2016 and continued climbing. Students reaped the campaign’s rewards with facilities for a new holistic wellness program that blended new programming in fitness, academics, spirituality and social activities. The drive concluded in June 2017, $1 million over its original goal.

2017 | CELEBRATING OUR FIRST 125 YEARS

The dream remains the same: prepare talented young women to make the most of their abundant talents as believers, leaders, critical thinkers and communicators in tomorrow’s world. Today 14,000 alumnae fulfill these roles in careers and communities everywhere. Young women from every zip code in greater Milwaukee follow in their footsteps. For 125 years DSHA has been the school where all girls makes all the difference.

2017-2018 | PASSING THE TORCH

This school year ushered in a new era of leadership, as President Ellen Bartel passed the torch to President-Elect Katie Brown Koneiczny, DSHA ’92. As DSHA honored Ellen’s 20-year legacy as the woman with a bigger vision for DSHA than anyone could have imagined, it excitedly welcomed Katie, an alumna with a drive to make her own impact.

Divine Savior Holy Angels High School

Sponsored by the Sisters of the Divine Savior
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