A Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for girls, Grades 1-12, with a co-educational Early Childhood Program, infant through Kindergarten age.


stone Ridge News

Middle School Science Chair on Smithsonian Channel Documentary

Tune in to the Smithsonian Channel Monday, February 19 at 8:00 pm to see Karl Austin, Chair of the Middle School Science Department, in a documentary entitled Escape to the Great Dismal Swamp.

In addition to teaching Middle School Science, Karl recently earned his doctorate in Anthropology at American University with a concentration in Historical Archaeology. His dissertation was focused on the runaway slaves, referred to as the Maroons, that lived in the Great Dismal Swamp – a vast wilderness covering parts of Virginia and North Carolina – leading up to and into the 19th century.

In 2016, Karl went into the swamp with his advisor and peers from American University to help make the documentary, which focuses on what archaeology is telling us about the Maroons' life. In the documentary, Karl discusses his dissertation and the discovery of a defensive structure that caused cultural changes for the swamp’s residents.

For more information and to see a trailer on this fascinating documentary, visit the Smithsonian Channel.

And, to download his dissertation entitled The Morass of Resistance During the Antebellum: Agents of Freedom in the Great Dismal Swamp, go to:


Karl Austin

Stone Ridge Yearbook Receives Gold Award

Tearbook AwardCongratulations to the Stone Ridge yearbook staff on winning a Gold Medal Certificate from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) for their 2017 creation of Ridgeway. To earn this award, Ridgeway went through an extensive Critique from the CSPA that uses a written set of standards to itemize best practices for student media. An adviser-judge, who works independently from the CSPA, read Ridgeway and analyzed its strengths and weaknesses as described by the Critique. To receive a Gold Medal, yearbooks must receive a total score from 800 to 1,000 points.

Ridgway is created through a course offered to Second, Third and Fourth Academic students. The course is designed for students who may be aspiring to careers in the field of advertising design or communication arts. Students have numerous opportunities to enhance their technical and creative skills by designing appropriate layouts (using Adobe InDesign CS3) , writing interesting stories and captions, and taking eye-catching photos. The staff work as a team in all endeavors, affording the more dedicated students to advance themselves to higher levels of responsibility.

Of the award, Emma Cowan, Upper School Art Teacher and Yearbook Advisor, said, "Every year I am so impressed with the leadership skills my student editors show. Every year the book is even better than the last."

An Alumna Living out Goal III

For a recent Social Action assembly, Stone Ridge Upper School students and faculty enthusiastically welcomed back LaToya Thomas '01, who gave an engaging presentation into the importance of protecting human dignity in order to build a healthier, more inclusive community.

LaToya is the founder of Brick and Story, an urban consultancy practice that seeks to tell stories of the environment and the people within it. LaToya attributes her success with the organization to her time living in Northeast DC and her time here as a Stone Ridge girl, where she learned and experienced the value of living the Goals of Sacred Heart education, specifically Goal III, "a social awareness which impels to action."

LaToya's speech served as an excellent pathway to the theme of "igniting the flame of advocacy; sparking the fire of kinship" which is rooted in Catholic Social teaching. She inspired the students to start somewhere where you have passion and see where it lets your life take you.

Students left the assembly with a new-found confidence in their ability to address problems and were eager to begin their Social Action day. Of the presentation Talia Scott '18 said, "It was truly a pleasure to see an alumna living out the Goals of Sacred Heart in her everyday life and she inspired us to make change in the world one step at a time."

LaToya Thomas '01

Serving to Address Poverty at A Wider Circle

On the afternoons of December 9 and 10, 2017, a group of 50 Stone Ridge students of all ages and their parents volunteered for those in need at A Wider Circle, in Silver Spring, MD.

A Wider Circle is a Washington, DC metro area community organization with a mission to support individuals and families rise out of poverty. Through their Neighbor-to-Neighbor program, A Wider Circle provides furniture, kitchen goods, baby supplies, and many other essential home goods to families transitioning out of shelters, escaping domestic violence, or otherwise living without their basic-need items. Families simply come to the showroom at A Wider Circle and select the items they need, free of charge. Each year, A Wider Circle furnishes the homes of more than 4,000 families, helping to create the stability and dignity that everyone deserves.

A Wider Circle

The Stone Ridge volunteer group served many roles. Students and their parents carried items off the trucks donated by local families in the DC area community; determined which items were appropriate for families; staged children's toys and books in the children's corner and furniture items in the showroom; and carried items to trucks for delivery after families selected their items. At the end of the day, the group engaged in a guided reflection discussing the prevalence and causes of poverty in the Washington DC area, and connecting the experience to the question: What can we do to end poverty, individually and collectively?

The experience was meaningful to each Stone Ridge student who participated. Of the experience, Codi Johnson '23 stated, "I realized the work we were doing would have a positive impact." Kate Gannon '24 noted, "I liked the message that this was not just charity work, but justice work." Marieve Lange '24 indicated the experience helped her realize she, "has a responsibility to give back in a respectful way." And Nora Gannon '26 liked the volunteer work because it,"led to other kids getting to take items home."

In addition to the Neighbor-To-Neighbor program, A Wider Circle operates a number of other programs to support individuals and families rising out of poverty, including programs for workforce development, wraparound support, and neighborhood revitalization.

The Stone Ridge community plans to continue to partner with A Wider Circle. Next up, the Race To End Poverty on April 15, 2018, to raise awareness and funds.

A Wider Circle

Where in the World is St. Philippine?

Trinity Dome
Did you know that St. Rose Philippine Duchesne is on the newly completed Trinity Dome Mosaic at the National Shrine in Washington, DC? The 89-foot-in-diameter mosaic depicts the Most Holy, the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception, 17 saints, 1 blessed, the Archangels Michael and Gabriel and two choir angels. The Trinity Dome is the central and largest dome of the National Shrine is being called the "Crowning Jewel." It is also one of the largest mosaic domes in the world.

The mosaic includes more than 14 million tesserae, made up of 1,000 variations of colors of Venetian glass, all crafted by hand in Italy. Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl presided over the dedication mass on December 8, 2017. "This mosaic honors, above all, the truth that Christ is the visible image of the invisible God," Cardinal Wuerl said. "The eternal Son of God, who came down to the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the sign and sacrament of God the Father."

That procession of saints reflects the diversity of the nearly one million pilgrims from across the United States and from around the world who come to pray at the basilica each year. The Society of Sacred Heart is honored to have St. Rose Philippine Duchesne looking down over the National Shrine. St. Philippine is recognized as a pioneer Catholic educator.


Goal III in Action on MLK Day of Service

On Martin Luther King National Day of Service, Stone Ridge students exemplified how the community works to achieve Goal III of Sacred Heart education--a social awareness which impels to action. Here, we highlight just two examples of caring students in action.

Perry awardJillian Perry Given Alpha Phi Alpha Community Services Award

For her dedication to serving others in the community, Stone Ridge junior Jillian Perry '19 was awarded the Alpha Phi Alpha Community Services Award at Monday's Alpha Phi Alpha Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast.

Jillian is a committed volunteer for numerous non-profit organizations in the Washington DC area, including A Wider Circle, where she helps organize donations and readies them for distribution to county residents in need; Food and Friends, Inc., preparing and delivering meals to people who are homebound or terminally ill; and, the Q?rius Lab at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, where she demonstrates and informs young museum visitors.

In her award acceptance speech, Jillian reflected on the importance of service, "On this Martin Luther King Day National Day of Service I am reminded of my Ethics class at Stone Ridge from a few years ago where we read Dr. King's Drum Major sermon where he states, 'Everyone can be great because everyone can serve. You don't have to know Einstein's Theory on Relativity to serve. You need only a heart full of grace, and a soul generated by love.' That's a great lesson for us all."

Jillian is a Board Member on Stone Ridge's Social Action Advisory Board, guiding students and faculty on ways to integrate social action themes into programs and school-wide activities. In addition, she serves as a Social Action Reflection Leader, conducting group discussions on social program achievements and how they can be improved to provide greater impact on the lives of others.

Jillian highlighted the role of others in her life who encourage her volunteer spirit. "I am fortunate enough to have many community servant role models all around me pushing me toward that type of greatness, including my parents, my sister Carmen who volunteers at Washington Animal Rescue League, and my Stone Ridge classmates who through our Social Action program really live Goal III of Sacred Heart education: "A social awareness which impels to action."

SR Students and Staff Volunteer at Coat of Many Colors

Ten Stone Ridge girls spent the day volunteering for Catholic Charities' Coat of Many Colors coat closet. The girls sorted through bags and boxes of coats, organizing them by size; put coats on racks from which clients could shop; assisted incoming clients with their shopping experiences by helping them find coats for themselves and family members; and assisted in checking clients out.

In the weeks prior to the day, SR held a coat donation drive, asking community members to consider the needs of others in this very cold winter by contributing gently used coats. Each winter, Catholic Charities collects and distributes over 1,000 winter coats to people in need of a little extra warmth. Hundreds of these coats are sold (for $2 or for free with a referral) at the Coat Closet.

When asked to reflect on her experience t Coat of Many Colors, Wanyana Njuki '19 stated, "Interacting and being with the clients helps them to be seen and recognized because they are often invisible and ignored by the public."

Kudos to these kind-hearted, hard-working servant leaders--Stone Ridge girls!


SR Swimming & Diving Ready to Compete for Catholic HS National Championship


The Stone Ridge Swimming & Diving teams are excited to participate in the National Catholic Swimming & Diving Championships, which will be hosted by Loyola University Maryland on January 20-21 (more info here.) The coaches and student-athletes are excited to represent the Gators on the national stage.

Of this news, Head Coach Bob Walker said, "Competing in this championship keeps our program on the trajectory for the overall vision and aspirations of being a top program."

Stone Ridge Swimming & Diving is no stranger to the spotlight, especially since alum Katie Ledecky '15 first donned the blue and gold winning a gold medal as a Stone Ridge freshman. That strong tradition of attracting great swimmers has continued as Stone Ridge Swimming & Diving boasts numerous collegiate level quality athletes in addition to a 2020 Olympic hopeful.

Good luck at the meet, gators!! #GatorStrong

Swim Team

Katie Ledecky Named AP Female Athlete of the Year


The Associated Press named Stone Ridge alumna Katie Ledecky '15 its Female Athlete of the Year. Editors and news directors voted on the winner, giving Ledecky 351 points and second-place Serena Williams 343 points. She was the eighth female swimmer to earn the honor and the first since Amy Van Dyken in 1996. Katie is also the first Washington-area star ever to earn the women's award. Several of the AP's male athletes of the year have had Washington ties, including DC native Maury Wills (who won in 1962), Orioles star Cal Ripken (who won in 1995) and Baltimore's Michael Phelps (who won in 2008 and 2012).

The vote reflected Katie's dominance in the July 2017 world championships in Budapest, Hungary, where she earned five gold medals and one silver medal.

Katie attended Little Flower School and Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. She is now a sophomore at Stanford University. Katie told the Catholic Standard that attending Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington helped make her the person she is today. "I received an excellent, faith-filled education at both schools. Having the opportunity to attend academically rigorous schools has facilitated my interest in the world and in serving others, and has enriched my life so that it is not solely focused on my swimming and athletics" she said.

Congratulations Katie!

Read more:

The Washington Post

The Catholic Standard

Catholic News Service


Katie Ledecky at Stone Ridge
Katie talks with Middle School students at Stone Ridge (August 2016)

Stone Ridge Earns Best of Bethesda 2018 Honors

Winner Best of BethesdaTop Vote GetterStone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart was the Winner for the Best Private School with Religious Affiliation in the 2018 Best of Bethesda Readers' Poll.

Stone Ridge was also a Top Vote Getter in the categories of Private School Grades 9-12 and Private School Grades K-8.

The Best of Bethesda Readers' Poll results are featured in the January/February 2018 issue of the Bethesda Magazine, which is currently on newsstands. The list will be live on BethesdaMagazine.com on February 4.

Thanks to our dedicated teachers and administration, and to our students and parents who make this community the best!

Our 8 Most Popular Posts this School Year

Top 8

Here are Stone Ridge's eight most popular social media posts so far this school year.

8. Autumn Splendor
7. White Hanky Farwell to Sr. Olson and Sr. Geuting
6. National Letter of Intent Signing
5. Voices from Stone Ridge: Student Body President - Janie '18
4. 2018 Best Catholic High Schools in MD by Niche
3. Katie Ledecky visits swim meet at SR
2. SR father Jose Andres Feeds Thousands in Puerto Rico
1. Happy Birthday Mrs. Cleary
The post to wish Mrs .Cleary a Happy Birthday reached 14,162 people. She had 797 reactions,  comments and shares, and 4K people clicked on the post to see the photos!