Xavier College Preparatory is a Catholic private high-school for females based in Phoenix, Arizona. Jesuit Fathers of St. Francis Xavier Parish and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary founded the high school in 1943.
The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary were five Irish women who taught poor children in Dublin, Ireland, post French Revolution. Meanwhile, America was experiencing a massive influx of Irish immigrants. The five women were requested to start a school for Irish immigrants by a Philadelphia priest. They arrived in New York, having all of their money accidentally fall into the sea before leaving home.
The BVM Sisters have left a legacy of service and education throughout the world.
Location and Name Changes
Xavier High School was originally on the second floor of Loyola Hall, at the campus of Brophy College Preparatory, before it relocated to its current location adjacent to Brophy in the spring of 1953. It wasn’t until 1982, though, when the school would be given its college preparatory status and became Xavier College Preparatory.
The Mission of the Community
As a Catholic community, Xavier College Preparatory is committed to its mission of providing women of faith with the training they need to become positive and productive members of society. The training involves building skills, knowledge, and integrity that will prepare and help them meet the challenges of living in a global society while offering them the mindset, attitude, and resilience they need to navigate challenges, thrive, grow, and be of service to others.
First Graduates of the School
The first class that graduated from the high school was in 1947 and was made up of eleven young women. Their maturity, academic excellence, and exemplary behavior set the mold for future generations of students. From 1943, when the school began, Xavier College Preparatory has continued to teach students through a Catholic perspective, the tenets of the faith, and strong values along with a robust academic curriculum, athletic program, and extracurricular activities. Students at Xavier College Preparatory participate in community service activities throughout the city of Phoenix and in different parts of the US and world.
Academic Leader in Arizona
Xavier College Preparatory is considered an academic leader in Arizona. It was recognized as a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 1991, 1996, and 2013. It was the first high school to be granted the Blue Ribbon distinction not just once, but multiple times. It also received the Blue Ribbon for Excellence in Technology in the year 1996 and was among the top 25 schools in the U.S. in 2005, 2006, and 2007 as recognized by the Catholic High School Honor Roll. From 2007 to 2008, the Siemens Foundation and College Board ranked the school as the top high school in Arizona, and it also found itself listed on the top 50 high schools in the U.S. for its success in Advanced Placements.
Xavier College Prep credits their success to their incredible community, including 1,200 students and 9,000 alumnae. Sister Joan Fitzgerald, BVM, the school’s former Principal and first President, has been in leadership since 1974, though she originally came to Xavier in 1962. Her vision and leadership have been integral to the academic and spiritual powerhouse. Current Principal Sister Joanie Nuckols, BVM, has been with the school as first a teacher then campus minister and administrator for 38 years. Sister Lynn Winsor, BVM, a Xavier alumna, award winning coach and the school’s Athletic Director, has been a leader at Xavier for 45 years. In 2018, Fitzgerald, Nuckols, and Winsor were named “Most Influential in the Valley Education” by Best of AZ Foothills. Most recently, Sister Kathleen Sinclair, BVM, joined the team in 2018 as Campus Minister.
Catholic schools provide valuable training and assistance to students. With scholarship programs, companies are now able to provide support to these schools through Private Education Tax Credits. Learn more about how you can help by calling Catholic Education Arizona for more details or visit www.ceaz.org today!