Founded and operated by the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy, Our Lady of Mercy Academy (OLMA) opened in September 1962 to 52 young women, embodying the first freshman and sophomore classes. The school’s first principal was Sister M. Dolores, and Sisters Gertrude, Dominica, and Matthew Marie were the school’s first teachers. The OLMA crest contains the school motto: “Knowledge and Truth.” The lamp symbolizes knowledge and the globe represents universal truth. The “M” represents the Blessed Mother. A cross, symbolizing Christian education, and the book of life are also present in the crest. The school’s colors are green and gold. Green stands for hope, new growth, and enthusiasm, and gold stands for victory, success, and becoming the best person possible.
In the spring of 1965, 23 young women departed OLMA as its first graduates. In June 1967, the ground was broken for the construction of a new field house. The building was named Carew Hall in honor of Mother Bridget Carew, one of the sisters who helped establish Our Lady of Mercy Academy. The next year, Carew Hall was used in the graduation ceremony of the Class of 1968. Over the years, OLMA has expanded and enhanced its academic curriculum, athletics program, facilities, and more to meet the changing needs of our students.
Today, we are growing by leaps and bounds and able to offer our students more unique opportunities than ever before to grow academically, spiritually, and socially. We’re adding and upgrading the programs and tools they need to do it as well.
With an eye on developing tomorrow’s leaders today, OLMA created its L2T Program. Developed by OLMA Dean of Academics and Leadership, Jennifer Valore, the OLMA L2T Program builds self-confidence and takes communications and problem-solving skills to new levels of excellence. L2T stands for Leadership, Life Skills, and Technology and was created to foster the competencies for girls that today’s world expects from its leaders.
L2T begins freshman year with our Brave Forward, Lifetime Fitness, and Public Speaking courses. In the sophomore year, it expands to include a Computer Science course focused on programming and technology as well as STEM-related career exploration. In addition, sophomores take a Business 101 course that covers financial literacy, digital citizenship, and business technology.
We are also firm believers in the power of experiential learning. In 2018, we launched our Mini-Mester Program. Mini-Mesters are week-long courses — and experiential learning at its best. They give students the opportunity to delve deeper into subject areas that intrigue and interests them.
Along the way, students learn a variety of life lessons including managing their money, navigating tours, and hikes. thinking on their feet, handling cultural and language differences, solving problems, following directions, being on time, as well as how to push themselves further than they ever thought they could.
In the last five years, we have begun transforming portions of our campus to better meet the needs of our students and faculty. Some of the most recent changes to our academic wing include a new main lobby, MAC Lab, Center for Business and Collaborative Learning, college-style lecture room, faculty and staff offices, and an all-season porch for students. Our newly expanded OLMA Cafe opened for business in September 2020.
The enclosed walkway that leads from the Cafe to the athletic wing (affectionately known as the Carpet Tunnel) was renovated as were the classrooms on the second floor. Lockers were added to the main athletic hall and the gymnasium is home to new mats, bleachers, and playing floor. Outside, we added new athletic fields and created a brand new, fully equipped, Villagers Athletic Center in a building adjacent to the gym. These are just some of the recent improvements. More are on the way.
Want to take a closer look? Check out our virtual tour and contact OLMA Admissions to schedule an information session.
American Sign Language
18 Honors Courses
6 Dual Credit Courses
8 AP Courses
Sports Leadership Academy
A New Look
Center for Business & Collaborative Learning
College-Style Lecture Room
All-Season Student Porch
Villagers Athletic Center
Bigger and Better OLMA Cafe