ABOUT OUR LADY ACADEMY
"Be it known to all who enter here that JESUS is the reason for this school.
He is the unseen yet everpresent teacher in its classes. He is the model of its faculty and the inspiration of its students."
For over 50 years, Our Lady Academy has been educating young women from across the Gulf Coast as a comprehensive college preparatory school. OLA serves young women in grades 7-12.
Located on the beach in Bay St. Louis, OLA carries on a rich tradition of academic excellence that began in 1855 when St. Joseph Academy was founded by the Catholic Church. OLA is staffed by dedicated lay professionals. A strong collaboration between OLA and St. Stanislaus maximizes the religious, academic and social opportunities for the students. OLA offers various extracurricular activities, including sports.
The uniqueness of each person and the gifts of each young woman are encouraged and enhanced as our caring staff urges students to reach their full potential.
Our graduates stretch throughout the country and world, and include educators, government officials, authors, physicians, lawyers, corporate professionals and more. They truly are "Dynamic Christian Women".
OUR CORE VALUES
"Let us fit young women for earth without unfitting them for Heaven." - Catherine McAuley
Our Lady Academy is founded on faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Thus, Christian values form the foundation of the school's beliefs.
Our Lady Academy strives to build a community of faith based on mutual support, promoting care and concern among staff, students, the family, and the community.
The faculty strives to exhibit and to inculcate Christian values in the student's lives. These values extend from our faith community to our local community to the world community.
Students are led to realize, and later to accept, their moral and ethical responsibilities to each of these realms. Our Lady Academy desires to develop women who will be leaders with a sense of service to their local communities and to the world community.
In 1847, Fr. Louis Stanislaus Buteux received the deed for the property where the current Our Lady of the Gulf church and rectory stand. In 1854, he established two schools for the youth of the parish: St. Stanislaus College was set up by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart and St. Joseph Academy was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph.
In 1967, after 112 years of Catholic education in the community, St. Joseph Academy closed. The closure was perpetuated by the declining number of sisters who could not continue to staff the school.
Monsignor Gregory J. Johnson became pastor of Our Lady of the Gulf in 1969. He saw the need for an all-girls school, so he set about the task of building a new school to replace St. Joseph Academy. In 1971, the only all-girls Catholic high school in Mississippi opened – Our Lady Academy. The school opened with seventh, eighth and ninth grades and added one grade each year. The first class graduated in May 1975.
The school continues today under the leadership of dedicated lay faculty members.