About Ursuline Academy
Blaze Brighter 2022-2027
Ursuline Academy marked a significant milestone with the launch of their Strategic Plan, Blaze Brighter. The planning process, which occurred during the 2021-22 school year, included community-wide participation and input to produce a roadmap for our future. Thanks to support from students, parents, faculty, staff, alumnae and trustees, we have built our next strategic plan together. Each voice lent to a collective vision to successfully imagine what is next for Ursuline. The goals and initiatives outlined below will ensure that Ursuline is on the leading edge of innovation and maintaining the long-term sustainability of our school, all while creating a future that prepares our students to lead and succeed in an increasingly complex global environment. We look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.
Vision: Trailblazers in teaching and learning, shining as a beacon of faith and promise in the world.
In 2027, Ursuline Academy blazes brighter as a bold global leader embodying the spirit of St. Angela.
- Strengthen the charism in our Ursuline education.
- Perpetuate the spirit of Angela Merici as a trailblazer and changemaker.
- Enhance education in Catholic values while expanding Serviam and social justice within the student experience.
- Enliven existing and create new partnerships with global Catholic education networks.
In 2027, Ursuline Academy blazes brighter as a diverse and inclusive community of wellness, support, and belonging.
- Embody an increasingly diverse community of understanding, inclusion, and belonging.
- Nurture and develop capability for social-emotional health and well-being of students and staff.
- Embed sacred spaces and practices that nurture joy, hope, trust, reconciliation, tenderness, and peace in our campus culture.
- Cultivate meaningful connections with and among families and all community members.
In 2027, Ursuline Academy blazes brighter with dynamic teaching and transformational learning, equipping a new generation to confidently navigate our world.
- Reimagine exemplary whole child teaching and student-centered learning for each division.
- Expand academic resources and scope of programs and support.
- Improve impacts of co-curricular programs.
- Invest in enhancing effectiveness in attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse and highly qualified faculty.
- Achieve technological and digital excellence aligned with mission.
In 2027, Ursuline Academy blazes brighter with a sustainable future, strengthened in mission effectiveness and value proposition.
- Position Ursuline in current and promising new markets based on reputation and valued differentiators, with accessibility as a priority.
- Enhance relationships with stakeholders, thought leaders, global and community partners, and philanthropists.
- Extend financial health through optimal enrollment management, endowment growth, and non-tuition revenue generation.
- Ensure academic facilities reflect programmatic needs.
- Become a trusted national resource for girls’ education which empowers leadership with a global focus based upon Ursuline charism.
"Our Ursuline schools are alive with St. Angela’s spirit of joy and hope. The richness of our Ursuline tradition is found in the quality of exchanges between teachers and students, valued for each one’s unique personhood. On a daily basis, in the classroom and in other moments, the teachers and staff members show respect and joyous love and encouragement for each one’s growth.” - Ursuline Education in the Spirit of Saint Angela.
This past week, our Lower School celebrated St. Angela and her legacy. From door decorating to prayer jars to collaborative art and more, it’s been a week of fun, leadership, service, and celebration!
Ursuline Academy was named to the 2023 AP School Honor Roll as a PLATINUM Member! We were awarded the highest combination of awards of ALL DELAWARE SCHOOLS - both the Platinum & Access Awards! The AP School Honor Roll recognizes schools whose AP Programs are delivering results and broadening access for students.
We are one of only four schools in Delaware to receive the Platinum Distinction and the only Delaware school to also receive the Platinum & AP Access Award, demonstrating a clear and effective commitment to equitable access to advanced coursework.
Bravo to 3 of our 5th graders, referred to as team "CDC" for executing one of the Lower School's first Innovation projects. With the guidance and support of Mr. Ellis, these students each pitched a brand new product for the Raider Closet to a panel of administrators - including our School President, Director of Finance, and our Raider Closet Managers. They came prepared with a business plan and branding ideas and will continue to collaborate with our administration to bring these items to our shelves. Stay tuned for updates and possible new items by Christmas!
For National Hispanic Heritage Month, one of our 4th graders visited our Montessori 5s wearing a traditional Venezuelan dress and read them a story. She also brought a Venezuelan flag and answered questions about her family.
EXCITING NEWS * This winter we will open two new spaces on campus, the 1893 I.D.E.A. Studio and Dream Lab! The 1893 I.D.E.A. Studio (pictured) will be a space dedicated to Innovation, Design-thinking, Entrepreneurship & Acceleration... Where world-changing ideas and leaders are born. This Upper and Middle School space will elevate our students' real-world experience across industries, including computer science, finance, engineering, entrepreneurship, and business. We like to think of it as our very own Ursuline incubator.
Dream Lab - "Young minds pioneering tomorrow" For our younger students, the "Dream Lab" is a forward-thinking space in the Lower School where they can explore the world of design-thinking, digital arts, communication, journalism, business, and innovation. Students will now have a place to develop creative solutions to community problems, innovate new concepts, and develop smart financial strategies for their personal interests or a business plan.
It is fitting that as we launch these amazing new spaces during Ursuline's 130th anniversary and St.Angela Merici's 550th birthday this school year. UA has always been an institution rooted in tradition with an eye toward the future and a legacy built upon trailblazing innovation. We look forward to celebrating the donors who made this possible during the grand openings this winter!
Over the summer, Ursuline's Director of Global Education Mrs. Erin Prada did an exploratory trip to a few of our Ursuline sister schools in Taiwan and Indonesia. She visited Stella Maris Ursuline High School in Hualien (Taiwan), Wenzao Ursuline University or Languages in Kaohsiung (Taiwan), and Santa Ursula School in Jakarta (Indonesia).
While we built a relationship online with these three schools during the pandemic and have connected virtually with each of them, this was the first time meeting in-person and also the first visit from anyone at our school to any Ursuline community on the continent of Asia.While there, Mrs. Prada was invited to present to Ursuline sisters, administrators, faculty members, and students about Wilmington's Global Education Program and had conversations about expanding our partnerships and determining what future collaboration could look like.
We look forward to continuing to develop many exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary curricular projects as well as cultural exchange across the Academy! A heartfelt thank you to Stella Maris, Wenzao, and Santa Ursula for providing such a warm welcome and being such gracious hosts. We are lucky to be united through Serviam and have each of these special communities as our sister schools!
Over the summer, Middle School science teacher, Mrs. Koenig spent two weeks in Washington D.C. representing Ursuline Academy as part of the 2023 Teacher Innovator Institute at the National Air & Space Museum. Every summer, this program brings together 30 teachers from across the U.S. who have gone through a rigorous application process to collaborate, learn, play, and grow as STEAM educators.
During the institute, teachers explored authentic engagement practices in STEAM education, which included:
- Project-based, inquiry-centered learning
- Teaching with museums and museum objects
- Arts integration in STEM
- Data literacy
- Student-centered assessment strategies
- Coding and computational thinking
- Cross-curricular project planning
- Technology integration
- Creating cultures of making thinking visible
Mrs. Koenig is now a Smithsonian Institution Teacher Ambassador and is looking forward to sharing her newfound skills/resources with her students!
Ursuline Global is on the move again! ( In June, we sent our most recent delegation to Ecuador. The visit began by flying into the Andes, then heading to Camp Chilli Urku in the Amazon. Our group was welcomed by local community members for orientation, and they shared their cultural traditions. The next day was spent hiking, followed by spending the night at a satellite camp. With the help of local community members, they set up their hammocks and had dinner. The locals shared Kichwa legends around the campfire before heading back to fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle. The following morning they hiked back to base camp, with stops along the way to learn about medicinal plants and other natural resources the Amazon provides.
Another highlight from the trip was spending a day at the local school. Our group led activities with the students, repainted their bathrooms, and challenged them to a soccer game. The kids won the game and our hearts!
While in Quito, our group learned more about this city. They visited the equator and straddled both hemispheres, visited a few churches, tasted Ecuadorian chocolate from various regions, and went shopping at small local shops.
Another amazing adventure in the books with Ursuline's Global Education Program! Hasta pronto, Ecuador!
Our Lower and Middle Schoolers have been busy collaborating! The 7th grade Innovation class created 'Toys that Teach', a fun way to get the Lower School engaged in math, Spanish, and literacy. The 5th grade class created products for their own Shark Tank pitch. Products included the Toothpaste Catcher, Sneaker Cleaner, Projector Glasses and more!
What a fabulous week that our UAPA teacher appreciation chars planned for our "SUPER" faculty & staff. This MARVEL-ous week included a soup & salad lunch, coffee & donuts, wellness Wednesday, snack attack goodie bags, and a Cinco de Mayo luncheon. Many thanks to all of our parents for your generous donations! It is without a doubt our teachers felt the love all week.
We welcome licensed clinical professional counselor, journalist, and author, Phyllis Fagell, to Ursuline! She Zoomed with our Middle School faculty and staff, and presented to our parents/guardians about how to build middle schoolers' social skills, resilience, and confidence.
To learn more, check out Phyllis Fagell's first book, 'Middle School Matters, and keep an eye out for her new book, 'Middle School Superpowers. Thank you again to everyone who joined us and to Phyllis for sharing your knowledge and expertise with our middle school community!
Ursuline’s Innovation class launched a trial at ChristianaCare for their Patch-It Bear program. These unique bears feature patches that represent the milestones young patients typically reach during their hospital visit. The bears will comfort and motivate the young patients plus help drs/nurses. All the bears are made from fabric remnants making these bears sustainable and snuggly. The team consisted of Kaya Blair ’24, Isabella Caraballo ’24, and Emily Copeland ’23. Once the team receives valuable feedback from both the patients and the healthcare team, they will be able to revise their prototypes accordingly and refine their solution.
On Thursday, March 2nd, Ursuline Academy celebrated the first week of spring sports season by recognizing the generosity of its community with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly resurfaced Lou Olivere Track and expanded parking lot at Serviam Field. Generous supporters, student athletes, and members from all facets of the Ursuline community, including several past and present UA Cross Country and Track & Field coaches from 1980-present, were in attendance to mark the celebration.
Ursuline Academy is so grateful to the lead donors of this meaningful project: Crystal Trust Foundation, the Ripsom Family, the Stempel Family Foundation, and Delaware Orthopaedic Specialists.
The Angela Podcast, a student-led podcast featuring Ursuline students, faculty, and staff, is officially live. The podcast, named for Ursuline’s foundress St. Angela Merici, debuted on January 27th in honor of her feast day. Recordings thus far have included senior Audrey Pachuta talking about her experience of sisterhood at UA, sophomore Ellie Johnson sharing her experience on finding God through meditation, seniors Emily Copeland and Allee Taylor on finding friendships at UA, and Sr. Betty McAdams, OSU and junior Coco Svinland discussing exercise, eating well and health. You can find and listen to the podcast on Spotify: spoti.fi/3ZNwWyO
ENTRE-X Innovation Class Is Taking ACTION And Gaining TRACTION! Kaya Blair, Bella Caraballo, and Emily Copeland practiced their social innovation pitch with a panel of experts. The room was filled with professionals who graciously shared their expertise.
A big thank you to Drs. Singh Patel and Megan Mickley, Mr. David Liss, Mrs. Donna Masley, Mrs. Andrea Roesser, Mrs. Donna Kinzel, Mr. Patrick Davey, Mrs. Joanna Arat, Mr. Jeffrey Danilak, and Dr. Trisha Medeiros. The insights gained were invaluable to the team. The next steps are to gear up for the trial on Feb. 14th.
A shout out to Ursuline's newly formed Ethics Bowl team, who competed in the National High School Ethics Bowl regional competition at Villanova University this past weekend. Great job by Natalie Johnson, Olivia Hanson, Caroline Peach, Judith McDowell, Bella Tesche, Carly Gioffre, & Sadey McPherson who were led by Mrs. Merz '82. The team argued positions on various ethical social, political, and bioethical topics such as the drinking age, boycotting Russian athletes, and pledging sororities.
Ursuline Academy’s Annual MLK Jr. Day of Service honored Dr. King’s legacy of action for justice rooted in the Christian faith. We began the morning with prayer, followed by completing community service projects for our broader community.
- Bagged Lunch preparation for Emmanuel Dining Room
- Grave Blanket Assembly for Veteran’s Grave Sites
- Handmade Cards for Cancer Patients
- Prepare Lasagna Dinner for Sojourner’s Place Residents
- Cat Toys & Dog Treats for Faithful Friends Animal Society
- The Power of Prayer
- Baby Bag Assembly for Pregnancy Center
- Park Clean-Up at Cool Spring Reservoir
- Winter Coat Drive
Thank you to our students, families, staff, and alumnae for your dedication to Serviam and for participating in our annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service!
Celebrating the Lunar New Year! A special thank you to Mrs. Chen and our Upper School Mandarin, Chinese Culture Club, and Global students for sharing the traditions and presentations with all of our students!
Juniors Coco Svindland and Gabby Ciotti, along with our President Dr. Trisha Medeiros attended Delaware Business Time's 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes Event at the Delaware Art Museum. At the event, they had the opportunity to meet nine local leaders and hear their collective wisdom and expert business advice for success.
Afterward they networked and met Dennis Assanis, President of University of Delaware, Casey Garvey from LLS, and Scott Kammerer, President & CEO of SoDel Concepts!
Ursuline’s Medical Shadow Program is underway. Giselle Miranda ’24 had the opportunity to shadow Dr. Uberti from Concord Dental. Giselle observed dental cleanings, x-rays, and the types of recommendations on oral hygiene for the patient. In addition, juniors Brianna Smith and Sydney Mesa shadowed Dr. Mesa from Delaware Orthopedics. They observed a typical day in the office with patients and saw how physicians interacted with their patients after an injury or surgery. Ursuline’s Medical Shadow Program provides an opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in STEM to gain hands-on experience. If you know a doctor interested in hosting our students, please reach out!
Throughout the end of October and early November, Lower School students learned about the traditional origins of Halloween and El dia de Los Muertos – The Day of the Day with different activities according to their grades. Dia de Los Muertos is a celebration that combines Aztec Rituals, indigenous elements, and Catholicism, recognizing death as a natural human experience. Ofrendas or altars (offerings) are an essential part of the celebrations, and they are set up to remember and honor the memory of the ancestors. Thank you to several of our Ursuline parents who visited with classes to teach students about Day of the Dead rituals and create an altar in the front lobby of the Lower School.
Seven Upper School students, along with President Dr. Trisha Medeiros, attended the 32nd Annual Women’s Leadership Conference hosted by the NCC Chamber of Commerce! The workshops included sessions on networking, leadership advice, overcoming ageism, work/life balance, and learning from mistakes. Thank you to the Chamber for partnering with us to help make this day possible for our students and young women leaders! #UrsulineGirlsLead
Our faculty and staff kicked off the week with an In-Service Day centered around Serviam and Professional Development. The day began with service – a block clean up around UA and the Cool Spring Reservoir, making sandwiches for Emmanuel Dining Room, and making cat enrichment toys for the SPCA. In the afternoon, Ursuline parent Dr. Eunice Gwanmesia led an informative and interactive session on Inclusive Practices.
Ursuline Academy is pleased to announce an incredibly generous $1.75 Million gift from Paul & Linda McConnell to create a tuition assistance program for Lower School children and bolster the existing Innovation Program, which they helped establish in 2016! The Ursuline community thanks Paul and Linda for their transformative commitment to our students, faculty, and school. Read the Press Release: https://bit.ly/3VoHMZZ
The Stand Together Club celebrated Unity Day by resurrecting the Connection Pit, an innovation project from 2019. The goal of this project is to build positive connections between students who otherwise may not have the opportunity to interact. Students got in on the ball pit fun and built stronger, more connected, relationships with their peers. Faculty and students also celebrated by wearing their orange to unite for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion to raise awareness to prevent bullying. #unityday
We said “Au Revoir” to Ursuline’s first exchange visitors in over two years. Fifteen students and two chaperones visited from Largenté, an Ursuline school in French Basque Country. Largenté, located in Bayonne, France, is a new partner for Ursuline. We first connected with this sister school through the Global Compact on Education and have been building a relationship with the school for the past year. We were excited to finally be able to welcome them to campus and complete the first leg of the exchange.
The Largenté students were hosted by Ursuline families and engaged in several activities during their time in Delaware. They volunteered in classes across our campus, presented to our Upper School students, and went on various excursions to places such as Lancaster and Washington, D.C. It was a wonderful visit, and while saying goodbye was difficult, our students are now looking forward to seeing their Largenté sisters again in April when we visit Bayonne.
Juniors Audrey Frazier, Giselle Miranda, Kate Poole, and Coco Svindland traveled to Owensboro, Kentucky with Mrs. Merz, to join Ursuline students from schools from around the country for a three-day retreat on St. Angela Merici and her vision of love. Ursuline Education Network organized the program, which was underwritten by the Lilly Endowment.
Ursuline Academy was proud to sponsor the 2022 Radiothon benefiting Nemours Children’s Hospital. The Help Our Kids Radiothon raised a total of $332,648 this year for Children’s Life Programs! Several Middle and Upper School students, along with our President Dr. Trisha Medeiros and Middle School Principal Mrs. Phillips, volunteered answering the phones during the “Ursuline Power Hour.” The Philly Phanatic and Charlie Manuel stopped by while we were there!
Introduced Winnie, a poodle mix, as Ursuline’s first school dog! She quickly won the hearts of students, faculty, and parents. Winnie enjoys catching up with students outside, hanging out in classrooms, and cheering on our Raiders!