Award Year: 2016

St. Joan of Arc School

329 West Areba Avenue
Hershey, PA, 17033-1602

(717) 533-2854

Sister Eileen Marie McGowan, Principal at time of Nomination

Harrisburg Diocese

School Website

School FaceBook


St. Joan of Arc School fosters academic excellence in the Catholic tradition of discipline, with emphasis on developing a community of faith, hope, and charity.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 2%
  • White: 79%
  • Hispanic: 5%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Asian: 7%
  • Two or more races: 6%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
A strong school community is the foundation for academic excellence.

A strong school community is the foundation for academic excellence.

St. Joan of Arc School (SJA) has been providing excellent education to students from Hershey, PA and the neighboring towns for 88 years. Since its inception, SJA has been under the capable and dedicated direction of Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy. A strong sense of Catholic faith and community is at the heart of the school, and is enabled by ongoing collaboration across the administration, faculty, parents, volunteers, and students. Older students serve as "buddies" with younger students for Mass, prayers, and reading practice. Parents volunteer in the classrooms, on committees, and for special projects. Faculty explore emerging instructional techniques, and expand those that are most consistently successful across all grades. The school also has a strong focus on health and wellness. Students receive fresh fruit as an afternoon snack twice weekly, and may choose to participate in a weekly walking program before school. Students walk a combined total of over 1,000 miles during each school year. In a commitment to bullying prevention, SJA implemented the research-based Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, and became the first non-public school in the nation to be recognized as a Certified Olweus School. The strong sense of collaboration and focus on student wellness has resulted in academic success. For the last two years, approximately half of SJA graduates placed in high school honors classes. This is twice the average of the incoming freshmen overall. SJA is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.