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The Covello-Martinelli Family, Sacred Heart Academy Bryn Mawr

Learn more about this family's experience at the independent Catholic, K-12 school for girls.

Seana Covello and Greg Martinelli knew they wanted a Catholic education for their daughter, Maeve. They went to Catholic school and felt the character-building qualities of a religious school were important to them. So the question became, which one?

 

The family had lots of great options, Seana said. But Sacred Heart Academy Bryn Mawr felt like home from the very beginning.

 

“Once you get into the school, there’s a certain feel to it that’s very warm, kind of like a family-oriented environment,” she said. “It comes across right away.”

 

Maeve, who’s now 8 and a third grader, started at Sacred Heart Academy in kindergarten. (The school has recently changed its name from Country Day School of the Sacred Heart.) The family has loved the confidence and sense of individuality the school is building in Maeve, and all the students at the kindergarten through 12th grade school for girls.

 

“The girls feel like they’re totally accepted,” Seana said. “However you are, however you come to the school, is how you’re expected to be.

“The girls learn to be confident, and I think their confidence makes them kind.”

Sacred Heart Academy is part of an international Network of Sacred Heart Schools, which includes schools all over the world. Each is based on the vision of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, and includes core principles such as religious education and a commitment to personal and intellectual growth, community building, and social awareness and action.

 

At Sacred Heart Academy, those values include accepting students without regard to their religion or background. Seana gave the example of students making their first Holy Communion: girls who aren’t Catholic were invited to participate in ways that made them comfortable.

 

“The beauty of it is that you can be in the suburbs, living where you’re living, and still get a diverse school experience, which is what my husband and I were looking for,” Seana said.

 

The network means the small school has big horizons, too. Upper school students get the chance to visit another Sacred Heart school outside the country, and international students come to Bryn Mawr.

 

The small classes are balanced by the opportunity for students of different ages to do things together: the lower school does music and social service projects together, and all the students mingle in the dining hall.  

 

For Maeve and her family, it’s all added up to a diverse, comfortable community that’s steeped in the same set of values. Seana believes it’s a great place to prepare her daughter for the world.

 

“I think people come to this school for the differences, not the similarities,” she said.

 

Want to know more? Visit Sacred Heart Academy’s website, or join us for an open house:

Upper School, October 21, 12:30 — 3 pm

K-12: October 24, 9 — 11 am

K-4: December 8, 4 pm

 

Photographs by Casey Kallen. 

 

Founded in 1865, Sacred Heart Academy Bryn Mawr is an all-girls, Kindergarten through Grade 12, independent, Catholic, college preparatory school on the Main Line.

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