NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The Academy of Our Lady of Peace School Board is pleased to announce that Dr. Kelly Hart has been selected as the new Principal of The Academy.  

Dr. Hart completed her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Math, Science and Technology at The College of New Jersey and obtained her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University. Dr. Hart earned her Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from the College of St. Elizabeth, having given her dissertation in STEM Education. She most recently served as Supervisor of Educational Technology for the East Hanover Board of Education. She has taught Engineering at the high school level and STEM education at the middle school level.  Dr. Hart is a Chatham native. She and her husband are raising two young children. 

On her new role at The Academy, Dr. Hart said, “I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve a school with such a rich tradition of education and the evident support of the Our Lady of Peace community. During this most challenging time, The Academy and community have rallied as a family to ensure the school remains a caring, safe, faithful, and academically rich environment. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to collaborate with the teachers, parents, and community members at The Academy and to share my devotion in making this school year and every year a great success.”

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School Board President, David Janazzo notes, “Dr. Hart is a highly credentialed, qualified, and impressive educational leader, with a desire to foster Catholic education for Academy students. The Board is confident that Dr. Hart will lead The Academy to long-term success.“

The Academy is currently accepting applications for enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year.  Please contact secretary@theacademyolp.org for information or a tour.

About the Academy of Our Lady of Peace

The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Peace was founded in February 1919 and by December of that year the first Mass in the new church was offered.  In 1952 the present site on South Street was purchased. A school and basement church of dual-use design was ready for its first Mass in October of 1954. During the 1950’s New Providence was growing faster than the parish planners had envisioned. The plans for the church complex were enlarged and work began on more classrooms over the basement church and on the construction of a new multi-purpose room to serve as church, auditorium, cafeteria and gymnasium. 

In 2004, the school celebrated its 50th Anniversary. School parents, teachers, administration, parish members and alumni celebrated in the school auditorium with a wonderful dinner and various guest speakers.

In 2006, the school achieved a major milestone and received accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

In 2008, the school was officially approved by the Archdiocese of Newark to become an academy. The school administration, faculty, School Advisory Council and Home School Association all played a role in obtaining this honor and designation. The Archdiocese has set forth guidelines that encompass six areas: curriculum, instruction, accreditation, total formation, activities and governance. As a result, the school has been officially renamed to The Academy of Our Lady of Peace.

In order to achieve Academy status, a school must meet stringent criteria including additional curriculum requirements, a gifted and talented program, academically related activities, an Early Childhood program, and religious education. The school must also be accredited by the Middle States Association and have an active advisory board to assist the pastor and principal. As part of the review process the Archdiocese visited with school representatives, teachers and students and took note of the school’s excellent credentials.

After a lengthy process, the Archdiocese of Newark informed Our Lady of Peace School that its application to become an Academy was approved. The Archdiocese congratulated the school, stating that “truly the hard work of this community has created an academy where students and teachers strive for excellence, where they build up one another through encouragement and challenge, and where all achieve as a result of the dynamic teaching/learning interaction.”

Brother Ralph Darmento, Deputy Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Newark, states, “Academy designation implies that special skills and subjects are taught. It is not merely a merging of schools and inserting the word ‘academy’ into the school’s new name. There are very specific academic standards and enrichment programs that academies must have in order to earn that name.” Brother Darmento authored the guidelines for academy status in the archdiocese.