Mount de Sales Academy (Georgia)

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Mount de Sales Academy
Mount de Sales Academy Crest.png
851 Orange Street


United States
Coordinates 32°50′4″N 83°38′24″W / 32.83444°N 83.64000°W / 32.83444; -83.64000Coordinates: 32°50′4″N 83°38′24″W / 32.83444°N 83.64000°W / 32.83444; -83.64000
Type Private
Motto "Touching hearts, shaping lives"
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1876
Founder Sisters of Mercy
Authority Independent
President David Held
Dean Mary Pat Dadisman
Principal Michael C. Franklin (Upper School),
Kari Alderman (Middle School)
Chaplain Father Frank Critch
Staff 87
Grades 612
Gender Coeducational
Student to teacher ratio 12:1
Color(s) Blue and gold          
Mascot Cavaliers
Nickname Cavaliers
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Southern Association of Independent Schools
Publication de Sales Sheet Magazine
Yearbook Salesian
Affiliation National Catholic Educational Association

Mount de Sales Academy, commonly referred to as MDS, is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school in Macon, Georgia, United States. It was founded in 1876 by five Sisters of Mercy as a boarding school for girls. In 1959, it became coeducational and ended boarding school operations in 1963. The Sisters served in an administrative capacity until 2002, when the first lay head of school was selected by the school's Board of Trustees. Mount de Sales is governed by its trustees and continues to be sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. It is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah.


Early history

In 1871, a group of five Sisters of Mercy from Columbus, Georgia, began a small school known as the Academy of the Sacred Heart Jesus on the corner of Fourth and Walnut streets in Macon.[1] In 1876, the mother house of the Sisters relocated from Columbus to Macon. The Sisters purchased the home of former Georgia Governor George W. Town for use at the corner of Orange and Columbus streets on Beall's Hill. On February 28, 1876, the new school was chartered under the name of Mount de Sales in honor of Saint Francis de Sales. When the first graduation exercises were held in 1882, it had expanded to comprise three divisions: primary, preparatory and senior. It educated mostly girls in grades 1-12, housing boarding students from around the southeastern United States and Latin America.[2]

The former residence of Governor George Towns c. 1880s, the original building and site of Mount de Sales Academy.

Modernization and expansion

Sheridan Hall

In 1936, Mount de Sales discontinued its primary school, but continued as a girls' secondary school for boarding and day students until 1959, when the first boys were admitted as day students.[3] The girls' boarding school closed in 1963 and the school continued as a coeducation day school. The first coeducational graduating class included 16 boys among 46 total graduates in 1963. The fall of 1963 marked the racial integration of Mount de Sales as a result of a diocesan edict, making it the first school in Middle Georgia to desegregate.[4]

David J. Zuver Performing Arts Center

In 1975, the middle school returned with the re-addition of an eighth grade. A seventh grade was reinstalled in 1988, followed by a sixth grade in 2004.[5] The original convent and boarding school building was demolished in the early 1970s and replaced by Sheridan Hall in 1990. New buildings were constructed over the following decades. Cavalier Fields, a 70 acres (0.28 km2) athletic complex, opened in 1998 approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of the downtown campus.

Father John Cuddy Hall


The upper school's curriculum includes honor, Advanced Placement and dual-enrollment college courses in most subject areas, along with a broad range of elective courses. Upper school students must perform 20 hours of community service annually, while middle school students are required to complete service projects. The middle school's House System places students in cross-grade level groups to foster positive social development. All students take theology courses and attend Mass on Holy Days. While it has a Catholic heritage, the school attracts students of all faiths and hosts dozens of international exchange students.[6]


In 2014, Mount de Sales came under national scrutiny when administrators fired Flint Dollar, an openly gay music teacher who planned to marry his longtime male partner, based on the Catholic church's doctrine against same-sex marriage.. [7] In 2015, both parties reached a confidential settlement.[8]


Mount de Sales regularly competes in a number of interscholastic athletics in Class A of the Georgia High School Association. Teams compete at the varsity, junior varsity and C-team levels. Additionally, the school sponsors cheerleading and a band. Cavalier Fields is home to a football stadium and practice fields, soccer playing and practice fields, track, softball and baseball fields, tennis courts and concessions. Most indoor athletics are held at McAuley Hall, the downtown campus gymnasium. The Cavalier Sports Hall of Fame honors athletes, coaches, administrators and supporters who have made significant contributions to the athletic program.[9]

Accreditation and membership

Notable alumni


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  10. ^ "SACS CASI Accredited Schools". Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 2007-12-10. Archived from the original on 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  11. ^ "SAIS: Mount de Sales Academy". Southern Association of Independent Schools. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  12. ^ "Georgia Independent School Association: Mount de Sales Academy". Georgia Independent School Association. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
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  14. ^ "Mercy Schools". Network for Mercy Education. Archived from the original on 2007-11-03. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
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  20. ^ "BLUE RIBBON SCHOOLS PROGRAM: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 Through 1999-2002". U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  21. ^,+Mount+de+Sales&source=bl&ots=s7xVhsNpsv&sig=O-9tLfN8uR_6VKNZ8kSTSlYKQwU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH5tGPiazRAhUG4CYKHQMuAtAQ6AEILDAE#v=onepage&q=Tina%20McElroy%20Ansa%2C%20Mount%20de%20Sales&f=false
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  28. ^ "Cole Miller UFC Bio". Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  29. ^ "Micah Miller MMA Bio". Retrieved 2014-01-01.
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  31. ^ Justin Baxley (March 1, 2019). "Lisa Sheridan, Macon native and 'NCIS' actress, found dead in New Orleans apartment". The Macon Telegraph.

External links

  • Mount de Sales Academy website
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah
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