A Brief History of Immaculate Heart of Mary School

In the early 1900's, the Catholics of Scarsdale traveled by trolley to attend Mass at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in White Plains. In 1912, a committee approached John Cardinal Farley asking that a new parish be established in Scarsdale.

Although there were only thirty-nine Catholic families in the area, Cardinal Farley granted their request, and the parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was established on December 20, 1912.

Over the next several years the parish experienced continued growth. In 1924, when the financial burdens incurred in the building of the church were relieved, plans were made for the construction of a parish school on the same site as the Church.

The cornerstone for the new Immaculate Heart of Mary School was laid on December 11, 1927. The Sisters of Charity were engaged to staff the new school and made their temporary residence at the Tunney home on Carman Road until a convent could be build for them. Sister Miriam Patricia McGinty, S.C. became the first principal of the school.

On September 10, 1928, one hundred students in five grades entered the new school. The building designed by J.B.C. Synder and built by the John J. Cocherill Construction Company contained nine classrooms, a library, an auditorium and a gymnasium.

The dedication of the school was such an auspicious occasion for the Village of Scarsdale that Patrick Cardinal Hayes was escorted from the Scarsdale Station to the ceremony in a flag-festooned motorcade.

In 1937, four new classrooms and a new kindergarten were added to the school. Over the next several years, the parish continued to expand, and in 1948, portions of the parish were formed into the new parish of Our Lady of Fatima. This happened again in 1954, when St. Pius X Parish was establisheded. Both of these new parishes would eventually build their own parochial schools. However, even with these changes in parish geography, overcrowding at IHM school made the addition of three classrooms on the third floor a necessity.

In 1964, there were 700 students in the school.

The Sisters of Charity ended their thirty-nine year affiliation with Immaculate Heart of Mary School in 1967. The school principals who succeeded Sister Miriam Patricia were Sisters Vincent Miriam Tracy, Regina Miriam Donohue, Miriam Ursula Farnan, Bernardine Miriam Comerford, Maria Alacoque Sheridan, Marie Aimee Walsh and Sister Marie Loretta. The Dominican Sisters of Sparkill assumed operation of IHM School for the next five years with Sr. Marie Regina, O.P. serving as principal.

In 1972, Immaculate Heart of Mary School became the first lay-administered and lay-staffed school in the Archdiocese of New York when Mrs. Mary Anne Landry became the new school principal. In 1978, she was succeeded by Mr. Harold Nielsen, and in 1984, Mr. Robert Billings assumed the role of principal serving IHM School for the next twenty years.

In September 2006, Mrs. Patricia Gatti became the new principal. Formerly the principal of St. Brendan's School in the Bronx, Mrs. Gatti brings many years of experience as a teacher and administrator to IHM school.

Although the enrollment of IHM school is smaller than in years past, it continues to be committed to the same principles that inspired the parishioners of IHM almost eighty years ago to build our school. Those principles are based on providing a quality, well-rounded education rooted in the values of the Gospel and the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Church for all who come to us.

As we celebrate the past, we look forward to the future and pray that through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, God will continue to pour out his blessings on our alumni, our present students and all who will come to IHM School in the years ahead!