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Preston High School is a Roman Catholic high school for girls in the neighborhood of Throggs Neckmarker in the New York Citymarker borough of the Bronxmarker. Preston is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Preston’s enrollment is 600 young women from the Bronx and the metropolitan surrounding areas. Fifty-one percent of students are minority, and 49 percent are white. The student-faculty ratio is 13 to one, and 100 percent of graduates are accepted into post-secondary institutions.


Preston High School was established in 1947 by the Sisters of the Divine Compassion, as an independent, college-preparatory school. The original school building, also known as "The Huntington Mansion" or "the mansion" to students & faculty, was the 19th century waterfront mansion of Collis P. Huntington, who purchased the property from Frederick C. Havemeyer, Jr. in 1883. Havemeyer purchased the property from Thomas Ash in 1862. Prestonites believe the mansion is haunted by a ghost named Archie.

The estate was sold to the Sisters of the Divine Compassion in 1927 and they established The House of the Holy Family as a residence and a school for girls. This was converted to a high school in 1947 and the name was changed in the memory of Monsignor Thomas Preston, who with Mother Mary Veronica (Mary Caroline Dannat Star) founded the Sisters of the Divine Compassion.

The school was expanded in 1960 and in 1965 to add another building, referred to by students as the "new building". This new building included many more classrooms, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, a library and science labs. Over the years, a computer room was added as technology changed.

The school's motto is "Virtus Mille Scuta," a Latin phrase meaning, "Virtue is a Thousand Shields." The school shield comprises the coat of arms of Monsignor Thomas Preston and the seal of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion. In 1997, on the school's fiftieth anniversary, the familiar school logo was modified to add elements of the official shield. The Throggs Neck Bridgemarker is incorporated in the logo and represents the "bridge to opportunity," which represents the rite of passage of attending high school and moving on to be a productive member of the community and of society.


As all classes are college-preparatory, 100% of Preston students go on to attend university. Past graduates have attended Harvardmarker, Yalemarker, Brownmarker, Cornellmarker, Columbia, Vassar, Trinitymarker, and many other distinguished institutions. Students are urged to consider careers in all fields, especially those in which women are under-represented. Students are particularly encouraged to consider engineering, mathematics, early childhood education and computer science. The academic program is enriched by engineering exploration days, annual math and science contests, and numerous science and computer based electives. The school has equipped labs for computers, science, and mathematics. Advanced technologies are implemented for AP Calculus and related courses.

The average SAT score for graduating seniors is approximately 1510 on the 2400 scale, with a breakdown of 500 in both critical reading and mathematics, and a 510 average in writing. The school maintains excellent percentiles in the New York State Regents exams -- particularly in the fields of English, Social Studies, and Humanities. Foreign language proficiency is also prominent at Preston. Italian, Spanish, and Latin classes are mandatory for all students and courses are available for advanced speakers.

The school serves the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, but is not directly affiliated with a particular parish. Rather, the school continues in the tradition of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion. The building actually served as the residence for the school's sisters until the summer of 2004, when their apartments were converted to accommodate a growing student body.

Notable alumnae

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