Experience Sacred Heart


Forest Ridge is steeped in a 200-year-old Sacred Heart tradition that anchors the community and connects with 150 schools worldwide. The school is guided by the powerful goals the foundresses set forth while evolving the way students are educated to be future global leaders.

About half of the High School students participate in the Sacred Heart Exchange Program. Whether navigating the Tokyo subway, making a new friend in Spain or another part of the U.S., the girls learn essential lessons about themselves and the world. Forest Ridge also welcomes about 25 exchange students each year, enriching the campus with a diversity of culture and understanding.

With a history rich in traditions, every week is filled with spirit at Forest Ridge. The school year begins with Convocation, calling each community member by name and presenting that year’s holy card. A campus-wide favorite is Congé, a surprise day of play planned in secret by student leaders. Frosh Days welcome ninth-graders to high school with a playful and supportive relationship with a senior. In the Ring Ceremony, outgoing seniors pass down school leadership with a symbolic gesture of sisterhood. Students feel connected to something bigger here—long after they leave Forest Ridge.

Sacred Heart is about looking at each person as a person and thinking about how I can be there for her. We talk about what it means to be in service to each other on a daily basis, how we treat each other as fellow humans and we try to come back to the ideas of respect, compassion, forgiveness and generosity. Forest Ridge is a very growth-centered place.—Sara Konek, middle school science teacher and grade leader

Historical Highlights

List of 24 items.

  • 1912

    The first Forest Ridge graduate receives her diploma.
  • 1918

    Enrollment is 113 students, 60 of whom are boarders.
  • 1919

    Increased enrollment calls for campus expansion. Barat Hall, a prefabricated wooden structure purchased from a mail-order house, opens on the southwest end of campus, enabling students to play sports in a sheltered area.
  • 1920

    Student Maribeth Gerbel is awarded a first-place national prize for her essay, "Advantages of Enlistment in the U.S. Army."
  • 1930

    The School starts two-year junior college for women.
  • 1954

    Enrollment is 225 students. A new Barat Hall is built, housing a gymnasium, science laboratory, nursery school and kindergarten.
  • 1957

    The School celebrates its Golden Jubilee.
  • 1963

    Enrollment is 340 students.

    Mother Sabinede Valon, Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart, visits the Forest Ridge campus and reports that the school is no longer suitable for educating young girls. The physical plant requires extensive work, including the logging of numerous trees, which over the years had grown to sufficient size that they block sun, create dampness, and bring about fire safety issues that call for the installation of an indoor sprinkler system and fire doors. After returning to Rome, Mother de Valon sends a letter to the School giving it permission to move.
  • 1964

    Sr. Virginia McMonagle becomes the new principal of Forest Ridge. She is charged with finding and purchasing land and building a new school.
  • 1965

    Five potential building sites for the new campus are identified in the areas of: Houghton (now Kirkland); Redmond; Discovery Park, Seattle; and Somerset Hill, Bellevue. Sr. McMonagle is convinced that Somerset is the site, saying, "It's the will of God that Forest Ridge be built on this mountain." The 100-acre parcel is purchased for $3,500 an acre.
  • 1970

    Ground is broken for the new Somerset campus.
  • 1971

    School opens on the new Somerset campus.
  • 1972

    Archbishop Thomas A. Connolly dedicates the new Somerset campus.
  • 1973

    The Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Education are created to express the values, intentions and hopes of the Sacred Heart tradition. All Sacred Heart schools in the United States use the Goals and Criteria as their philosophical foundation.
  • 1981

    The 300-seat Lee Theatre and Performing Arts Center is built.
  • 1991

    Shumway Field is built.
  • 1996

    The School launches pioneering laptop program.
  • 2000

    Dr. Mary Magnano Smith '61 becomes the first lay/non-religious Head of School. The School celebrates the bicentennial of Sacred Heart education.
  • 2002

    Alumna Genevieve Albers '27 leaves the School $5 million, its largest philanthropic gift to date.
  • 2003

    The School launches “Boundless Success” Capital Campaign to expand the campus.
  • 2006

    The School dedicates two new buildingsthe High School building and the Sacred Heart Center, which includes a long-awaited chapel.
  • 2007

    The School celebrates its Centennial with myriad special events, including a Gala Dinner and a speech by Melinda Gates.
  • 2008

    The School embarks upon a Strategic Plan for 2008-2013.
  • 2010

    The School completes the "Open Your Heart" campaign for scholarship endowment, raising more than $5 million in matching funds.

Past Heads of School and Mistress Generals

Mr. Mark Pierotti Head of School 2009 – 2017
Dr. Mary Magnano Smith ’61 Head of School 2000 – 2009
Mrs. Mona Bailey Head of School 1998 – 2000
Sr. Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ Head of School 1990 – 1998
Sr. Sandra Theunick, RSCJ Head of School 1982 – 1990
Sr. Clair Kondolf, RSCJ Head of School 1978 – 1982
Sr. Marie Louise “Bunny” Flick, RSCJ Head of School 1974 – 1978
Sr. Ann McElhatton, RSCJ Head of School 1972 – 1974
Mother Virginia McMonagle, RSCJ Mistress General 1969 – 1972
Mother Marie Owen, RSCJ Mistress General 1967 – 1969
Mother Mary B. Flaherty, RSCJ Mistress General 1965 – 1967
Mother Virginia McMonagle, RSCJ Mistress General 1963 – 1965
Mother Annette Bourret, RSCJ Mistress General 1951 – 1963
Mother Viola Dorsey, RSCJ Mistress General 1949 – 1951
Mother Eleanor Jenkins, RSCJ Mistress General 1946 – 1949
Mother Agnes Regan, RSCJ Mistress General 1939 – 1946
Mother Ethel Teegarden, RSCJ Mistress General 1933 – 1939
Mother Agnes McNally, RSCJ Mistress General 1928 – 1932
Mother Mary McQueeny, RSCJ Mistress General 1919 – 1928
Mother Louise Williams, RSCJ Mistress General 1915 – 1919
Mother Georgina Williams, RSCJ Mistress General 1911 – 1914
Rev. Mother Mary McMenamy, RSCJ Mistress General 1907 – 1911




4800 139th Avenue SE, Bellevue, WA 98006 | 425.641.0700