Our History

To meet the ever-evolving needs of students, significant growth and change has taken place within the historic walls of Waldron Mercy Academy through the years. By 1946, students no longer lived at the school. During the 1950’s, in addition to the sisters, lay people joined the Waldron faculty in increasing numbers. Waldron started a preschool and Montessori program which enrolled both boys and girls.

In September 1987, Waldron Academy for Boys and Merion Mercy Academy for Girls (lower school) officially merged and reopened as Waldron Mercy Academy. Fifteen years later, the school assumed responsibility for the Waldron Mercy Child Care, located on the schools’ campus. Over 40 students attend this year-round program for children three months to three years of age.

In the past 20 years, there have been physical changes such as the renovation of the third floor from an attic to the beautiful Albert T. Perry Memorial Library, art studio and computer lab. The basement has been transformed into a vibrant Music Suite with classrooms, private lesson rooms, offices, concert facility, and a totally renovated classroom area for Early Childhood Classroom through kindergarten. The second floor Science Lab rivals many found at the high-school level. The school has added Mercy After Care, an aftercare program that meets the needs of today’s working parents. The faculty and staff have also grown significantly over the years with the addition of programs and services. With the installation of storage cubbies in every homeroom, the need for locker rooms has been eliminated, thus providing additional space needed for classes and staff. Outdoors there have been changes too, with the addition of playgrounds, fields and equipment that help all of the children develop from childcare through junior high.

With the U.S. Department of Education recognition of WMA as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 2001 and 2009, our accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and our Program of Distinction in Service Learning from Middle States in 2017, the quality of the education provided at WMA has been enthusiastically validated.


Chronology of principals for Waldron Mercy Academy, originally Waldron Academy for Boys (even earlier as Saint Anne’s Seminary for Little Boys)


Mother Patricia Joseph Waldron purchased property in Merion to be a respite place for Sisters working in the City of Philadelphia to regain their strength in the country air. They accepted their first pupil in December of that year. A school quickly developed in the original farmhouse for girls through to grade 12 and for boys until they were 12 years old. This necessitated the purchase of the adjoining property and the move to the new farmhouse and later the building of the huge stone Convent in 1893 which housed Sisters, girls and boys, both day students and boarders. In those early years, all the students were under one Principal through varying changes.


Sister Mary Concilio led the Little Boys in a move to the new Saint Aloysius wing in the main Convent.


A new school building was constructed of stone on the site of the original farmhouse. Its beautiful architecture was in keeping with the main stone Convent on the grounds above Waldron. Two floors were dedicated to academics, and the third floor became dormitories and trunk rooms for the boy Boarders, grades K-8. Day students were received, as well. This is given as the founding date for Waldron. The name of the principal, at this time, is unknown.


Sister Mary Walburga McGinley, principal. During this time, a gymnasium was added to the original building.


Sister Mary Patrice McNulty, principal


Sister Mary Edward Wright, principal. In 1968, the name of the school was slightly changed to Waldron Mercy Academy.


Sister Teresa Mary McGehee, principal


Sister Margaret Kelly, principal. During this time, the front lobby was renovated and the magnificent stained glass work was added to the front door.


The Montessori Program, which was established by the Girls’s School, moved to Waldron but remained independent of Waldron for a time, until it became part of Waldron’s pre-school programs.


Sister Marylou McFadden, principal


Even younger children were accepted into Waldron’s pre-school program.


Sister Suzanne Gallagher, principal


The school became co-ed when the Boys’ School merged with the lower grades of the Girls’ School to form a pre-school to grade 8 Elementary School.


Sister Patricia Smith (until elected to the Leadership Team), principal


An elevator was installed, in anticipation of the planned renovation of the third floor.


Another major expansion occurred with the renovation of the third floor, from an attic housing the boys’ trunks, to classrooms and a state-of-the-art Learning Center, with one wall, glass-enclosed, and space added by replacing the dormer area with an expanded roof.


A major renovation of the basement led to a music studio and more rooms for the growing pre-school program.


Stephen Stritch became acting principal while a search committee looked for a new principal.


Nell Stetser, the first full-time lay principal


Ann Marie Braca, principal

Contact us:

513 Montgomery Avenue, Merion Station, PA 19066 
t. 610-664-9847 
driving directions

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