Saint David's School (New York City)

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Saint David's School
St Davids School 12 E89 jeh.jpg
12 East 89th Street
New York City, New York 10128
United States
School type Private
Motto "That They Be Good Men"
Established 1951
Headmaster P. David O'Halloran[1]
Grades PreK-8
Gender All-boys
Enrollment 400[2][3]
Average class size 18
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Red and white          
Newspaper The Canticle

Saint David's School is an independent primary and pre-primary school located on East 89th Street in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City, USA. It is an all-boys school, educating students from pre-kindergarten through to eighth grade. Saint David's was founded in 1951.[4] The current headmaster is P. David O'Halloran.[1][3]


Officially opening on February 5, 1951, Saint David's began with one teacher and four students. Its purpose, according to its nine[5] founding families, was "to provide a sound substantial education for the growing boy, equal to the best, derived from institutions of a similar level."[3] Its mission is "to educate boys to fulfill their potential through rigorous academic pursuit, deliberate introspection, and critical analysis of ideas and issues.[5] "That they be good men, Ut viri boni sint."[6]

While a school in the Roman Catholic tradition, Saint David's has always been lay-run and independent.

Chaplains[7] that serve and have served the school are:

  • Msgr. Thomas Leonard (1968-2003)
  • Rev. Stephen Katsourous, S.J. (2003 -2011)[8]
  • Rev. Patrick Bonner, S.T.B., M.S., J.C.L.

Academically, Saint David's School has embraced the classical ideal of balance, providing boys a rigorous education while encouraging them to grow into responsible and moral world citizens. In the decades since its founding, Saint David's has undertaken several expansions, adding state-of-the-art facilities for its academic and athletics programs.[9] Today, the school community includes 400 students and more than 130 faculty and staff.[3]


Saint David's School is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools,[2] the National Association of Independent Schools,[10] and the Educational Records Bureau.[11]

The Lower School provides a structured, challenging, and dynamic academic environment in which each boy develops a strong sense of confidence in himself as a learner. In the pre-primary grades, the curriculum aims to foster a love of discovery while cultivating the skills necessary for continued academic achievement. Language arts and mathematics form the core of the academic curriculum. Taught in small instructional groups that progress at an appropriate pace, reading classes balance direct instruction with group and individualized work.[12]

Saint David’s Upper School refines the reading, writing, speaking, and critical-thinking skills developed in the Lower School and prepares boys for the greater independence and responsibility of adolescence. Teachers use direct instruction to impart essential knowledge skills, but through collaborative, project-based learning, they also cultivate teamwork, leadership, and public speaking skills.[13]


The school offers an extensive sports program, including baseball,[14] basketball, cross-country, flag football, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, squash (sport), and track.[15] Also with an athletic center located at 215 East 94th Street, they also offer an array of professional fitness equipment and an athletic venue. Overall, they have four gym spaces located in the main building and this annex.[9]

Saint David's athletic program seeks "to cultivate a sense of sportsmanship, respect for others and self, cooperation, dedication, and self-confidence. We challenge boys to grow by fostering a healthy competitive spirit through participation, skill development, teamwork and commitment to achieving full athletic potential." Their goal is to strike a balance between athletics and academics, and the discipline to both work to the benefit of the whole student athlete.[15]

As an after school elective, Saint David's also offers an ice hockey program which begins in kindergarten and is available until 8th grade.[16][17] Along with other private schools, Saint David's use of an ice rink at a state park in Harlem has aroused some controversy.[18][19]

Community service[edit]

Saint David's participates in many community service initiatives. Some of which include their annual Halloween candy drive, their bottle cap drive, and other fundraising projects. They work with New York Cares for their annual coat drive,[20] the Graham Windham Mitten and Hat Collection,[21] Project Cicero for book donations,[22] City Harvest for annual food drives, Ronald McDonald's Fun Run,[23] Florence Nightingale Nursing Home[24] and Terence Cardinal Cooke Nursing Home[25][26][27] for nursing home visits and carols, and It's My Park Day[28] to rejuvenate New York City Parks.[29]

Saint David's has also been very philanthropic. In 2004, they raised more that $10,000 for the Red Cross and their South East Asia Tsunami Fund.[29] In 2010, they raised $36,000 for Haiti's Recovery Fund.[29] And in 2011, they began a new initiative to raise money to build a school in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia with the help of Mimi's Building Blocks[30] and Save the Children.[31] They raised more than $120,000 and Saint David's Kalina School opened in Ethiopia in the fall of 2013.[32][33][34]

They also have a special committee on environmental awareness and action.[35] Here, they discuss and propose methods on being green and environmentally friendly. Televised by CBS New York, they were highlighted for their efforts in collecting and recycling bottle caps.[36][37] They have been successful in modernizing and changing the school's usage of paper, supplies, and waste disposal.

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Thomas F. Herlihy (1951-1953)
  • David D. Hume (1953–1990)[3]
  • Timothy Burns (1990–1992)[3][24]
  • Dr. Donald T. Maiocco (1992–2004)[3]
  • Dr. P. David O'Halloran (2004-Present)


  1. ^ a b David O'Halloran. "Headmaster's Blog". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  2. ^ a b "New York State Association of Independent Schools: Saint David's School". 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "About Us - Saint David's School". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  4. ^ Dolkart, Andrew S; Postal, Matthew A. (2004). Guide to New York City Landmarks. New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (Author of Forward) (Third ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. p. 170. 
  5. ^ a b "About Us - Saint David's School". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  6. ^ "Saint David's School - New York City". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ a b "About Us - Saint David's School". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  12. ^ [4]
  13. ^ [5]
  14. ^ O'Halloran, David (2012-02-28). "Headmaster's Blog: Continuing Development". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  15. ^ a b [6]
  16. ^ [7]
  17. ^ [8]
  18. ^ Juan Gonzalez (February 18, 2011). "Bitter faceoff at Harlem ice rink as residents complain that prep school teams hog ice time". New York Daily News. 
  19. ^ Rebecca White (March 21, 2011), "Harlem Skaters Say Park Favors Hockey", The New York Times 
  20. ^ 20 Oct. "Volunteer in NYC". New York Cares. Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  21. ^ [9]
  22. ^ "Project Cicero". Project Cicero. Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  23. ^ [10]
  24. ^ a b Brozan, Nadine (1991-12-24). "Chronicle". New York Times. 
  25. ^ [11]
  26. ^ O'Halloran, David (2011-03-01). "Headmaster's Blog: The Residents". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  27. ^ O'Halloran, David (2011-11-18). "Headmaster's Blog: Life is No Less Beautiful". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  28. ^ "City Parks FoundationPartnerships for Parks - City Parks Foundation". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  29. ^ a b c "Africa Video : Community Service : About Us - Saint David's School". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  30. ^ [12]
  31. ^ "and Mimi's Building Blocks". Save the Children. Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  32. ^ "Africa Video : Community Service : About Us - Saint David's School". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  33. ^ O'Halloran, David (2012-01-09). "Headmaster's Blog: Ethiopia: Year Two Launched". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  34. ^ "Africa Video : Community Service : About Us - Saint David's School". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  35. ^ [13]
  36. ^ "Videos - Saint David's School Media - Saint David's School". 2010-08-29. Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  37. ^ O'Halloran, David (2011-04-20). "Headmaster's Blog: The Earth". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  38. ^ A study in smutty; Porn perused at posh prep: bias suit,, January 31, 2011.
  39. ^ "Midori - violin". 1997-11-11. Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  40. ^ "Kennedy, Jr., John Fitzgerald - Dictionary definition of Kennedy, Jr., John Fitzgerald | FREE online dictionary". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  41. ^ "In Memoriam | Prince Alireza Pahlavi Foundation - English". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  42. ^ Jensen, Elizabeth (2008-12-24). "Where the Meal Is Only Part of the Show". New York Times. Mr. Rossi had interviewed Mr. Maccioni for “Eat This New York” and had attended grade school at St. David’s School on the Upper East Side with Mauro Maccioni. 
  43. ^ [14][dead link]

External links[edit]