WSG Hosts First Annual Founders Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In celebration of its clear mission and distinct founding principles, the Washington School for Girls (WSG) hosted its first annual Founders Day on April 11, 2014.

As WSG approached the end of its 17th year offering an academic program, both of the school’s campuses came together for a formal program that reflected on the social, academic, and spiritual values that the school was founded upon. Following the program, students presented a selection of top projects from the year in an academic fair open to guests from the community.

“The success of our school is grounded in our strong mission and the history that inspired it,” explains Sister Mary Bourdon, RJM, Head of School. “By establishing this tradition, we are creating an opportunity for each member of our community to engage with that history in a way that we hope will inspire them.”

WSG was founded in 1997 by a group of concerned women who saw an urgent need for strong education of girls in the Anacostia area of Washington, DC. These women were members of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and two religious orders: the Religious of Jesus and Mary (RJM) and the Society of the Holy Child Jesus (SHCJ). Each representative drew inspiration from the founding women of their organizations, which thus created the ideological framework for WSG. Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of NCNW, valued service, education, and the importance of active citizenship. Claudine Thevenet, founder of the RJM, committed her life to educating those forgotten by society in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Cornelia Connelly of the SHCJ believed deeply in the potential of each student, and her approach to education is still alive through a network of schools in her name.

Thanks to the inspiration of these courageous women in history, WSG blends academic challenge with support for the social, emotional, and spiritual growth of each student by offering small classes, a rich extended day program, and a safe and caring environment for learning. The success of the program is evidenced by a 98% high school graduation rate, much higher than the neighborhood average of under 50%. A tuition-free independent Catholic school recognized by the Archdiocese of Washington, the WSG is funded through private contributions and grants.


WSG is an independent, all girls, Catholic day school serving grades 4-8 in Anacostia tuition-free. To find out more about WSG’s programs, contact the school at 202-678-1113 or visit