History of St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls
St. Hubert Parish Church and School was opened in 1925 by Reverend John P. Ludwig, who with the help of the Franciscan Sisters would use the parish to serve German-speaking Catholics of Northeast Philadelphia. At that time, St. Hubert consisted of the oldest section of the building, now called “St. Joseph Hall.” The outside steps lead up to the church proper, the ground floor served as the church hall, and the second floor was used as the grade school classrooms. St. Hubert continued in its parish commitment until 1940 when Cardinal Dennis Dougherty ordered St. Hubert Parish to close due to declining numbers and rising financial costs.
The reconditioning of St. Hubert Parish and School began, and on September 8, 1941, St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls was established with a full four-year program. The fourth diocesan girls’ high school in Philadelphia, St. Hubert opened its doors with over 600 students for the first semester. The first faculty consisted of 20 religious, six Sisters of St. Francis, four Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, four Sisters of St. Joseph, two Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, four Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and three female lay teachers. Sister M. Ruperta, OSF served as the first administrator with the title of “prefect.” On June 6, 1942, the first Senior Class, numbering 139 students, graduated from St. Hubert.
Over the next decade, St. Hubert continued to grow in curriculum and enrollment. September 1951 saw the results of this expansion with the opening of St. Mary’s Building. This addition included the gymnasium/auditorium on Cottman Avenue, three floors of classrooms, and science laboratories. In July 1952, Reverend Richard J. Simons was appointed the first principal of St. Hubert. In September 1956, Sacred Heart Hall, a second addition consisting of classrooms, a cafeteria and a new auditorium was opened. Throughout the following years, the enrollment continued to increase until it reached 3,802 during the 1965-66 school year. With the opening of Archbishop Ryan High School in the fall of 1966, the problem of overcrowding was greatly relieved.
In June 1967, Reverend James H. Meehan was appointed principal of St. Hubert. In June 1971, Reverend Gerard A. Steffe was appointed principal and served for two years until September 1973 when Rev. Philip J. Cribben became principal. In the fall of 1975, the administrative staff was increased by the appointment of Miss Helen Chaykowsky as vice principal.
In May 1980, Sister M. Marcus, OSF was appointed principal. History had come full circle with yet another Sister of St. Francis at the helm—just as had been six decades previously with the sisters who had staffed the St. Hubert Parish in the ‘20s and ‘30s. After serving throughout the ‘80s, Sister Marcus turned the office over to St. Hubert’s first lay principal, Joanne H. Walls, in July 1988. In July 1994, Mrs. Walls assumed the duties of president of St. Hubert, and Sister Marie Esther, IHM was appointed principal. Sister Alma Rose Schlosser, SSJ was appointed president of St. Hubert in July 1996. After thirteen years of service as principal, Sister Marie Esther, IHM was named Coordinator of Science Initiatives for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Sister Mary Smith, IHM was appointed the eighth principal of St. Hubert High School in July 2007. After thirteen years of dedication to her Alma Mater, Sister Alma Rose Schlosser, SSJ was named Director of Parent Relations at Chestnut Hill College. In July of 2009 Sister Mary Smith was appointed to the position of president and Mrs. Regina Craig was named principal. In August of 2012, Francis A. Farrell was named the fourth president of St. Hubert. July of 2013 welcomed back Dr. Joanne H. Walls as the 10th principal.