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Sacred Heart education: Building virtue while learning

There is really nothing that can compare to the energy of an elementary school – particularly here at Sacred Heart Schools on Sheridan Road. From the moment you walk through the doors, you can feel the energy, spirit and tradition that makes Sacred Heart unique.

Founded in 1876 as the Academy of the Sacred Heart for Girls, and in 1935, adding Hardey Preparatory for Boys, Sacred Heart Schools are independent, Catholic, elementary schools that serve 700 children in Kindergarten through eighth grade. Rooted in the history and traditions of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Sacred Heart Schools are committed to academic excellence in the environment of a Christian community.

Our mission is inspired by the spiritual ideal and work of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, who first articulated her educational vision in 1800. Not only did she seek to give youth an exceptional academic foundation, but also she hoped that the education in her schools would be profound enough to inspire students to rebuild, renew, and transform society wherever they lived. Today, this mission continues here on Sheridan Road and in all 24 Sacred Heart Network schools across the United States as well as many more around the world.  

Sacred Heart is a proud member of the National Association of Independent Schools, which affirms our dedication to excellence in academic instruction across all grades. Our low student/teacher ratio—9:1—reflects our commitment to providing a learning environment that is challenging and supportive to a variety of learners. Our belief in the effectiveness of single sex classrooms, which children begin to experience in first grade, further illustrates our focus on the holistic development of each child as an individual.

Dedicated to the education of both the head and the heart, Sacred Heart honors our heritage as schools in the Roman Catholic tradition by providing students with a strong background in religion, morality, and civic responsibility. Sacred Heart also celebrates our diversity and recognizes our varied backgrounds as additional opportunities to learn and grow. Sacred Heart families represent 35 different countries and every major religion. Approximately 20% of our current student body enrolls with the help of scholarships and financial assistance. All God’s creation—each student, family, graduate, and staff member—truly contributes to who we are as a Sacred Heart community.

On behalf of the Schools, thank you for taking a moment to learn more about us. St. Madeleine Sophie Barat used the term Cor Unum, or One Heart, to describe her vision for Sacred Heart. More than 200 years after her time, we remain a teaching and learning community based on faith, intellect, love and shared goals. I invite you to explore the website and visit us here on Sheridan Road. Walk through our doors and feel the energy, spirit and tradition of Sacred Heart.


Nat Wilburn
Head of Schools

Nat Wilburn
Head of Schools

Nat Wilburn, Head of Schools

Nat Wilburn has been Head of Schools since July 2009, after serving five years as principal. Mr. Wilburn has 19 years of experience as a Sacred Heart educator both in Chicago and San Francisco. He is "excited and humbled to provide leadership to the Schools in the mission of St. Madeleine Sophie."

Mr. Wilburn holds a Masters of Education from Loyola University Chicago, a Masters of Divinity from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee.

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