Mount Saint Charles Academy

Mount Saint Charles Academy is a private Catholic coeducational junior/senior high school located in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.  


In the late 1800s, a significant number of French Canadians migrated to the mill town of Woonsocket, RI. One local clergyman, Monsignor Charles Dauray, sought to preserve the French language and Catholic faith in the region through education. He invited the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, a French Catholic congregation, to staff a school in the city. Mount St. Charles Academy opened on September 14, 1924 to a number of boarders and commuting students. Br. Josephus, SC served as the first principal.

Three years after the completion of the school, Br. Josephus oversaw the construction of a gymnasium, the largest in New England at the time. The early curriculum included a wide variety of courses emphasizing academic and athletic training. In 1963, the Br. Adelard Ice Hockey Arena, named after the "Father of Schoolboy Hockey" and the first built to serve a particular school, was added to the campus.

By the 1970s, with the closing of the all-girls' high school in the city and a diminished interest in boarding schools, the Academy was modernized into a Grades 7–12, co-educational, day school. By 2015, Mount Saint Charles had expanded and incorporated the 6th grade to compete with schools in the area.

It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has been recognized twice as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.

In 2009 it was announced that Mr. Herve Richer, Jr. would become the first lay president of Mount Saint Charles. Mr. Edwin Burke, former assistant principal and advanced-placement European History teacher, assumed the position of Principal.

In 2017, Herve Richer stepped down as president. Alan Tenreiro, a 1992 graduate of the school, was selected as the third president of Mount Saint Charles Academy. Tenreiro was recently named National Principal of the Year for his role in transforming Cumberland High School into one of the most successful high schools in the state.



The Music Department provides opportunities for students in grades 6 through 12 to participate in a long history of stage bands, jazz bands, brass choirs, woodwind, percussion and strings ensembles. The current format is a junior (high) band and for senior high one band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble. The department offers extracurricular bands ranging from Jazz to contemplentary which play year-round. The senior high band participates in the Woonsocket Autumnfest Parade during the school year.


The program in Chorus includes both junior high and high school students. Through a range of music styles including religious, musical theater and popular songs, students attempt to develop vocal and performance skills.


The Dance program includes modern, jazz, ballet and tap, through an academic and performance-based program. Students also gain experience in choreography and performance in different settings.

Excelsior Yearbook

The MSC yearbook publishes a complete and formal summary of each year's social, scholastic, athletic activities. It also contains individual pictures of all students and faculty. Although the teaching staff of the Academy and the respective senior classes are depicted in color print each year, the remainder of the student body is depicted in black and white.

Handbell Choirs

The Arts Department offers the opportunity to participate in handbell choirs performing at school concerts. The advanced group of Excelsior Bells also performs in the community on a regular basis.


Junior high and senior high programs offer theory, training and stage experiences during school hours. In addition, these theater classes schedule public performances.

Campus Ministry

In collaboration with the Religious Studies Department, the Office of Campus Ministry seeks to provide a range of experiences which form a more reflective faith community. To achieve this goal, the campus ministers guide and develop a range of activities which involve the whole community in a variety of ways.


The school is perhaps best known for its ice hockey program, which is considered to be one of the best in the United States. The Mount Saint Charles Academy boy's hockey team won twenty-six consecutive state titles from 1978 to 2003 and began a new streak with state victories in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Over the years, a total of 20 alumni have been drafted by the NHL. Brian Lawton and Bryan Berard were drafted 1st overall in the NHL Entry Draft. The story of this school's hockey program is recorded in the book Pride on the Mount by John Gillooly. The current coach, Normand "Bill" Belisle, has a record of 990 wins, 183 losses, and 37 ties. In 2006, a documentary was created called Ice Kings, which encompasses the material covered in the book as well as insights from alumni and Coach Belisle.

In addition, the girl's varsity tennis team has won several state championship titles, most recently in 2007 and 2008.

The school also won back to back Division II state titles in boys soccer 2004 and 2005 before moving up to Division I in 2006.

The swim team also had a leap from Division III to Division I in one year, making it the first team in RIIL history to move two divisions in one year.

In 2015 the boy's varsity soccer team won the Division II state championship over Moses Brown.

Notable alumni

See also

External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article Mount Saint Charles Academy, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.