Elizabeth Seton, a Catholic girls high school in Bladensberg, was founded in 1959 by the Daughters of Charity religious order. Sister Gertrude Matthews of the Daughters of Charity was the school's first principal, administering 138 freshmen and a faculty of eight nuns. Enrollment increased over the years to a high of 830 students in the early 1980s.
Today, Seton, named after Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first North American to be canonized, is the largest all-girl Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of Washington with a student body of 500, a faculty of 120 lay teachers and nuns, and facilities that include science, biology, nutrition and computer labs.
Seton's stated mission, said Director of Development and Public Relations Elizabeth Curran, is to "create an environment in which we can instill Catholic Christian values and nurture their expression in each student through study, communication, aesthestic and extracurricular pursuits, dedicated service and religion practices. In order to achieve this, Seton provides a college preparatory curriculum for our average to above average students, our basic students and our advanced students," said Curran.
Among Seton's more famous alumni are professional tennis player Stacey Martin, Prince George's County District Court Judge Patrice Lewis, Forestville Florist owner Helen Orbury and New York City Realtor Paula Worthington.
Orbury, who graduated from Seton in 1971, said her experience as a student inspired her to start her own business. "There was a lot of school spirit at Seton. That's what kept me motivated in learning," said Orbury.
And apparently, that has not changed over the years.
Senior Kerry Laddbush said, "Seton has a lot of school spirit. You see it every day, particularly during special events."
Senior Mary Dulansey agrees, "The school spirit doesn't end at 3 p.m. when you leave school."
Junior Carla Johnson said, "What I like best about Seton is that I am receiving a good education and I am being prepared for the future."