Belleville Academy of Notre Dame High School

Belleville Academy of Notre Dame High School
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The History of Belleville Academy of Notre Dame High School

Belleville (population 41,410) is located in southeastern Illinois about 12 miles southeast of East St. Louis in the center of St. Clair County.  The Illinois Routes of 13, 15, 158, 159, and 161 all pass through the town of Belleville. Interstate Highway 64 passes to the north of town.The Norfolk Southern and Illinois Central Gulf are two of the railroads that pass through Belleville. The Richland Creek flows through town as well.

According to the Wikipedia web address of,_Illinois, Belleville is the county seat of St. Clair County.  Belleville (French for “beautiul city”) was founded by George Blair in 1814. Belleville was incorporated as a village in 1819 and as a city in 1850. An excellent historical timeline regarding Belleville can be viewed at

The residents of Belleville have provided educational opportunities for their children from a very early time in the town’s history.  Along with the public school system was a high-quality parochial school system which still exists today.  In the early days the Belleville archdiocese provided high schools for both the girls and boys.  The boys school was named Cathedral High School while the girls attended Academy of Notre Dame High School.

Academy of Notre Dame
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Submitted by Pat Baeske

Academy of Notre Dame High School served the catholic families of Belleville for many decades, getting its start in 1859.  Notre Dame was operated by the “School Sisters of Notre Dame”, Catholic nuns who cared about providing a catholic education for the girls of Belleville.  It was in 1972 when it was decided close Notre Dame with girls have the opportunity to attend nearby Althoff, a co-educational Catholic high school which opened in 1964.

Althoff is still in existence today and is running quite strongly. The fate of the Academy of Notre Dame High School building was provided to us by Pat Baeske:

“The school was torn down after it closed in 1972 because of mine subsidence — it was falling into a huge hole from mining below it.  It was necessary to build Althoff High School because the Academy of Notre Dame was no longer a safe structure and Cathedral High School (the all-boys Catholic high school) was getting old, too.  So one new co-ed Catholic high school was built to replace both.”

.  The photo at the top of the page was found at the web address of

An excellent website and source of information on Academy of Notre Dame HS in Belleville is located at the following web address: .  The website provides an excellent account of the history of the Academy of Notre Dame.  Sincere gratitude goes out to Marilyn Kinsella for providing us with this link!

Belleville Academy of Notre Dame High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                        1859

Year closed:                         1972

Consolidated to:                    Althoff High School

School Motto:                       “Dare to be Different”

School Spirit Song:                Academy of  Notre Dame School Song

                                                           Submitted by PAT BAESKE

Academy of Notre Dame

Our grateful love we bring.

But first of all, to Mary dear

The Mother of our King.

All Hail.  All Hail.

The days we spent at Notre Dame

All Hail.  All Hail.

Our memories e’er acclaim.

A school of Our Lady fair

We sing your praises true.

Devotion and fealty

Will be our gift to you.

All Hail.   All Hail.

Our colors blue and snowy white

All Hail.  All Hail.

Our hope, our pure delight.

O noble classmates brave and true

Obedient to each rule.

How beautiful, but dutiful

The royal road of truth.

All Hail.  All Hail.

Our motto and our surest goal

All Hail.  All Hail.

“Dare be different,” is our rule.

Notre Dame, we love you!

Seeking Information on Academy of Notre Dame High School for Girls

This is the extent of information we currently have regarding the proud history of Belleville’s former Academy of Notre Dame High School for girls.  We are confident there were many activities offered for the girls who attended school there.  Band, chorus, FHA, GAA, and likely MANY other activities were once part of the curriculum for girls who attended the Academy.  The building itself appears to have stood majestically, and possibly still does.  We are also certain the Academy produced many great alumna as well.

If you have ANY information you can share with us regarding the history of the Academy Notre Dame High School please contact us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.netAny information you wish to see shared on this site will be added.  You can also write to us via real mail at:

Illiniois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631 

Academy of Notre Dame Class of 1960
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Submitted by Pat Baeske

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