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Meet the Northrop Family of Holy Child Academy in Drexel Hill

“Once we visited, we were sold. We were just blown away by the warmth and kindness. It really felt like home.”

When the Northrop family was looking for a school for then-two-year-old Kent, they were quickly drawn to Holy Child Academy in Drexel Hill—an independent, coeducational Catholic Nursery through eighth grade school in Delaware County. The school’s location in a diverse, near-the-city suburban neighborhood was a major draw, as well as the warm and individualized learning environment they noticed on their tour. Kent is now entering his fifth year at HCA as a first-grader, and one-year-old Max will join his brother at school next year. Holy Child has become a second home to the family, and it is clear why the Northrops consider it such a special place.

A Culture of Authenticity

“Once we visited, we were sold. We were just blown away by the warmth and kindness. It really felt like home,” said Stephanie Northrop, Kent’s mom. This welcoming spirit extends beyond the student body to the community, she explained. “We went to so many events that first year without knowing anyone, and we were greeted with open arms, in a genuine way.”


Northrop also described the importance of a Catholic education and the fact that it was an independent school—separate from the diocese—which she believes adds flexibility and diversity that make HCA unique. With their student-centered approach, HCA is able to balance academic challenge with purposeful community service and a spiritual foundation: “Kent has blossomed into his best self at Holy Child. I am confident that my children will graduate from HCA prepared for what they will encounter in the future.”

Action-Oriented Community

From a young age, faculty at HCA build students’ confidence and sense of responsibility through a wide variety of inclusive leadership opportunities, including public speaking and presentation skills. HCA boasts a rigorous academic course of study supplemented by specialty programs in performing arts, health and wellness, Spanish, college and career exploration, athletics, and STEAM education. Holy Child’s Innovation Lab, the only one of its kind in a Delaware County elementary school, provides hands-on STEAM learning, creative problem-solving, and the freedom to explore critical thinking skills in a collaborative learning environment for all students, even the two-year-olds!


In addition, from the onset, students develop a genuine concern for others and are committed to giving back to the community through purposeful service activities. When the Northrops toured the school, they were impressed by the poise and knowledge of their eighth-grade guides, even in matters relating to HCA’s Early Childhood program. This comes from a true sense of community, where the grades frequently interact and older grades feel responsible for their younger peers.


A Sense of Gratitude and a Joyful Spirit 

“Kids learn best when there is joy in their everyday experience,” Dr. Rebecca Kellich, director of middle school, admissions, and auxiliary programs, tells us.  HCA’s 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio certainly contributes to the individualized attention that fosters that joy in learning. When Kent was only two, his teachers noticed that he was starting to read. “The small class size gave the teachers the flexibility to tailor his instruction. They found fun and innovative ways to encourage his abilities,” Northrop describes. She also praised the ease of teacher communication, feeling that they were approachable and open to parent feedback.


“When you belong to the HCA community, the special relationships that are built between students, faculty, parents, and administration make you feel right at home.”



Discover how Holy Child Academy could be the best fit for your child. To schedule a tour or for more information about enrollment, please contact Rebecca Kellich, Ed.D., director of middle school, admissions and auxiliary programs, at 610-259-2712 or by email at rkellich@holychildacademy.com.


For parents interested in seeing the Nursery school in action–or just have little ones who want a fun morning out– check out the free Little Dragons Playgroup, featuring storytime, games, and crafts for children ages 18 months to four years.



Photographs by Amrit Gluck.

Holy Child Academy (HCA) is an independent, Catholic school for boys and girls of all faiths from Nursery 2 through Eighth Grade. Visit holychildacademy.com for more information.