November 2019
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Esteemed Performing Artist & Theater Director Enters Hall of Fame

Demarest, NJ: Academy of the Holy Angels alumna Katie McSherry Collins was inducted into the AHA Fine & Performing Arts Hall of Fame on Alumnae Weekend 2019.

“As we celebrate our 140th anniversary year at Holy Angels, it is fitting that we choose to honor a special member of our school community, Katie McSherry Collins ’04,” AHA President Melinda Hanlon said in her introductory remarks. “As a student, she was a member of the chorus, vocal ensemble, and a founding member of the musical service group JOY – Joining Old and Young. She could also be found on the stage in many of our theater productions. In 2004, Katie was recognized for her portrayal of Reno Sweeney in ‘Anything Goes’ with a Metropolitan Theater Award for best actress in a musical.”

Twelve years later, Collins earned the prestigious Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award for Outstanding Director. She was honored for her work on AHA’s 2016 production of “Children of Eden.”

“Katie is a loyal and accomplished member of the Holy Angels community, and it is with great pleasure that we induct Katie McSherry Collins into the AHA Arts Hall of Fame,” Mrs. Hanlon said.

Collins graduated from Marist College with a bachelor’s degree in English secondary education with a concentration in drama and a minor in music. She later graduated from New York University with a master’s degree in educational theater for colleges and communities. Collins has studied at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance in London, where she pursued theater for young audiences. She also studied and taught theater at Trinity College in Dublin. While working in Belfast, she used theater as a method to understand the past.

Collins joined the Holy Angels faculty in 2009, and has been director of the Holy Angels Theater Department for the last 10 years.

“She has enabled her students to not only find leading roles in the spotlight, but also as student directors, choreographers, and stage managers,” Mrs. Hanlon added. “Under Katie’s direction, AHA’s program has been annually recognized by prestigious high school theater award programs through Montclair State University, Paper Mill Rising Star Program, and the Metropolitan High School Music Awards. Each year, our Angels receive multiple nominations and awards, as does Katie.”

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.

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