Holy Spirit Preparatory School was founded in 1996 in response to a growing need for Catholic schools in the Atlanta archdiocese. The school opened its doors at 4820 Long Island Drive with 75 students in grades K-5, and by the end of the first school year, had a total enrollment of 94 students.
The school, originally called The Donnellan School after the late Archbishop Thomas Donnellan, was a success from the beginning with its families. It held just six or seven classrooms, and the gymnasium and cafeteria were yet to be built, but the school was immediately a community. The school’s president and rector, Monsignor Dillon, and his assistants held Mass every day in the halls, centering the school in its faith.
The school continued to add a grade level each year, and by 2000, when the school was a K-8 school, it counted a total enrollment of 430 students. It was in 2002 that the school entered a new phase of development, breaking ground on a long-envisioned high school campus at 4449 Northside Drive, adjacent to Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Two buildings went up in nine months, and the campus was named the Archbishop John F. Donoghue campus in honor of the then-Archbishop of Atlanta. The new ninth- and first tenth-grade class opened the new campus in August 2003. Now on two campuses, the Donnellan campus and the Donoghue campus, the school community voted to change the school’s name to Holy Spirit Preparatory School. In 2006, the school celebrated its first high school graduating class.
The addition of a high school at a new campus saw an expansion in the school’s programs and offerings. Holy Spirit Prep’s athletics offerings grew and the school joined the Georgia Independent School Association’s (GISA) athletic leagues. In the first years of the Upper School, the athletic department started individual sports – track, golf, and tennis – and soon started high school football, soccer, and baseball teams. The school began playing 1A athletics, but with increasing enrollment, quickly moved to AA, then AAA teams.
In 2007, Holy Spirit Prep launched an exceptional learning program, designed to meet the diverse learning needs of students in our community so that families would be able to keep their children in the same school setting. What began as a program that offered a 1:1 tutoring approach to a handful of students now offers multiple tiers of learning support, encompassing in-class and after-school support to students in grades 1-10.
Through its growth, Holy Spirit Prep has strived to remain faithful to its original vision of a close-knit community dedicated to Catholic discipleship and a holistic, classically-inspired education. The school has expanded, and it has certainly spread out, but it retains its founding vision to be a community of faith. Holy Spirit Prep’s traditions remain centered in expressions of faith, allowing each child to flourish in an atmosphere of encouragement while providing opportunities for academic, spiritual, and emotional growth.