About Us

Who We Are

Who We Are

St. Elizabeth School has been the beacon on the hill for over 100 years.
Our campus is located in Wilmington, DE on Cedar Street; adjacent to St. Elizabeth Catholic Church and Canby Park. St. Elizabeth is a co-educational, private, Catholic school rooted in the Benedictine tradition of hospitality, service & humility, prayer & work, and stability. We are the only Catholic school in Delaware in which students can complete their Primary, Elementary, Middle, and High School education within one school.The education offered at St. Elizabeth goes beyond just academic success. While striving for academic excellence, our students also develop characteristics such as work ethic, creativity, critical thinking, spiritual growth, overcoming adversity and much more which mold them into leaders in their communities.

Inspired by the Teachings of St. Benedict: A St. Elizabeth School Education

Benedictine Values


 Each of us is called to embrace the dignity and divine presence of everyone they encounter. St. Benedict identified three groups in particular need of hospitality – our leaders, because they bear the burden of our community on their shoulders; our sick, because their suffering calls us to support them through prayers and presence; and our guests, because as a Christian community we welcome all as if they are Christ himself. We are called embody open arms and bounty of our community.

Service & Humility:  We embrace, as a Christian community, the model of leadership embodied by Jesus Christ – service to all in need. We are all called to embrace authentic humility – placing the will of God and the needs of others ahead of our own rights and desires. Humility asserts truth as service to Christ and love for those who despise us. Humility and service starts with Christ’s command to love one another without measure or distinction. We enter St. Elizabeth to learn, and we leave to serve all those in need.

Prayer & Work:  Our Benedictine charism is often summarized in our motto, “Ora et labora,” – prayer and work. This motto stresses the importance of unity in life; it does not present these two virtues as distinct realities. Rather, it holds prayer and work together – as a single sent of lungs. The honeybees in the hive work constantly for the good of the community, and their product is all the sweeter because of their devotion. Everything that we do, whether in the classroom, in athletic competition, in the hallways, or in the Church, is work for God’s greater glory. This virtue recognizes that God is always at work where we are at work.

Stability:  This pillar upholds the Benedictine virtue of commitment to this community – to our people, our history, and our traditions. This commitment is embodied through dedicated participation in our common life, prayer, service, and activities. Stability is balanced by our openness to God’s call to change and grow. We, the members of this community become the bricks and mortar of St Elizabeth School.

The History of St. E

The hallmarks of St. E have always been Tradition, Transition, and Transformation.

St. Elizabeth School - Then & Now (1908 - 2023)

Founded in 1908, Saint Elizabeth School began humbly in a Benedictine Convent on Broom Street, not far from its current location.  As enrollment swelled, Fr. William Temple foresaw that the Benedictine Sisters mission to educate the students of Saint Elizabeth School would soon need a larger home. 
Through the generosity of parishioners, donors, and the Delaware State Foundation of P.S. DuPont and John J. Raskob, $350,000 was gathered for the purpose of building a new school (a hefty sum in 1929).  By the Grace of God, a state of the art educational facility arose in 1929 atop the highest hill in Wilmington on the grounds of the historic Bancroft Estate.
Within the eighteen classrooms of the original building, the Benedictine Sisters humbly taught nearly 600 students a year; guiding generations of young people toward successful adulthood. With the Rule of St. Benedict as a guide, the Sisters were responsible for the education of thousands of children over their many decades of service.
St. Elizabeth High School was founded in 1940 by the Right Reverend Monsignor James M. Grant, D.D. to provide a quality secondary school education for students in the Wilmington area. Under the direction of Reverend Francis Desmond, the first principal, and four Benedictine Sisters, St. Elizabeth graduated 20 students in June 1944.
Since 1940, the Elementary and High School grades have been housed within the same building. Thanks to the vision of its Benedictine Founders, Saint Elizabeth remains one of the few schools in which a student can complete Elementary, Middle, and High School under the same roof.
Through the years, St. Elizabeth School has undergone periodic expansions and updates.  1956, 1967, 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2001 all saw major renovations and expansions. A walk through the halls of St. E is a walk through history.
Today, St. Elizabeth School is recognized for providing a 21st Century learning environment, and for being an educational institution able to respond to modern demands while preparing students for an ever changing future.  St. E has been designated an Apple Distinguished School for innovation, leadership and educational excellence.
The hallmarks of St. E have always been Tradition, Transition and Transformation. With the loyal support of legacy families and alumni, future generations will continue to enjoy the legendary Benedictine Spirit and Viking Pride of St. Elizabeth School.