In the year 1953, Emperor Haile Selassie invited three French members of the “Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary Sisters” to come to Ethiopia to start a school for young Ethiopian girls in Addis Ababa. The sisters rented a house in Kebenna and started the first school for boys and girls on March 19th, 1953. But, in 1958 the government offered to them the present Nazareth School compound, nothing fancy and with just a wooden house for a school. Then, in 1960, St. Joseph School for boys was established and the boys who were at the time attending Nazareth were transferred there. It was from then on that Nazareth School catered to young girls only.
At first, the school was mainly attended by the daughters of “Balabats”, people close to the king and wealthy parents. Apart from this, what made the school different is the distinctive programs it gave to educate young women, namely, care for children and motherhood, house management, etc… besides the regular academic program. These extracurricular classes were initiated by the first Ethiopian DHM sister, Sister Shoaye Enessu, who passed away in the year 2002.
In the academic year 2001- 2008, The Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary turned over the administration to the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena-Philippines.
Nazareth School has been a girls only school for decades now with a stellar reputation for educating and graduating young women of amazing caliber, who have academic as well as emotional readiness to meet the challenges of their times. Nazareth School is fully accredited by the Ministry of Education. The programs from the Primary to the Pre-College are gird towards achieving academic excellence. Through the year, the students consistently topped in the regional and national examinations; a proof that Nazareth School is the leading girls’ school in Addis Ababa.