Established on its present site in 1898, the Atherton campus of Sacred Heart for years was under the leadership of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (RSCJ). The school's first headmistress was Rev. Mother Jane Fox, who was instrumental in all aspects of the school's earliest days. For more than eight subsequent decades, the direct RSCJ line successfully led the school, expanding academic programs, growing enrollment, and developing the physical campus. The first formal "head of schools" title was given to Sr. Nancy Morris in 1971. Over the ensuing years, she was succeeded by RSCJ and the first laymen heads, including present Director of Schools Richard A. Dioli.
As the number of active RSCJ has decreased over time, the number of lay faculty, staff, and administrators necessarily grew. Today, Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton is predominantly employed with laymen, though RSCJ presence and charism remain a SHS cornerstone—through the universal Goals and Criteria
which guide all Schools of the Sacred Heart worldwide, the ongoing relationship with the RSCJ Provincial for U.S.- Canada and Network of Sacred Heart Schools, RSCJ serving in campus ministry and formation to mission, and the more than 50 Sisters residing at Oakwood Retirement Center
, located on campus.