The history of St. Mary’s School dates back to September 1915 when five Sisters from the Sisters of Notre Dame opened the school’s doors. This year we are celebrating our 108th year of Catholic Education. Originally, the school was made up of two buildings — a school for white children and a school for children of color. During the first year, 104 students attended the school for white children (St. Mary’s Elementary School) and 96 students attended school for children of color (St. Mary’s Colored School).
The cost of tuition was $20 a year, but no one who wanted to attend was turned away.
In 1921, a senior high school for the white children, called Notre Dame High School, was added and the first class graduated in 1924, although the high school was not officially accredited until 1925. A boarding school was also established in 1921 and functioned until 1931.
More than 50 years after first opening its doors, the parish announced that the 51-year-old school would close in June 1967 because the building had become architecturally unsound. In November of 1967, due to the hard work and dedication of parish members, a new $1 million educational complex opened. It included an elementary school, convent, and parish hall.
The church and school later built a memorial for the St. Mary’s Colored School on the church grounds. The memorial was dedicated on September 20, 1998.
Today, St. Mary’s School continues the work of the dedicated Sisters who arrived in 1915. Our teachers help all students, prekindergarten through eighth grade, excel spiritually and academically.
St. Mary’s School is accredited by Cognia. The diverse student population is inclusive of all races, religions, and social economic status.