Welcome to St. Mary’s Episcopal School


You Belong

Founded in 1847, St. Mary’s educates girls age 2 through 12th grade.

For nearly 175 years, our all-girls school has provided has provided girls in Memphis with the finest education possible. We are one of only nine Episcopal girls’ schools in the country and are a community of individuals from different neighborhoods, ethnic backgrounds, and faiths who respect one another's differences and honor our shared values. We invite you to see for yourself why you belong at St. Mary's. 


Recognized as National Merit Scholars


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Academic Excellence

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St. Mary’s is a tight-knit community with a focus on academic excellence.

St. Mary's has long been known for its academic excellence. Here, every teacher, every lesson, every resource is dedicated to girls and how they learn best. We know that girls develop verbal skills early on resulting in a propensity for reading and language. An all-girls education provides a supportive, nurturing environment where girls can explore the boundaries of what is possible. 

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In Early Childhood, girls are immersed in experiences that nurture learning and growth. Our youngest students engage in meaningful learning moments that build their confidence and cultivate a love of learning.     
Brennan Adrian
Head of Early Childhood

The Lower School is where our girls begin to develop their independence and drive. During this time, they begin to chart their course for success in learning and in life through exploration, inquiry, and curiosity.
Marcisha Brazley-Keith
Head of Lower School

katherine house

During the Middle School years, our students are beginning to develop into confident, intellectual young women. At the same time, they do so with the vibrancy and enthusiasm of young girls.

Katherine House
Head of Middle School

St. Mary's students are supported in furthering their skills and talents while also encouraged to explore new interests and ideas. Our Upper Schoolers dwell in the realm of possibility while developing a tool kit for the real world.
Lauren Rogers
Head of Upper School

Beyond the Classroom

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St. Mary's offers 40 athletic teams and over 20 clubs and organizations.


See What's Happening on Campus

Read the latest news.

Discovering Her Potential

The summer before her senior year, Dowling spent six months working on a research project with a team at Rhodes College. She’s one of nearly a hundred students who, in the last 10 years, have conducted high-level research alongside local experts as part of St. Mary’s Honors Independent Research Study (HIRS).

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Once A St. Mary's Girl...
  • Alumnae

Peggy Wilson Lawrence didn’t graduate from St. Mary’s, but you couldn’t tell that to Lawrence or any of her classmates from the class of 1973, who consider her a fellow alumna. Lawrence and her older sister spent their formative years at St. Mary’s. She remains grateful for her time at St. Mary’s and the friendships that began there.

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A Book for All
  • All-School

Director of Libraries Jeanine Akers and Chair of the English Department Shari Ray began what felt like an impossible task. Their goal: selecting a title for an all-school summer read. Identifying a book that would resonate with all members of the St. Mary’s community—from 1st graders to faculty and staff—was a challenge.

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A Peek Behind the Scenes
  • All-School

This past weekend, Performing Arts Teacher Taylor Ragan ’07 led a cast and crew of Upper and Lower School students in St. Mary’s production of The Sound of Music. The talented cast delighted the audience for six performances. This production would not have been possible without the hard-working stage crew.

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A Parting Gift
  • Upper School

Every year, Senior students are tasked with delivering one of the most introspective assignments of their St. Mary’s career, the Senior Speech. Each twelfth-grade student must speak to her peers in Chapel, reflecting on her St. Mary's experience. The tradition was introduced in 2005 by English Department Chair Shari Ray. The speeches aim to help the girls improve their public speaking and communication skills.

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National Honor Society 2023
  • All-School
  • Upper School

This morning, we inducted 43 Upper School students into the National Honor Society. The National Honor Society was founded in 1921 to recognize and encourage academic achievement, scholarship, character, service, and leadership. Our officers from the class of 2023, Anna Douglas Piper, Grayson Finks, Fia Arbelaez, and Gracie Shy, welcomed the newest members.⁠

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Beta Club 2023
  • All-School
  • Upper School

During today's Chapel, 63 members of the Upper School were inducted into The National Beta Club. The National Beta Club promotes the ideals of academic achievement, character, service, and leadership. St. Mary’s Upper School students who meet the academic, character, and service requirements may apply for membership. The eligible students submit an application detailing what service and leadership means to them and what community service they have done. We welcomed 39 freshmen, 14 sophomores, 8 juniors, and 1 senior into Beta Club. 

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Counselor Highlight: Amy Poag
  • Upper School

“I love being a school counselor because I get to work in a dynamic environment surrounded by creative, talented, funny, smart, curious, and passionate people,” said Amy Poag.

As Director of Counseling and Upper School Counselor, Poag guides St. Mary’s oldest students through their teenage years, helping them navigate life as an young adult. 

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Counselor Highlight: Jana Smigielski
  • Upper School

As the 9th grade Mind and Body Wellness teacher, Jana Smigielski wants her students to have a holistic approach to health and fitness. Her class highlights mental health, self-management, and fitness skills which help to build a lifelong healthy lifestyle. 

“I get to offer a break in the school day for restoration, self-reflection, and a chance to grow,” said Smigielski. 

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Counselor Highlight: Lauren Mitchell
  • Lower School

The highlight of North Campus Counselor Lauren Mitchell’s week is presenting the Caring Turkey award to Lower School students on Tuesday mornings. Each week, a student from each grade is recognized by her teachers or peers for demonstrating one of St. Mary’s Bridge to Caring character traits: respect, responsibility, thankfulness, kindness, self-control, honesty, courage, and cooperation.

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Chapel Talk Series: Katherine House
  • All-School
  • Middle School

For our Middle and Upper School girls, Chapel is part of the daily routine. This pause in our school day allows students to reset, worship, and learn from others. 

Over the course of a school year, each senior shares her own speech, a reflection of her time at St. Mary’s. Sometimes we have special guests like nonprofit leaders or alumnae who share their stories. Other times, we get to hear from our faculty and staff. 

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Alumnae Update: Addie Heehs ’22
  • Alumnae

When it was time to apply to college, Addie Heehs ’22 wanted an experience that extended beyond the classroom. The Haslam Scholars program at the University of Tennessee has exceeded all her expectations. The highly-competitive scholarship includes study abroad, a paid internship, a stipend scholarship, an intensive thesis project, and a full scholarship.

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Learn more about our vibrant school community.

There is so much more to a St. Mary's education than what happens in the classroom. Three quarters of St. Mary's girls are athletes, and half of those are multi-sport athletes. More than half of the Upper School participates in music. We produce two plays a year in Upper School and one each in Lower and Middle School. Our Mock Trial team wins awards every year. Our girls don't have to choose between being students or athletes. They are both. And musicians. And thespians. And community volunteers.

After St. Mary's

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Our alumnae are changing the world.


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Outstanding Alumna Kat Gordon ’00 recaptures her vision in uncertain times

Her knees were still knocking as she and her husband got in their beach-bound car after Alumnae Weekend. Kat Gordon ’00 was in disbelief to have received the 2021 Outstanding Alumna Award and to have her name listed on the same plaque as retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Nora Wingfield Tyson ’75. As a sophomore, Kat sat witness in Chapel the day Tyson accepted the award in 1998. Since then, she’s been a self-proclaimed fangirl.

Now, with what are sure to be dozens of fangirls of her own, Kat is the owner of Muddy’s Bake Shop, which she opened in 2008. Twenty years prior, she was a St. Mary’s kindergartner struggling to make it through the school day without a nap. With a 14-year tenure, she certainly qualifies as an SMS “lifer.” Kat happily renewed her connection with St. Mary’s after college as a volunteer in the advancement office. Since then, she has served as the Alumnae Board president and gained three sisters-in-law who are fellow Turkeys. Needless to say, her ties to SMS are deep.

Kat Gordon ’00

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