Welcome to St. Mary’s Episcopal School

forgirlsforlife

You Belong

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

For nearly 175 years, St. Mary's 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. 

17%

Recognized as National Merit Scholars

36

Zip Codes Represented in Student Body

825

Total Student Enrollment

19

Years Average Teaching Experience

7:1

Student to Faculty Ratio

30.1

Average ACT Score

75%

of Students Play Sports

5

Student Publications

72%

of Faculty Have Graduate Degrees

Academic Excellence

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academic-excellence

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. St. Mary's 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

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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.

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See What's Happening on Campus

Read the latest news.

2022 Faculty and Staff Awards
  • All-School

Each year, faculty and staff members are honored with awards for their hard work and dedication to St. Mary’s. ⁠

At the close of this school year, seven outstanding members of our faculty and staff received awards recognizing for their dedication to students of St. Mary’s. These leaders show compassion, creativity, and loyalty every day.

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Audiences Delight in the Middle School Performance of Matilda JR
  • Middle School

Thirty-four Middle School students took the stage for three fun-filled performances of the musical Matilda JR, a gleefully witty ode to the anarchy of childhood and the power of imagination. After four weeks of rehearsals, the students thrilled and delighted audiences with the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

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Upper School Art Show
  • Upper School

Last week we hosted an Art Show showcasing and celebrating the work of our Upper School students. The collection, curated by Upper School Art Teacher Mrs. Andrea Fletcher, highlighted the creativity and talent of our students. Students had the opportunity to show their creativity to their families at the reception and show in the Levy Gallery at the Buckman Performing Arts Center.

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Global Education Discusses the Impact of WWII on Japanese Americans
  • Upper School

This month, the SMS Global Education Program had the honor of virtually hosting guest speaker Sam Mihara. In 1942, when Sam was nine years old, the United States government forcibly sent Sam, his family, and people of Japanese ancestry living in the American West to internment camps. Sam and his family were sent to a prison camp called Heart Mountain in northern Wyoming, where he stayed for three years. 

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Youth and Government Conference
  • Upper School

Dr. Dalton Lyon traveled with a group of girls interested in legislation to Nashville, Tennessee. This was the first conference that has been held in 3 years due to COVID-19 and everyone was so excited to be back in action! This conference gives students the opportunity to to have a hands-on experience in state government. Students can serve as senators or representatives, as justices and lawyers, as department commissioners and lobbyists, or as press corps members.

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Tinker Fair
  • Early Childhood

Senior Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten students turned recycled materials into extraordinary creations at the Tinker Fair. The girls made everything from castles to guitars to elephants. It was incredible to see what the girls created from discarded materials like cardboard boxes and paper towel rolls. One person’s trash turns into a Tinker Fair treasure! ⁠

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Inspired to Serve
  • All-School

Since 1847, St. Mary’s has equipped girls with the skills to make the world a better place. Our girls learn to be leaders in the classroom and the community. Across campus, the curriculum integrates community service in meaningful ways. The goal of service-learning is to educate students on their community, as well as the needs of their community and how to address them.

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When “You Can” Became “I Can”
  • All-School

Since the 1900s, the opportunity to participate in athletics has been a critical part of the St. Mary’s experience. Whether on the field, in the water, or on the court, athletics allow our girls to explore new talents and develop key skills while learning the value of commitment and teamwork. Today, St. Mary’s offers 12 sports to Lower, Middle, and Upper School students. From the growing list of collegiate athletes to recently winning the school’s first state championship in lacrosse, the athletic program continues to improve and excel.

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A Gift and Tribute: The Carillon
  • All-School

St. Mary’s first publication was the Twentieth Century Tatler in 1903. Since then, St. Mary’s students have launched a variety of publications, including current editions: video publication Bella Vista, literary magazine Belles Lettres, audio journal Belles Melodies, and the school newspaper The Tatler. Every year, Upper School students chronicle and celebrate life at St. Mary’s through the school yearbook, Carillon. First published during the 1959-60 school year, Carillon, named for the bells of the church, is one of St. Mary’s oldest publications.

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A Family Legacy: St. Mary’s Oldest Tradition
  • All-School

The Christmas Pageant is St. Mary’s oldest and one of its most beloved traditions. Although there is no clear documentation of the first Christmas Pageant, the tradition began under the tenure of the Sisters of the Order of St. Mary over 130 years ago. The Pageant has grown and evolved but is timeless in its beautiful and moving sentiment. The current iteration of the Christmas Pageant features seniors, who have attended St. Mary’s for 12 years or more, posed in living tableaux depicting the birth of Christ as 2nd- and 3rd-grade students provide the soundtrack for the program.

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Day by Day: Words Etched in Our Hearts
  • All-School

From its origins in Calvary Episcopal Church to the incredible story of Sister Constance and her companions, St. Mary’s is deeply rooted in its Episcopal identity. As an Episcopal school, St. Mary’s is known for its inclusive approach to education. We are committed to respecting all faiths and ensuring each girl feels valued. One of the visible markers of our Episcopal identity is Chapel. Chapel services have been a regular practice since St. Mary’s was led by Sisters of the Order of St. Mary. Girls in Early Childhood and Lower School attend Chapel once a week, and Middle and Upper School students attend Chapel daily. Amid the busy schedules of students, faculty, and guests, Chapel allows our community to pause and come together to sing, pray, and reflect.

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 Mrs. Leonard: What Love Looks Like in Teaching
  • All-School

Since our founding in 1847, St. Mary’s has strived to provide girls with an exceptional education. 175 years later, St. Mary’s is one of the premier college preparatory schools for girls. Our dedicated faculty and staff are driven by the goal of helping every student reach her full potential. Our girls develop essential life skills such as decision-making and leadership, enabling them to succeed in college and beyond.

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A Celebration of Making
  • Lower School

Before spring break, our Lower School students participated in the 7th annual Maker Fair, a large-scale show and tell where students learn something new. This Lower School tradition offers an opportunity for students to spend the morning exploring, creating, learning, and leading. 

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Congratulations to the 2022 Mays Prize in Writing Winners
  • All-School

Earlier this month in Middle and Upper School Chapel, we announced the winners of the Mays Prize in Writing. The Mays Prize is St. Mary’s annual fiction-writing contest. Students from grades 1st-12th submit creative writing stories. This year’s prompt, “Growing Up is Magical,” asked students to imagine a character the same age as them and tell the story of something magical that happens to that character during their school day. We are proud of all our entrants for their impressive and inventive stories. This year’s entries were beautiful, inspiring, and magical.⁠

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Meet the Staff: Mary Jensen Nease ’10, North Campus Nurse
  • All-School

Mary Jensen Nease, RN ’10, the newest member of the Health Center team, loves working with St. Mary’s parents and students. “There is so much life and joy among these sweet girls that I get to interact with!” Mary joined St. Mary’s in August as the North Campus Nurse. Mary, an alumna and PK parent, knows the St. Mary’s community well, but has enjoyed the opportunity to get to know more students and parents.

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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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Leigh Rawdon '91, CEO and Co-Founder of Tea Collection.

After St.  Mary's, Leigh received a Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Currently, she is the CEO and Co-Founder of Tea Collection, a beloved brand of children’s clothing inspired by world travel with the mission of inspiring global curiosity and connection. Tea gives back 10% of its profits to grassroots organizations to ensure a better world for children everywhere.

Leigh Rawdon '91

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