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.
By Rainey Ray Segars ’05
On St. Mary’s campus, one of the biggest days of the school year comes at the end of April—yearbook distribution day. For days before, the yearbooks stay hidden on campus in boxes and under blankets, waiting for the big reveal of the cover and theme in Upper School Chapel. Once they are distributed, class is disrupted for the rest of the day as teachers fight a losing battle against a constant chorus of “Sign my yearbook!” Families put them on their coffee tables as décor. Younger Turkeys ask their parents to read to them from the yearbook at bedtime. The excitement around St. Mary’s yearbook, the Carillon, is a long-standing culture, since before the time of then-yearbook editor Sarah Matthews Pietrangelo, MD ’01.
Pietrangelo recalled her time as Carillon editor. “The theme I chose for the 2001 yearbook was ‘Poetic License,’” she shared. “I loved the creative outlet that the yearbook afforded me. Looking back, I see the many influences of some of my favorite SMS teachers: the ideas from Upper School History Teachers Ms. Joan Traffas and Mrs. Sheila Patrick’s classes, the great literature from Upper School English Teachers Mrs. Carol Lacy and Mrs. Leigh Mansberg’s classes, the appreciation for music that Dr. Rhendle Millen instilled in us (regardless of how off-key we might have sung!), and the geometric precision in layouts from Mrs. Marsha Stemmler’s geometry class. Upper School Physics Teacher Mr. Michael Volpe actually loaned his BMW convertible for the front-page picture. I always hoped the class of 2001 would view the yearbook as my gift to our class—such a wonderful group of women. I also now hope that the incredible faculty of St. Mary’s see how their hard work and lessons concretely shaped us and see the yearbook is a tribute to them as well.”
Pietrangelo, a current St. Mary’s mom, feels that the gravitas of the yearbook persists today as an emblem of all that is possible in the life of an SMS Turkey. “What I love about the yearbook is that it is important and relevant to my daughter as a current student and to me as an alumna. My 2nd-grade daughter Louise enjoys finding pictures of her teachers and friends, but her favorite part is looking at photographs of the older girls and seeing the possibilities and the opportunities at St. Mary’s as she gets older—the theater productions, the soccer team, and the field trips,” Pietrangelo said.
”The yearbook does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of St. Mary’s,” Pietrangelo added. “For me, the yearbook brings the joy of the past—memories of old friendships, beloved teachers, and of those special and formative years at St. Mary’s. Everyone and every aspect of St. Mary’s are equally represented in the yearbook—one page for track and field, one page for Model UN, one page for the French club, one page for Honor Council, and one page for class pictures. Every contribution to the St. Mary’s community is acknowledged and honored.”
Rainey Ray Segars ’05 is a life-long lover of St. Mary’s. She is the former Director of Alumnae and the current interim Chaplain. Her dearest wish is that her child could go to SMS, but alas, the child is a boy—Gobble, gobble.
175 Years of St. Mary's
This story is part of our 175 Years of St. Mary's series. For 175 years, the mission of St. Mary’s Episcopal School has been to provide a superior educational experience for girls. Our robust academics, Episcopal identity, and rich traditions create an environment where girls flourish as students, athletes, creators, performers, and more. Most importantly, at St. Mary’s, integrity, compassion, and confidence are the norm for our girls. From Chapel to the PE class, alumnae reflect on the experiences and traditions that have made St. Mary’s a special place for girls to learn and thrive for 175 years. Click below to read the other stories in the series.
- Day by Day: Words Etched in Our Hearts
- A Family Legacy: St. Mary’s Oldest Tradition
- Mrs. Leonard: What Love Looks Like in Teaching
- When “You Can” Became “I Can”