Middle School

Grades 6-8

Middle School is a time of transformation. Our dedicated faculty know both the ins and outs of their subject matter, as well as the ups and downs of a girl’s life during these critical years. Students are challenged to develop the reading, writing, and thinking skills they need for Upper School, college, and life.

Faculty member of St. Mary's Episcopal School, a Girls Christian School in Memphis, TN, standing inside of a classroom

Study skills, time management, mind mapping, and growing independence are all an intentional part of the curriculum, helping St. Mary’s girls become well prepared for Upper School. Girls begin to develop self-advocacy skills by knowing how and when to speak up and ask teachers for additional guidance and assistance. Teachers strive to find just the right balance between providing adult guidance and enabling girls to seek their own independent solutions.

One of the hallmarks of a St. Mary’s education is the emphasis on written and spoken communication. English grammar and writing, and literature are two separate classes in the sixth and seventh grades. With such a rich foundation in the English language, girls hone their writing and communication skills. 

Middle School is the perfect age to learn not only about civil discourse, but also how to discuss issues intellectually. Supported by research, our girls explore, develop, and even challenge their own beliefs. This results in their ability to both –defend their position and understand someone else’s perspective.

Middle School News

Study Skills Teach the Girls to Work Smarter, Not Harder

When St. Mary’s seventh-graders first enter their requisite Life Science class, most of them think they will walk away learning the basic tenets of biology; however, what they don’t know is that science teacher Kate Fairless is going to equip them with essential lessons in organization and executive functioning, preparing them for Upper School – and for life.

Students Learn to Lead by Serving

Every 7th grade student at St. Mary's takes Community Connections, a quarter-long service class designed to help students understand the needs of their community, grow compassion and empathy, and develop as leaders.

From Math Class to the Makerspace

Eighth-grade students in Ms. Lynda Lyttle’s Honors Geometry Class brought math to the Makerspace with a creative final project. Students designed and built birdhouses as their final project. Girls considered several mathematical factors to ensure that their birds would have a safe and comfortable environment in their new homes.

Middle Schoolers Return to First Grade in Junie B. Jones

Do you ever wish you could go back to the simplicity of first grade? Last weekend, members of the Middle School cast of Junie B. Jones, The Musical did just that, taking audiences down memory lane through the eyes of a rambunctious first-grader. The cast brought Barbara Park's best-selling books to life, showcasing the adventures and antics of Junie B. Jones.

Sixth Graders Bring Outer Space to the Makerspace

Instead of visiting "a galaxy far, far away," last week 6th graders brought outer space to the South Campus. With guidance from 6th-grade science teacher Rachel Giampapa and Innovation Lab Director Meagan Michael, students researched, wrote, filmed, and produced short educational videos about specific astronomy topics. Then, once their videos were compiled, the students held a watch party inside a planetarium they constructed themselves!

Tackling Equations With Confidence

“I hope by the end of the year my students learn to be the students they are capable of being, each reaching her individual potential,” said St. Mary’s veteran teacher, Lynda Lyttle. For 36 years, Ms. Lyttle has taught St. Mary’s Middle School students how to tackle equations, giving them the skills they need to confidently solve for any variable. 

Garat Pushes Girls to Experiment in Art

After 26 years of teaching at St. Mary’s, Middle School Art Teacher Elizabeth Garat says she finds joy in teaching girls to express themselves artistically. “I love teaching girls because they are eager to learn and try new things,” Garat said. 

6 Skills Middle School Students Develop

Middle School is a time of transformation. Our dedicated faculty know both the ins and outs of their subject matter, as well as the ups and downs of a girl’s life during these critical years. Students are challenged to develop the reading, writing, and thinking skills they need for Upper School, college, and life.

Audiences Delight in the Middle School Performance of Matilda JR

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.

Meet the Faculty: Claire Zagrodzky, MS English

Eighth Grade English teacher and JV Lacrosse Coach Claire Zagrodzky loves teaching because “it allows me to pass along my passion for learning and reading. There's nothing I love more than helping students read difficult texts and watching them understand and grasp new ideas. It inspires me to keep learning and reading, too!” ⁠

Katherine House

Head of Middle School

Jeanne Ross

Assistant to MS Head

Middle School Office

901.537.1410

60 Perkins Extended

Memphis, TN 38117

Co-Curricular Activities:

  • 14 Athletic Teams
  • Chess Club
  • Climbing Club
  • Eighth Grade Leadership Team
  • Library Lunchtime Book Clubs
  • Model UN
  • Robotics
  • Spanish Club
  • Speech Team
  • Youth in Government
TRIPS
Huntsville, AL (6th grade)
Chattanooga, TN (7th grade) 
Washington, DC (8th grade)


WORLD LANGUAGES
French, Latin, Spanish

 

6 Skills Middle School Girls Develop

Middle School is a time of transformation. During these three years, girls develop skills in organization, self advocacy, communication, creativity, independent thinking, and community service.

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