Upper School

Grades 9-12

In Upper School, students are immersed in a rigorous college preparatory curriculum that extends beyond the classroom to provide real-life experiences.

From the performance stage to community outreach, from the athletic field to Chapel, our independent high school girls learn to collaborate, inspire others, and achieve their goals. Athletic, artistic, musical, and community-service opportunities ensure these years are exciting and memorable. 

St. Mary's is a private all girls high school, located in Memphis. Our dedicated faculty recognizes and respects the unique ways in which girls learn best, teaching an academically rigorous curriculum while simultaneously going beyond the classroom walls to provide "real life" experiences. As they become lifelong learners, the students are encouraged to think critically, creatively, and independently.

Each girl’s program of study is as unique as she is. Every year, we meet one-on-one with each girl and her family to discuss course options that best fit her interests, goals, and extracurricular life. All students must enroll in five academic subjects that meet the requirements
for each grade, but they also have the opportunity to add a wide range of non-academic and elective courses. Our goal is to create a program of study that focuses on each girl’s strengths and interests.

As a result of the extensive academic, athletic, artistic, and community-service opportunities that are available, our students become confident leaders who have a positive influence on their community. Read about student life at St. Mary's, our private high school in Memphis TN.


Mind Body Wellness

Our Mind and Body Wellness class includes two days a week in the strength and conditioning center learning basic fitness concepts and conditional techniques to give girls a foundation for lifelong personal fitness. The other two classes are focused on building a healthy lifestyle including nutrition, sleep, and relationships to help girls meet the demands of life.


Community Service

St. Mary’s girls give back through the St. Mary’s Community Fund, a student-run organization that raises money, makes grants, supplies volunteers to local children’s organizations, and teaches social responsibility. Since its founding in 1998, St. Mary’s students have had firsthand experience in the art of philanthropy and fundraising, granting a total of more than $500,000 to more than 40 local agencies. Our students participate in volunteer efforts, not because it is required, but because it is their responsibility. 

Our Unique Schedule

Unique to St. Mary's, our daily schedule strategically allows students time to process information, meet one-on-one with teachers, and work collaboratively with one another.

The structure of two classes followed by a break is based on current brain research into how girls learn best. We especially treasure our ALAPP period when all student and teacher schedules are open for the purpose of built-in help sessions and collaboration.

In addition, the St. Mary’s College Counseling team plays a key role in preparing students for college entrance and beyond. St. Mary's emphasizes a classic, rigorous, liberal arts curriculum that is designed to allow each girl to achieve her individual potential and to discover the inner resources she will use for a lifetime.


Upper School News

St. Mary's graduates in white dresses celebrate in front of church

This month, we celebrated the Class of 2024 at St. Mary's 139th Commencement. Congratulations to the 74 deserving graduates. This impressive class earned acceptance to 179 universities and will move on to 53 different colleges and universities in 28 states and Italy.

St. Mary’s Shines on AP Exams

St. Mary’s ranks among the nation’s best high schools for Advanced Placement exam pass rates. Over the last five years, the school has increased AP course offerings, maintained high levels of success, and sent girls to college well-prepared.

Real-Life Robots

Eight Upper School students witnessed the practical use of robots in medical care at Saint Francis Hospital. The girls spent time in small groups with physicians and medical device experts, learning about surgical robotic tools such as the Da Vinci, MAKO, and MAZOR.

2024 Honor Society Inductions

Last week, St. Mary’s inducted many Upper School students into Extracurricular and Academic Honor Societies. These honors included Art, Tri M, M Club, Thespian, Cliosophic, Mu Alpha Theta, Latin, French, and Spanish societies. The students given these honors go above and beyond what is required in an average school day. They push themselves to excel in various subjects and outside activities.

Students celebrate in class

The “Manie Musicale” competition was started by two French teachers in Maine in 2017, in an effort to foster greater interest in French-speaking musicians among students globally. St. Mary's Upper School French Teacher Dr. Brandy Brown and Middle School French Teacher Leanne Hinkle have both led this activity for their classes over the past few years.

Students perform musical number

This month, St. Mary’s Upper School presented a fabulously fun performance of the award-winning musical Legally Blonde. Audiences had a great time following the transformational journey of Elle Woods as she tackled stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams.

Students in front of stage

This month, students in the Honors Independent Research Study (HIRS) program and a participant in the St. Jude High School Student Summer Fellowship presented their final projects. The HIRS program offers a unique opportunity for rising seniors to conduct an original, engaging research project of their choosing.

Understanding Humanity through Visual Arts 

Upper School Art Teacher Andrea Fletcher hopes that St. Mary’s art courses will spark a passion in her students and encourage a lifelong interest in art and the many lessons it espouses. In fact, the Upper School offers visual art courses for every grade level, allowing students the opportunity to opt to take art courses throughout the course of their high school career.

Students leans over desk while working on assignment

When Michele Loden started teaching at St. Mary’s 10 years ago, she remembers being surprised at how many of her students were anxious about higher-level math classes. “My mission became: How can I help girls reduce their anxiety and recognize they can be excellent at math?” said Loden, who serves as Math Department Chair.

Lauren Rogers

Head of Upper School

Carla Evans

Administrative Assistant to US Head

Upper School Office

60 Perkins Extended
Memphis, TN 38117


Contact us

Upper School Offerings
29+ Clubs
5 Student Publications
12 Honor Societies
18 Athletic Teams
80+ Course Offerings

Senior Speeches

All Speeches

Click here to view senior speeches from previous classes.

My Honors Independent Research Study (HIRS) experience not only provided me an opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of the research process but also allowed me to study environmental science and public health on a level that I would probably have not seen until college. Riya V.