Brief History Of St. Mary’s School
St. Mary’s has been the only Catholic, parochial, elementary school to operate for over 100 years in the Diocese of Memphis and is the oldest existing parochial school in the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. St. Mary’s School was established in 1878 to teach children in an atmosphere of faith. The original school existed downtown at Baltimore and Main.
It’s companion school, St. Joseph, served the African-American Catholics of Jackson in a parish established by the Josephite Fathers in 1919. The two schools merged in 1960. In 1900 the Dominican Sisters of the St. Cecilia Congregation in Nashville began administering and staffing the school. In 1970 new facilities were opened at the present site with grades 1-6 with additions in 1989, 1995, when grades 7 and 8 were added, and 2000 to meet the needs of a growing student population. The classrooms are spacious, providing a pleasant learning environment. The school building includes a gym, computer lab, art room, music room, library, science lab, and a cafeteria serving hot lunches.
In 2007 St. Mary’s School was pleased to announce two first’s for the school — its first 4-K program and the first football team at the school since the 1939-40 team. In 2011 a 3-K program was added to our Little Angels Program and new for our 2015-16 school year we are offering a 2-year-old program.
St. Mary’s Church is on the same campus, providing a beautiful spiritual setting for Mass, the sacraments and devotions. The school is owned and operated by St. Mary’s Parish and supported by both parents and parishioners. St. Mary’s became the first parochial elementary school in the Diocese of Memphis to receive the accreditation of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. St. Mary’s is recognized for its faith-filled environment, academic excellence, master teachers and strong student leadership.
Inspired by Christ’s words, “I came that they may have life, and have it to the full,” we dedicate our apostolate to the education of the whole child – spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically – in a nurturing environment. Fully aware of the accelerating changes in society, we work diligently to set our students on an unending pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty.
We welcome all who are interested to visit our school and see our facilities.