St. Mary's Academy has received three U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon awards,
winning its first in 1984, followed by 1989 and 1998. St. Mary's is
Oregon's only three-time award recipient and one of a few secondary
schools in the nation to be recognized three times for this
The Blue Ribbon Schools Program award was
first established by the Secretary of Education in 1982 with the
purpose of giving public recognition to outstanding public and private
schools across the Untied States. The program looks for excellence
and equity for all students, as well as strong programs that further
intellectual, social, moral and physical development. The Blue Ribbon
Schools award recognizes instructional programs that meet the highest
academic standards, have supportive school environments, and demonstrate
student achievement that is significantly above the average for
St. Mary's Academy has a long tradition of a
strong liberal arts program that promotes academic excellence, critical
thinking, teamwork and high standards. Keeping pace with a changing
world, St. Mary's has integrated the use of technology into all areas
of the curriculum, providing students with advanced computer science
facilities including three computer labs and more than 220 computers
offering students access to technology and software. All students,
faculty, and staff are provided accounts for email and access to wired (and wireless) network resources including our website.
St. Mary's has established itself as a center of excellence for the
education of young women, affirming its belief in the value of a
In addition to its strong curricular emphasis, the
school strives to maintain comprehensive and quality co-curricular
programs in the arts, athletics, community service and a variety of
clubs and activities that reflect the interests of young women in
today's world. From student government to athletics, theatre, and
stock investing, more than 80 percent of St. Mary's students choose to
participate in one or more co-curricular programs.
The standards of excellence recognized by the Blue
Ribbon Schools Program award are also validated by the high number of
college-bound students who graduate each year from St. Mary's. On
average, 99 percent of the senior class goes to college — many with
substantial merit-based scholarships.
Perhaps most important to the long-standing mission
of the school is the commitment to a faith-centered education within a
system of values. Grounded in Catholic traditions and values, a St.
Mary's education focuses on the development of the whole person and
teaches students to lead and serve the community. Service is not a
requirement for graduation; however, students, faculty, and staff
together embrace the true meaning of volunteerism by participating in
the school community's annual service programs, thereby providing direct
service to the poor and disadvantaged..
Also central to the mission of the school is a
commitment to a student body that reflects the diversity of our world.
St. Mary's is noted for the diversity of its student population,
which is drawn from at least 30 different communities in the
greater Portland and Southwest Washington area. Believing that a St.
Mary's education should be available to all who desire it, the school
provides tuition assistance to 40 percent of the student body.
Located in downtown Portland, St. Mary's was
founded in 1859 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.
St. Mary's is Oregon's oldest continuously operating secondary school.