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Oregon’s premier college-preparatory Catholic high school for young women

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Student Leadership

St. Mary's mission is to educate the whole person, and to support students into becoming leaders in their class, school and community. St. Mary's students have many opportunities to grow and show their leadership throughout their four years on campus.

Doernbecher Week

At St. Mary’s Academy, students place a high value on service and giving back to their community. Every year, students create a week dedicated to spirit and competition while also raising money for various causes. Students can apply to be directors, co-chairs or general committee members to help construct and implement the week long fundraising week.

Encounter Leaders

Leading the Way at SMA

The leadership consortium is a group of committed student leaders. The only requirement to be part of the leadership consortium is to be committed and actively pursuing leadership skills and leadership positions at St. Mary’s Academy. The fundamental training for the consortium is an annual two day leadership retreat in late august titled “Leading the Way at SMA” As part of the leadership consortium, students learn valuable skills as they examine the importance of organizational culture and their role in impacting SMA in a positive way.

Leading the Way at SMA Field Trip Form

Leadership Portfolio

The leadership portfolio is a competency based rubric that allows students to document the leadership skills that they have obtained throughout their time at St. Mary’s Academy. Students work through the portfolio at their own pace during their four years and continue to advance their skills by attending leadership trainings and practicing the skills through a variety of leadership opportunities. Examples of acquired skills include delegation, team management, running an efficient meeting and facilitation.

LINK Mentor

The LINK Mentor team is comprised of sophomores, juniors and seniors who are dedicated to shepherding freshmen through their first semester of school. LINK mentors work in groups and one on one with freshmen to guide them through their transition from Middle School to High School. LINK mentors lead special events including an orientation day, freshmen lock in, and a relaxed and fun study session before the first exams.

Lunch with a Leader

This program connects young women from St. Mary’s Academy to the plethora of incredibly talented professional women in the Portland community. Women leaders are asked to share advice, leadership knowledge and career expertise with a student over lunch. Women leaders can also sign up to provide a half day career shadow.

Half Day Job Shadow:

The purpose of the job shadow experience is to provide students with a snapshot of what a day in the life entails for women leaders or women in their field of interest. The student shadow is there to witness, observe and have a short “real world” experience. Students take notes and observe what skills and abilities are needed to do the position. At the end of the shadow the leader recaps and answers any questions the student may have about the career.

FAQ’s regarding Lunch with a Leader
My career field won’t allow me to bring a student on site where I work can I still participate?

Absolutely! We will happily host you at St. Mary’s for lunch and if you are open to having more than one student participate we will invite several students to hear what you have to say.

There are several women where I work that would like to participate and join me during lunch. Is that OK?

Yes! The more the merrier. We feel it is very important to surround these young women with as much exposure, support and advice as possible.

Can my place of work host a lunch and have more than just one student participate?

We love when this happens! Our only request is that the lunch is primarily hosted by women. We have found that this creates the most powerful experience for our students.

How does transportation work? Can I meet the student at a different site other than my main office space?

Students are responsible for their own transportation and parents sign a form that lets them know where the student is going and who they are meeting with for lunch. Students can meet you at a place of your choosing as long as it has been prearranged.

Rose Festival Court

The Rose Festival Court is comprised of up to 15 outstanding young women chosen from Portland Metro-area high schools. After their selection in March, Court Members attend after-school and evening orientation meetings during the month of April. Beginning the first week of May, they travel full-time 5 days a week for 5 weeks, visiting community events, business leaders, hospitals, senior living centers, youth organizations and civic groups. Court Members also receive one-on-one mentorship from top female executives and a $3,500 scholarship.

St. Mary’s Ambassadors

With membership totaling over 150 students, St. Mary’s Academy Ambassadors is the largest leadership group on campus. Ambassadors are sophomores, juniors and seniors who welcome prospective students and their parents to explore SMA through events such as our annual Open House. All Ambassadors serve on a committee and host shadow visitors throughout the school year.

Student Council

The St.Mary's student council is comprised of five elected ASB officers and 20 class officers. ASB and class officers are elected in the spring before the school year of their term. Ninth grade class officers are elected in the fall. Class officers and ASB officers function as an executive council of equals rather than with designated titles and roles. Student Council Members are in charge of developing relationships between the Student Government and the student body. Additionally, they work to develop relationships with the Staff, Administration, Office of the President and the Development Offices of St. Mary’s Academy.

Student Fundraiser

Student Review Board (SRB)

The student review board serves as a decision making board for the approval of student led initiatives, proposals and clubs. The board consists of a broad range of students to engage multiple perspectives.

TIES Mentors

Women’s Empowerment Week

The goal for the Women’s Empowerment Week is to create an action-focused, educational week that gives St. Mary's students the tools and the confidence to create their own futures, follow their passions, and realize that their unique qualities are superpowers. This week aims to encourage SMA students to empower girls around them and in other countries by empowering themselves first. Students can apply for a spot on the team for Women's Empowerment Week!

Women of Color in Action Association (WOCA)

St Mary’s Academy values multiple perspectives and offers a student centered approach to education, student leadership and service. The mission of the Women of Color in Action Association is to work hand in hand with the SMA administrative team to foster the social, cultural and intellectual development of all students at SMA. WOCA’s intent is to promote understanding, unity and solutions through education, open discussions, events and activities.

Michele Taylor, Student Activities and Leadership