St. Mary's Hosts 700+ Visitors on Sunday's Open House
Every fall, St. Mary’s opens their doors to hundreds of prospective students and their parents. Open House, an annual event held by all Catholic high schools in Portland area, is an opportunity for SMA to show all the things that make us one of a kind.
This year, Open House was centered on what makes SMA special – our all-girls environment, SNJM charism and evolution of student life. The Open House experience began with prospective students being welcomed by a group of cheering ambassadors standing on the SMA steps and a quick stop for SMA branded coffee from Where’s Coffee Girl. Cover in blue and white, the front of the school shined with SMA pride.
Upon entering the school – prospective students and their families were given the choice to attend our welcome presentation or start their day on an Ambassador lead or self-guided tour. During the welcome presentation, students head from our choir – The Marians, SMA President Emily Niedermeyer Becker '86, joined in prayer with Board of Directors Member Karis Stoudamire-Phillips '94 and heard testimonials from Irena '24 and Jakub Langer and Vice Principal of Student Life, Ashley Sheridan '01. To quote President Becker, “Choosing a school with your child is challenging, and we are so thankful that you are taking the time to see what makes St. Mary’s special. Ever since a group of passionate Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary founded a Catholic school for women when none like it existed nearly 165 years ago, St. Mary's has been a place that nurtures extraordinary women leaders.”
Ambassadors spent most of the day taking groups on tours throughout the school. Some of the highlights of the tours included the newly renovated gym, the Chapel, and the Hive – three spaces that help to enrich all students’ experiences at SMA. When finished with their tour – many families attended one of our three panels. Our faculty panel lead by Interim Principal, Liane Rae, was centered on the freshman year experience. Students and families were able to hear from the source – our talented faculty – what it is like to be a freshman at SMA. For those looking for another perspective on SMA life, we offered two other panels – student athletics and student leadership. Both panels included dynamic groups of students across sophomore through senior year.
Families walked away from the day having a better understanding of what the SMA-mily is all about. In the words of Irena Langer “St. Mary’s has given me the space to take risks by trying new things, increased my confidence inside and outside of the classroom, and taught me that there are so many paths to take throughout high school. I love that we are in a space designed and developed specifically to uplift and empower women.”