We've had three students attend St. Mary's over the last 10 or so years, and sadly the school is a shell of the former college preparatory institution is once was.
One would expect a school that sells itself as 'college prep' would have a robust counseling department. Sadly, this is far from the case at SMHS. While there are two counselors on staff, both work only part time to have a 'retirement' job with benefits. While their schedules often overlap to provide coverage the entire week, if your student is not assigned to the counselor on duty, he will typically instruct the student to wait for his or her assigned counselor for help and refuse to provide any services to the student. One of the two counselors habitually fails to send required documents to colleges, even after the student repeatedly reminds him to do so, requiring the student to sit in the counselor's office and directly observe him completing the task to ensure it is done.
I have two children attending and their ability to critically think and assimilate information is unsurpassed. Each has been able to participate in the sports of their choice and enjoy their fellow classmates. Because of the small student body, everyone gets to know each other as an individual. Also, this school is one of the best values in the country. Last year 85 seniors won $7.5million in scholarships compared to a local school district where 800+ seniors won $6.3 million.
This school is head and shoulders well above all other high schools in the region. You will not find a finer, more dedicated, more caring cadre of teachers anywhere. I currently have a sophomore attending and the exuberance she comes home with and the excitement she displays when she learns something new is quite infectious and I believe is testament to the Saint Mary's High School experience. If I could give 10 stars I would!
We had 2 children go through St. Mary's and it prepared them well for college! The integration of Christian values into all aspects of their education (academics, athletics, service) gave them a great base for their future and taught them how to deal with challenges they will face later in life. The academics are superb and because of their advanced classes, they were able to test out of almost of year of college classes. This enabled them to take additional classes outside of their major at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Because of their experiences at St. Mary's, both of my children continue to grow in their faith and are actively involved in the church on the university campus. Parents are actively involved in the school community and you end up knowing the families of the students that your children hang out with. Since it is a small school, there is lots of personal connection between teachers and students. The new STEM program helps the students experience engineering before entering college to see if they really want to study in that career field. The school has a good athletics program but is weak in the performing arts.
I have 2 children there and we are extremely happy with the school. Our kids do numerous activities and are doing well in the rigorous classes. St. Mary's is an excellent college prep program with an emphasis on Catholic education to form the whole person. Great teachers and great kids. Best speech and debate program in southern Colorado as well. The small size really creates a family feel and helps the kids form long lasting friendships.
I had a son who attended St. Mary's his freshman and sophomore year until we moved to Montana. He was extremely well prepared for his continued studies at a college prep school up here in Montana. More importantly than the academics however; and they are very important, is the caring and thought- provoking environment the staff have created. Students not only learn lots of things, they are given a sound basis on how to use that knowledge in the best possible way- ethics are stressed, core Catholic values are stressed, and students are encouraged to "do what is right".
Sadly, St. Mary's is living on a reputation that they earned years ago. The lack of stable leadership is the beginning of the problem. There are barely any AP classes, a limited math curriculum, only 2 foreign languages, an unsupervised and out of control theater department, and an archaic technology department. The decrease in enrollment and mass exodus of students from the student body should warn the leadership of what is coming but they are not professional educators. So, it goes unnoticed and the train that is St. Mary's continues to run out of control.
A a parent of 2 recent graduates, I can honestly say that St. Mary's provides an excellent college-prep education in a very caring environment. St. Mary's encourages not only growth in academics, but also growth in awarenesss of self as related to others and community.