Saint Mary's School Profile

NOTE: The 2018-2019 School Profile will be available in early September 2018. Thank you.


Click here for the full 2017-2018 School Profile.


School Profile 2017-2018

CEEB/ACT School Code 343235

Brendan J. O'Shea, Head of School
Leslie Owen, Dean of Teaching and Learning

Scott Orvis, Director of College Counseling,, ext. 4068
J. Morgan Phillips, Associate Director of College Counseling,, ext. 4117
Elizabeth Morrel, College Counselor,, ext. 4069
Weldon Jackson Byrtus, Registrar,, ext. 4008

Mission Statement

Saint Mary’s School, a community dedicated to academic excellence and personal achievement, prepares young women for college and life. To accomplish our mission, Saint Mary’s School challenges each young woman to embrace the habits of an intellectual life, engages her with the past and the emerging future, and empowers her to serve and shape her world; fostersin each young woman a spirit of connection to others, guides her in developing her spiritual and ethical integrity, and prepares her to take responsibility for herself and her future.

A Brief History of Saint Mary’s School

Founded in 1842 by the Rev. Aldert Smedes, an Episcopal priest from New York, Saint Mary’s School has operated continuously on the same site ever since. Rev. Smedes believed that "an educated woman can make a difference." The school opened May 12, 1842, with a total of 21 girls enrolled for the first session. Three of the present school buildings - East Rock, West Rock and Smedes Hall - formed the original campus. East Rock and West Rock, the first two buildings, were constructed with remnant stones from the construction of the North Carolina state capitol. The historic core of the school's 23-acre campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a stop on the North Carolina Civil War Trails. The Saint Mary’s Chapel, designed by Richard Upjohn, is a National Historic Site, and five of the school’s 25 buildings are Raleigh Historic Properties. Saint Mary’s School is the fourth oldest girls' boarding and day school in the country.

Saint Mary’s School Facts

  • 268 students representing 10 states and 4 foreign countries
  • 54% boarding students and 46% day students
  • 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Average class size is 12.5 students
  • 32% of students receive need-based financial aid
  • Average teaching experience for faculty is 15 years
  • 81% of faculty hold advanced degrees in their fields, including seven PhDs
  • 100% acceptance rate to selective colleges and universities around the world
  • 18 Advanced Placement (AP) and 26 honors courses
  • Accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS)
  • Member of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, the National Association of Independent Schools, the National Association of Episcopal Schools, the Southern Association of Independent Schools, the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools, The Association of Boarding Schools, National Association for College Admission Counseling, Southern Association for College Admission Counseling, and the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools

Click here for full 2017-2018 profile including
academic program, standardized tests, course offerings,
and college and university matriculations
for the classes of 2015-2017.