Serving the families of North County San Diego for over 60 years, St. Mary’s School offers all students an educational experience rooted in faith, dedicated to academic excellence, and committed to service.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church was founded over 100 years ago as the first Catholic Church in Escondido. Perched atop our original location on the hill at the end of Kalmia and 7th, we were known as the “little white chapel on the hill.” It was always the dream of the early Escondido residents, the parishioners of St. Mary’s Church, and the Diocese of San Diego to have a parish school to serve the residents of northern San Diego County. It was an innovative idea for its time and one that our founders never gave up on. That dream became a reality in 1951 when the doors of St. Mary’s School opened. The school was founded and staffed by the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood. For sixty four years, St. Mary’s School has been synonymous with academic excellence rooted in the Catholic faith, serving faithfully the families of Escondido and the entire North County Inland region of San Diego. We have educated hundreds of students from Escondido, Valley Center, San Marcos, Fallbrook, Poway, and northern San Diego over the years. Our graduates have gone on to become productive members of society, entering esteemed professions such as medicine, law, engineering, and education, to name a few. Many of our alumni have also remained in the Escondido and surrounding communities, allowing both to continue to support and grow from each other. Graduates of St. Mary’s School are continuing to accomplish great things and impact many people’s lives through their professions, philanthropic work, and through their Catholic faith. We take much pride in our role in this.
The field of education is an ever-changing landscape and one that requires us to adapt and change. However, one thing that is a constant at St. Mary’s School is our tradition and commitment to academic excellence in a Catholic environment. As educators, we utilize all the resources that are available to us and implement educational best practices wherever possible. Over the last several decades, Catholic schools across the country have experienced a slow, constant decline in student enrollment. St. Mary’s, unfortunately, has not been immune to this reality. Many factors play into decreased enrollment and because of this, we must take an aggressive multi-disciplined approach to reverse this trend and to position our school as THE school of choice for the entire north county region.
St. Mary’s School is blessed to serve the families of St. Mary’s Church, Church of the Resurrection, St. Timothy’s, St. Stephen’s, and St. Mark’s. Our centrally-located campus in Escondido strategically places us within a 10-mile radius of these parishes which do not have schools. Two summers ago, realizing the need for a new technology platform to support our educational initiatives, all classrooms were remodeled to include the newest wired and wireless technology. We are poised and ready to offer the best of 21st century learning coupled with our strong Catholic identity. This year, we launched the Blended Learning model of education. This model capitalizes on the strengths of our educators, the technology available, and small groups to ensure each student’s learning experience is personally tailored to him or her. Supported in this model by the Diocese of San Diego, we are well on our way to being the innovators we have always been in the field of quality Catholic education in north San Diego County.
The complete details of this multi-year strategic plan are still in the beginning planning phases and it is our desire to formally share all the specifics in the months ahead, as well as to introduce you to the group of volunteer parents and community members who are assisting us in this endeavor. At this time, we are excited to announce the first steps of our vision for the NEW St. Mary’s School. Because of our proximity and long history of serving Escondido and the surrounding communities, we are taking the necessary first steps toward officially becoming a true regional Catholic school. The pastors of the other Escondido parishes, The Church of the Resurrection and St. Timothy’s, along with the pastors of St. Stephen’s and St. Mark’s, welcome and support this vision. We are formalizing the relationships with nearby parishes which has always been there. All pastors and the faith communities of these parishes recognize the need for excellent, local Catholic education. They share in our mission to ensure St. Mary’s School remains open for the region’s families for many more years to come.
In the Spirit of Catholic Education,
Mrs. Lisa Gilbert, Principal
St. Mary’s School