present campus of St. Mary's High School was opened
on September 6, 1956. St. Mary's High School dates
back to 1876, having been located at several places
in the city of Stockton, and having served the
larger school which could provide for the growing
student population had long been recognized as a
the opening year of the present St. Mary's, which is
located on a 25 acre lot, the campus included the
administration building, four wings of classrooms, a
cafeteria, and ample playing fields. The
administrative staff of the school included Father
Xavier Harris, O.F.M., principal, and Sister M.
Colette, O.P., vice-principal, four Franciscan
priests, ten Dominican Sisters and seven lay
teachers. The student enrollment was 496. An
academic and commercial curriculum was supplemented
with classes in art, music appreciation and glee
club, in order to provide a cultural and liberal
arts education for the students.
Auxiliary Bishop Hugh A. Donohue of San Francisco
presided at the formal dedication of the new St.
Mary's on May 19, 1957.
the Fall of 1957, the enrollment of the school had
increased to 530 students. Plans were made during
this year for the erection of the Field House,
Bonaventure Hall, and for the equipping of the
football field with nightlights. These two projects
were completed for the opening of school, 1958.
event of greatest importance for St. Mary's in its
fourth year was the graduation of 171 seniors on
June 15, 1960. Since the enrollment had risen to
705, permission was granted in May, 1960 to continue
with the expansion of the school plant. The
following buildings were contemplated: a gym/
auditorium, a student chapel, a Friary and a
Convent. Under the supervision of Father Everette
Chandler, O.F.M., these additions were completed and
dedicated on May 7, 1961, by Auxiliary Bishop Merlin
J. Guilfoyle of San Francisco. Father Chandler was
succeeded by Father Emery Tang who served as
principal until 1964.
Diocese of Stockton was established in February,
1962, and in the spring of that year, St. Mary's,
after months of preparation, was granted an
accreditation of 5 years from a Visiting Team of the
Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Father
Tang was succeeded in turn by Father Neil Scott in
1964 and Father Barnabus Hughes in 1966.
the conclusion of the school year 1967, the
Franciscan priests withdrew from St. Mary's High
School because of a shortage of teaching personnel.
Monsignor James DeGroot, the treasurer and assistant
superintendent of schools, was appointed principal.
the Fall of 1970, the Oblates of St. Francis de
Sales were invited by Bishop Merlin J. Guilfoyle to
administer St. Mary's High School. Father Thomas P.
O'Neill, O.S.F.S., became principal; Sister Gene
McNally, O.P. was appointed vice principal. The
staff included six Oblate priests, one Oblate
brother, one Franciscan priest, one Diocesan priest,
nine Dominican sisters
twenty-one lay men and women. The student enrollment
for the year was 700.
February, 1972, St. Mary's was visited by a team
from WASC and given an accreditation of full
approval for five years. During March, 1977, St.
Mary's was again visited by a team of evaluators
from WASC, and as a result of this visitation, St.
Mary's was granted full accreditation for the next
the school year 1977-78, Sister Emilie Schenone,
O.P., replaced Sister Gene as vice-principal, and
Father John Fallon, O.S.F.S., replaced Father
O'Neill as principal.
During the 1970's the enrollment at St. Mary's
steadily increased until it reached capacity of
1,050 in 1980. A Computer Center was established and
located in what had been the Library Reading Room.
March of 1983, St. Mary's was once again visited by
WASC and received a full term of accreditation for
six years. In order to serve the Stockton community
with quality Catholic education and to insure a
viable future, St. Mary's undertook a two-year study
of all of its programs and publics. This study was
conducted under the direction of McManis Associates
of Washington, D.C., a management consultant firm.
The study showed that St. Mary's is a strong,
visible and viable institution. In July 1986, the
school administration was restructured and Mrs. Mary
Devincenzi was appointed Academic Dean and Father
John Foley appointed Curriculum Coordinator.
Following the successful completion of a WASC visit
in 1989 and the granting of a full term of six years
by the accrediting agency, St. Mary's undertook a
major restructuring. The President-Principal model
of governance was adopted with Father John Fallon
serving as President and Mr. Peter Morelli serving
as Principal. Mrs. Karen Gherardi became Academic
Dean. In order to provide for the ongoing
improvement of instruction and the development of
curriculum, a Curriculum Coordinator was appointed.
Mary's has two Dean of Students.
1995, St. Mary's received a six-year WASC
accreditation. A six-year term of accreditation was
granted St. Mary's in 2007 by WASC. The term will
expire on June 30, 2013. The action was taken after
a careful study of the Visiting Committee Report,
which noted many laudable aspects of the school,
citing the quality of instruction being
offered. The projected enrollment for the 2011-12
school year is1163.
the summer of 2004, site construction improvement
began in preparation for the Academic Services
Building. New water lines, fire sprinkler lines,
wiring, permits, and a new parking area were
the summer of 2005, St. Mary's undertook the most
significant growth in the school's history since the
opening of the campus. The process of building the
Lagorio Family Academic Building, a 23,000 square
foot building containing a library, counseling
services, administrative and business offices,
faculty areas and classrooms. The necessity for our
school to improve its academic buildings and other
structures is paramount for the future of our high
school. This building was completed and became
operational for the 2006-07 school year.
March of 2007 the school began construction on a
swimming pool complex. The Cortopassi Aquatics
Center was dedicated in September, 2007.
Mary's High School has a long and distinguished
history of preparing its students for the college
experience. The colleges to which St. Mary's
students have been admitted and the scholarships
awarded give testimony to the outstanding
preparation received here. In recognition of these
facts, beginning with the academic year 2010/11, St.
Mary's will be known as St. Mary's High School, a
College Preparatory High School.
the fall of 2011 a new re-modeled tennis complex was
2012, St. Mary's under the direction of Kathy Smith,
Dean of Students and a parent committee established
a program for the community entitled Empowering
2012, the St. Mary's chapel, Mary, Queen of Angels,
was completely remodeled and was re-dedicated on
March, 18, 2012.