Why St. Mary's





Why Saint Mary's?


Parents have the choice of sending their children to a variety of schools, public and private.


Why then would St. Mary's be the ideal place for a student to obtain the education, experience, guidance, and spiritual foundation that will not only help them throughout the remaining course of their education, their chosen careers, but in all of life?


Take a moment and explore the many reasons why Saint Mary's High School should be your choice for education.



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St. Mary's High School has been gifted with a strong religious presence of Priests, Brothers, and Sisters throughout its history. The Dominican Sisters of San Rafael have been joined by the Brothers of Mary, the Franciscan Friars, diocesan priests, the Sisters of Charity of The Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

Gifted, dedicated lay men and women have contributed to the strengthening of our curriculum. Our talented faculty represents expertise in 10 disciplines, offering over 130 courses in religion, English, social studies, mathematics, physical education, science, computer resources, foreign languages, business and vocational arts, and fine arts. Twenty-seven co-curricular activities and 26 sports teams representing 17 separate sports provide a variety of ways in which our students can develop their talents.


St. Mary's graduates, numbering over 9,000, are scattered throughout California, 48 additional states, and 13 foreign countries.

Throughout the years of service, the mission of St. Mary's has remained constant even during times of change. Its goal is to develop the whole person spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, and to prepare its graduates for whatever they face by giving them the necessary values and skills for their futures.


History of School


The 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 community well. A larger school which could provide for the growing student population had long been recognized as a pressing need.


In 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.


By the Fall of 1957, the enrollment of the school had increased to 530 students. Plans were made during this year for the construction 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.


The 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 serve as principal until 1964. The 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. At 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.


In 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 and twenty-one lay men and women. The student enrollment for the year was 700. In 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 five years.


In 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.


In 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, Mr. Peter Morelli serving as Principal and 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. In 1995, 2001 and 2007, six-year terms of accreditation were granted by WASC. The current 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.


In 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 installed. In 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.


In March of 2007 the school began construction on a swimming pool complex. The Cortopassi Aquatics Center was dedicated in September, 2007. The Basso Tennis Complex was completed in 2011.


St. 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 oustanding 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.


In 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 installed. In 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.


In March of 2007 the school began construction on a swimming pool complex. The Cortopassi Aquatics Center was dedicated in September, 2007. The Basso Tennis Complex was completed in 2011.


St. 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 oustanding 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.


In 2012, St. Mary's under the direction of Kathy Smith, then Dean of Students and now Principal, and a parent committee established a program for the community entitled Empowering Young Women. In 2012, the St. Mary's chapel, Mary, Queen of Angels, was completely remodeled and was re-dedicated on March, 18, 2012.


In th 2012-13 St. Mary's was visted by a WASC/WCEA team. Accreditation was given for another term. The Bonaventure, Football dressing rooms and weight rooms were demolished to make room for a new field house, scheduled to be completed in October, 2014.

In 2013-14 St. Mary's received a full six-year WASC-WCEA accreditation; .the Basso Family Tennis Facility was completed; St. Mary's formed a new Board of Directors.

In 2014-15 Father Fallon retired and was appointed president emeritus St. Mary's formed a new Board of Directors. Peter D. Morelli was appointed president and Kathy Smith was appointed principal. In the fall of 2014 the Chase Family Athletic Performance Center opened.

In 2017 Peter Morelli retired as President. Jim Brusa was appointed as the President of St. Mary's HIgh School.

Mission Statement


St. Mary’s High School is dedicated to the academic excellence and value-based instruction that prepare each of our students for college and for a life that reflects Christian principles. We believe that human beings are the pinnacle of God's creation on earth. We develop the total person - spiritually, intellectually, creatively, socially and physically.


Our community of students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff is proud of our traditions, our history since 1876, and our Catholic heritage. St. Mary’s leads the way in educating students who possess the skills and human compassion necessary to thrive in the future.


Statement of Philosophy


St. Mary’s High School is committed to the proclamation of the Good News of the Gospel. The school proclaims its Catholic identity by teaching doctrine, building community, and promoting service to others. The school is also a concrete example of the Church’s commitment to educate its people.


The school desires to guide its students to achieve a personal relationship with Christ through religious instruction, the Christian atmosphere of the school, and the good example of the staff. Because students live in a world filled with sin and suffering, the school tries constantly to present a Christian and hopeful view of the human condition. Teaching Christian values and Christian morality is one of the main thrusts of the school’s educational ministry.


Just as Jesus identified Himself as the vine and His Church as the branches, He calls us to community based on shared faith, hope, and love in the life of the Spirit. “Community is at the heart of Catholic education as a reality to be lived.” The role of the school is to create a readiness for growth in community through worship and prayer and through the events of everyday life. Since community grows through personal relationships, it is the responsibility of the family to model in their own relationship the values of Christian community. (To Teach As Jesus Did, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1972). Jesus repeatedly impressed on his audiences the necessity for service. He constantly reached out to others, “I am in your midst as one who serves.” As a Christian community, we share beliefs, experiences, ideals and values. Christian community leads us to put aside selfish goals and private interests for the sake of others. Service, then, is the result of hearing the message of hope, of growing in its understanding in community, and of sharing that growth with others.


St. Mary’s High School also strives to create within its believing community a learning community and strives for excellence in both areas. “We are concerned with constant and careful attention to cultivating in students the intellectual, creative and aesthetic faculties of the human person; to develop in them the ability to make correct use of their judgment; to promote in them a sense of values; to encourage just attitudes and prudent behavior; to prepare them for higher education and professional life; and to encourage the friendly interchange among students of diverse cultures and backgrounds that will lead to mutual understanding.” (Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith) St. Mary’s also believes that additional sources of learning, which exist within a school community are the co-curricular and athletic programs. In these settings, students learn the importance of an education, are held accountable for academics and the reputation of the school, and are helped to succeed personally. Through their participation in co-curricular and athletic programs, students experience positive interaction, support, and healthful living. Lastly, St. Mary’s acknowledges that every person is an individual endowed with great dignity by Almighty God, capable of happiness and success in the world. The staff strives to respect each individual by affirming the value of that individual in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. The staff also treats the students with fairness, and concern by helping them achieve self-discipline, personal, spiritual, and academic growth.


St. Mary’s community is blessed with tremendous diversity. Both students and faculty represent varied backgrounds and bring to the community a variety of gifts and talents. It is our responsibility to provide fertile soil so that the gifts and talents of all will be nourished. Within the school environment, we help students to recognize that they are being called to share their gifts and talents with the larger community. St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians writes that one generation lays a foundation, each succeeding generation builds on it. In our time, we depend on what has gone before, and we contribute to what will be for the future.



The school is located on North El Dorado Street, one mile east of San Joaquin Delta Community College and two miles north of the University of the Pacific.


Type of School

St. Mary's is a Roman Catholic, four year, co-educational comprehensive high school under the direction of the Bishop of the Diocese of Stockton. It is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and by the Western Catholic Education Association.



Located on twenty-five acres in a residential neighborhood, St. Mary’s draws students from 64 local elementary and junior high schools. Facilities continue to expand in order to serve our mission of academic excellence.


The campus includes a student chapel, an academic building which houses administrative offices, a modern library, technology center, and five state of the art “smart” classrooms, with wireless internet available throughout the campus. In addition, there are four classroom buildings including computer and technology classrooms, a cafeteria, student store and two gyms. Athletic facilities are comprised of a weight room, track facilities, baseball, football and soccer fields, a baseball field house, six tennis courts and an Olympic-size swimming pool. There is a residence for the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales priests and brothers.



The student population of 926 represents the diversity of the San Joaquin Valley and includes Asian, Black, Caucasian, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander. Out of 74 dedicated faculty members, 44% hold masters or advanced degrees in their related fields of administration, teaching or counseling. Faculty include the order of Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Student-to-faculty ratio is 18 to 1. Average classroom size is 24.



There are ten departments at St. Mary's from which students choose their required and elective courses: Religion, English, Social Studies, Mathematics, Physical Education & Health, Science, Computer, Foreign Language, and Fine Arts. Some courses are offered on three levels: remedial, college prep, and honors.

In addition, students may take courses at Delta Community College or the University of the Pacific.

Every student is required to take the following core program:


40 units


40 units

Social Studies

35 units

(Geography, Modern World History, U.S. History, Economics, Government)



20 units


20 units

Physical Education

20 units

Driver/Health Education

5 units

Computer Course

5 units

Elective Courses*

60 units


255 units


*76% of our juniors and seniors take upper division mathematics; 73% of our juniors and seniors are enrolled in upper division science. Also 68% of our students are enrolled in French, Italian, or Spanish. Advanced Placement courses are offered in American Literature, English Literature, Chemistry, European History, U.S. History, U.S. Government, Psychology, Calculus and Biology.

Students may take the Advanced Placement Exams in Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, English Language, English Literature, European History, Foreign Language, Physics, Psychology, U.S. Government & Politics and U.S. History.

The school year is divided into Fall Semester and Spring Semester. In addition to semester exams and grades, quarter exams and grades are mailed home. Progress reports and deficiency reports are sent to parents halfway through each quarter grading period.



100% of the Class of 2018 graduated and 98%  of which 77% will be attending 4 year colleges and universities and 22% will be attending community colleges or enlisting in the military. The class earned awards and scholarships totaling $16,700,670.


Marking Procedures





Honors/AP (Grades 11,12)

100 - 90




89 - 80




79 - 70




69 - 60




59 - 00





GPA and class rank are calculated by converting grades to honor points and dividing by attempted credits.


Honors Courses


Honors courses offered are:

  • Geometry/Algebra

  • Algebra 2/Trig

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • English

  • Physical Science

  • Spanish 2 & 3

  • World Literature

AP Scores

St. Mary's  from 1990 to 2018 has exceeded state and national averages on AP exams. Last school year students took 425 AP exams. St. Mary's had a pass rate of 76% on these exams compared to a national average of 55%.  In addition, the class of 2018 had 59 AP scholars who received recognition for having passed several AP exams in several different subjects.


AP Courses offered are:

  • Biology

  • Calculus AB & BC

  • Chemistry

  • English Language

  • English Literature

  • Physics 1

  • Psychology

  • Spanish Language

  • Statistics

  • Studio Art

  • U.S. Government

  • U.S. History

  • World History

Guidance Services


St. Mary’s High School, in its continued effort to meet the needs of the students and to build community, has provided a staff of qualified counselors who are ready to help students at any time in these areas:


• Academic

• Personal

• Course scheduling

• Financial Aid

• College placement


The guidance staff includes the academic dean, counselors (one for each grade level), a scholarship or Financial Aid counselor and a licensed clinical social worker.


Counselors routinely meet with students throughout the year to help in whatever way possible and to discuss educational plans. The Guidance Office is staffed during school hours, where students or parents may request an appointment with a counselor during the school day. A licensed clinical social worker provides additional services at St. Mary’s.


Extra Curricular Activities and Co-Curricular Activities


St. Mary's students, in addition to their involvement in community service projects are active in 27 clubs and organizations emphasizing creativity, leadership, scholarship, and service.  Student athletes compete in the Tri-City Athletic Association in football, volleyball, hockey, water polo, soccer, tennis, basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball, cross-country, track, swimming/diving, badminton, and golf. Hockey competes in the Hockey competes in the ADSHL, Lacrosse competes in the Capital League while Trap Shooting and Skeet Shooting compete in the CYSSA.


Extra-curricular and co-curricular programs offered by St. Mary’s High School are as follows:





Deaf Culture Club

Empowering Young Women

Environmental Club


International Outreach Club

Key Club 

Multi-Cultural Club


Photography Club

Pre-Health Club

Psychology After Hours

Rampage Art Club 

Salesian Leadership Club

Science Club


Think Pink

Young Men's Club


California Scholarship Federation

Campus Ministry

Speech & Debate

Green Machine 


Model United Nations 

National Honor Society

Student Council





Beach Volleyball

Cross Country









Track & Field

Trap Shooting


Water Polo






100% of the Class of 2018 graduated and 98% will be attending colleges and universities and community colleges and 1% joined the military. The class earned awards and scholarships in the amount of $16,067,877


Members of the Class of 2018 will be attending the following universities and colleges:


Ateneo de Manila

New York University

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

Prairie View A&M University

Augustana College

Pepperdine University

Azusa Pacific University

Princeton University

Baylor University

Santa Clara University

Boise State University

Saint Mary’s College

Cal Lutheran University

Texas Christian University

California Maritime Academy

University of Arizona

Cal Northstate University

UC Davis

Cal Poly SLO

UC Irvine

CSU Chico


CSU East Bay

UC Riverside

CSU Fresno

UC Santa Barbara

CSU Humbolt

UC Santa Cruz

CSU Long Beach

University of Colorado, Boulder

CSU Monterey Bay

University of Denver

CSU Sacramento

University of Florida

CSU San Diego

University of Hawaii

CSU San Francisco

University of Nevada Reno

CSU San Jose

University of the Pacific

CSU Sonoma


CSU Stanislaus

University of San Diego

Drake University


George Washington University

U. of Tennessee,Chattanooga

Grand Canyon University

University of Wyoming

Hampton University

Virginia Military Institute

Montana State University

*Partial List


Our 2018-2019 Profile includes

  • 68 dedicated faculty members, 44% hold masters or advance degrees

  • Student to faculty ratio is 12 to 1

  • Average classroom size is 25

  • Every student takes 7 classes - each class meets 4x per week

  • We offer 23 Honors & AP courses

  • Last year, SMHS gave 425 AP exams and our students surpassed the national and state averages

  • At the end of last school year, we had 67 national AP scholars

  • 92% of our juniors and seniors take upper division mathematics

  • 92% of our juniors and seniors take upper division science

  • We have a 100% graduation rate

  • About 99% of our seniors go onto college

  • Class of 2017 was offered over $15,000,000 in scholarships

  • Of the Class of 2017, 99% went to college, 1% joined the military.



Our milestones over these 140 years are made up of the memories of people who have been part of us. Our student body is second to none in their concern for others. !ey continue to reach out to one another and to the local community contributing in whatever

way they can to make this community a better place to live.


Rev. John P. Fallon, O.S.F.S.

President Emeritus


We are very fortunate to attend St. Mary’s where we not only receive an exceptional education and are part of nationally ranked athletic teams, but most importantly, where we are able to grow in our faith.


Peter Rainwater, Valedictorian, ‘15


At St. Mary’s we are told to “be who you are and be that well.” In every classroom, practice "eld, club meeting and drama rehearsal, you see students striving to be the best they can be. At Saint Mary’s, teachers, coaches, club moderators and directors are here for their students. Teachers are always accessible. !ey root for their students to succeed and are always available for an after school meeting. Teachers are always just an email away from helping students.


Shaun Moran ‘14


I live in Discovery Bay and was nervous about attending St. Mary’s High School. Driving an hour and a half back and forth each day, plus balancing the demands of football, the hard academic curriculum and trying to maintain a social life were difficult. 

I had to get up extra early each day so my dad could drive me to St. Mary’s, drop me of, and then drive my brother back to Discovery Bay and drop him of at elementary school. Slowly, I came out of my shell and started getting to know as many people as I could. I’m now very happy both socially and athletically. Becoming a Ram helped me in more ways than I could imagine. I became an outgoing person - one that is closer to God. I will forever be grateful for the things that I have accomplished during my time at St. Mary’s. I will forever be a Ram.


Clark Butler ‘14


Benjamin Franklin once said, “Genius without education is like silver in the mine.” I would like to thank my teachers for helping me to “mine” my genius. You have helped all of us grow intellectually into the people we are today.


Nicole Rishwain, Salutatorian ‘14


I loved my experience as a student as did my mother here at St. Mary’s. I remain close to many of my classmates but I also have St. Mary’s to thank for my love of education as it is the foundation for many of my life experiences. I know St. Mary’s is where my son needs to be in order to have the same connections and solid foundations to carry with him for the rest of his life.


Brenda Fontanilla ‘86

Daughter of Margaret Kelly ‘62

Mother of Brycen Fontanilla ‘18


Refer a Student


Current students, parents, alumni, and friends play an important role in our student enrollment.


We encourage you to e-mail or call us directly to recommend a prospective student to St Mary's High School.


Once we receive the information from you, we will send the prospective student all of the appropriate admission information.


Email: mstephens@saintmaryshighschool.org or Phone: 209-957-3340, Ext. 180.


For more information or if you have any questions about St. Mary's

please call the school at 209 • 957-3340


St. Mary's High School
5648 N. El Dorado St.
Stockton, CA 95207