St. Mary's High School (Phoenix, Arizona)

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2525 North Third Street
Phoenix, Arizona, Maricopa County, 85004
United States
Coordinates 33°28′31″N 112°4′8″W / 33.47528°N 112.06889°W / 33.47528; -112.06889Coordinates: 33°28′31″N 112°4′8″W / 33.47528°N 112.06889°W / 33.47528; -112.06889
Type Private, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1917
Oversight Diocese of Phoenix
Dean Kevin Muir
Principal Suzanne Fessler
Grades 912
Age 14 to 18
Enrollment 500[1] (2012)
Average class size 22-25
Color(s) Green and White         
Slogan "Once a Knight, Always a Knight"
Athletics Division I
Mascot Knight
Team name Knights
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Publication Knightline
Newspaper Round Table
Endowment $1,000,000+
Tuition Full $12,600/year; Participating Catholic $9,800/year for 2013-2014[3]

St. Mary's Catholic High School is a private, Roman Catholic High School in Phoenix, Arizona. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.


Saint Mary's High School is the oldest Catholic High School in Arizona, and has been part of the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan area since 1917.[4] St. Mary's is Arizona's first Roman Catholic high school, founded by the Sisters of the Precious Blood. The founders set aside classroom space for four boys and ten girls at St. Anthony's Elementary school. This was the beginning of the Saint Mary’s community.

In 1920, Saint Mary’s moved into its very first, one-story home located on East Monroe Street. In 1928, all male students were transferred to Brophy College Preparatory School on North Central Avenue, leaving the Saint Mary's school an all-girls facility. The Great Depression caused financial problems, leading to the closure of Brophy in 1936. The boys were temporarily without a Catholic high school. Male students moved back to St. Mary's, but this time, into a new building. During the 1930s, one city block, bordered from Polk to Taylor and Second to Third Streets, had been purchased for $24,000. With this new land, a second Saint Mary's was built by the Franciscans whose goal was to educate those boys displaced by the closure of Brophy High School.

The separation of both boys' and girls' schools lasted until 1958. By the end of 1958, the girls' school was condemned to make way for the Civic Plaza. Both schools were combined, making it mixed once again. As a result of boys and girls attending the same facility, it became necessary to add classrooms. On March 20, 1961, Reverend Francis J. Green, O.D., Bishop of Tucson, performed the dedication ceremony for the new seven-room addition to the school, including a ramada and a library.

The Polk Street campus, built on 2 acres (8,100 m2), had a total of twenty-four classrooms and a gymnasium. There was a maximum of six hundred students from very diverse backgrounds. The student body was approximately 90% Hispanic, 0% Anglo and 10% African American. The ravages of time and the rapid development of downtown Phoenix caused Saint Mary’s to halt its growth on their inner-city campus. In 1988, Saint Mary’s was razed to make room for the Arizona Center. The school moved to its present location at Third Street and Sheridan, renovated existing buildings, and constructed a multi-purpose building to house administration, classrooms, and a cafeteria. In 2007, the Virginia Piper building was completed, which houses fine arts classrooms, computer labs, and the 275 seat Wiegand Auditorium.


Money constraints prevented the school from building a gym at the Third Street and Sheridan campus; a new facility was estimated to cost the school $1.2 million. With help from the community the construction of the Saint Mary’s gym began. A nearby defunct Catholic high school, Gerard Catholic High School, left behind a prefabricated metal building that had housed a gymnasium. A former graduate of Saint Mary’s was able to contact a contractor who agreed to relocate the steel superstructure. After this first step was completed, volunteers pulled together and began creating a gym from parts of other buildings all over the city. The project cost approximately $400,000. After a generous gift of $100,000 from a charitable trust was matched, St. Mary's borrowed the remaining $200,000 from the Diocese of Phoenix. The flooding of Camelback High School's gymnasium was another advantage. [clarification needed] The school's athletic program could not afford the time and risk of trying to dry out the maple floor. With the insurance company's permission, Saint Mary's took the donated wet wood to dry out in a warehouse. For the lights, scoreboards, and backboards another Phoenix school was soon-to-be demolished and was also a source. The source of 36,000 pounds of tile for the locker rooms and showers was the donation of another destroyed building. The two-story gym was also fortunate to boast an elevator donated by a former graduate. Altogether, Saint Mary's was able to reuse materials to put into the gym, making it recycled.

Mission statement[edit]

The Mission of Saint Mary's Catholic High School is to provide a liberal arts education that forms virtuous young men and women who know the truth and love the good.


Saint Mary’s Catholic High School is a Roman Catholic, diocesan, co-educational, college preparatory institution serving metropolitan Phoenix. It is a multi-cultural, centrally-located school whose primary focus is dedicated to the spiritual, academic, social and personal growth of each student, centered on the Gospel. Saint Mary’s welcomes learners who span a diverse cultural spectrum. The staff of Saint Mary’s Catholic High School prepares students for continuing education equipped with an advanced level of cooperative learning, problem solving and thinking skills. The Saint Mary’s community acknowledges Jesus Christ as the source of all Truth and the goal of all learning, and parents as the primary educators. Thus, students are encouraged to be active members of the Christian faith community. This entails promoting moral values, fostering an attitude of Christian service, and ongoing growth in virtue and knowledge of the Truth of the Catholic Church.[5]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]