St. Mary's Academy (Cherry Hills Village)

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St. Mary's Academy
4545 South University Boulevard
Cherry Hills Village, Colorado 80113-6099
United States
Coordinates 39°38′2″N 104°57′38″W / 39.63389°N 104.96056°W / 39.63389; -104.96056Coordinates: 39°38′2″N 104°57′38″W / 39.63389°N 104.96056°W / 39.63389; -104.96056
Motto The Premier Academy of the West
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic; Sisters of Loretto
Established 1864
President Bill Barrett
Principal Kathryn McNamee (HS)
Martha Ashley (MS)
Florence Swanson (LS)
Grades JK12
Enrollment 683 (2017)
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Navy Blue and White         
Mascot Wildcat

National Association of Independent Schools National Association of Colorado Independent Schools
National Coalition of Girls' Schools

National Catholic Educational Association
Director of Admissions Seely Greenberg
Athletic Director Kelli Logan

St. Mary's Academy (SMA) is a Catholic, independent day school in the Loretto tradition located in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado. Founded by the Sisters of Loretto in 1864, St. Mary’s Academy educates boys and girls. St. Mary’s Academy is composed of a co-ed Lower School (co-ed junior kindergarten through grade 5) and Middle School (co-ed grades 6-8), and continues its long tradition as a college preparatory high school for girls (grades 9-12). Three times the U.S. Department of Education has honored St. Mary’s Academy as a School of Excellence (a program initially titled Blue Ribbon Schools). St. Mary's Academy High School offers 15 Advanced Placement courses.


St. Mary’s Academy is one of Denver’s pioneer institutions. It is the oldest continuously operating pre-collegiate school in Denver and has the distinction of awarding the first high school diploma in 1875, a year before Colorado became a state. Originally situated at 14th and California Streets on the edge of the prairie, in 1911 the school moved and built next door to Margaret “Molly” Brown on Pennsylvania Avenue. Needing additional space and recognizing that families were moving to the suburbs, St. Mary’s Academy located to its current home in the early 1950s. Begun as a school for girls, boys were welcomed into all Lower and Middle School grades in the mid-1970s.


  • Numerous Destination ImagiNation teams form every year in Lower School. In 2014 an all-boy team finished in first place in the Scientific Category at the Global Finals.
  • Middle School students travel to a buffalo ranch in Northern Colorado, Keystone Science Center, the East Coast, and Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico for service.
  • In its first year, the high school robotics team won awards in the 2013-2014 Denver and regional BEST Robotics Competition. They were the only all-girls team in that competition and are one of a handful of all-girl teams participating in the international FIRST Robotics Competition in 2014-2015.
  • St. Mary’s Academy offers opportunities to further engage with the Loretto Community: service work at Loretto Motherhouse in Kentucky, a trip to the United Nations and advocacy training at the El Paso/Juarez border.



Association of Colorado Independent Schools (ACIS)
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
National Catholic Education Association
National Coalition of Girls’ Schools
Colorado High School Activities Association
3A Metropolitan League

Notable alumnae[edit]

  • Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State, 2005-2009
  • Jane Lubchenco, Administrator of the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), 2009-2013
  • Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Jane Sigmon, Senior Coordinator for International Programs, U.S. State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
  • MacArthur Fellows: Jane Lubchenco, Pam Solo

Notes and references[edit]

"St Mary’s Academy: 150 Years of Courage, Tenacity and Vision" (September–October 2014 issue of Colorado Heritage, the magazine of History Colorado).

External links[edit]