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Across three centuries, St. Mary’s School has consistently offered a faith-based education devoted to academic excellence. The “PRIDE of St. Mary’s Parish,” as it was identified in the 1992 Sesquicentennial Yearbook, began in 1863 in the basement of the church. Upon the completion of a new church in 1871, the original building became St. Mary’s School. Over time, the efforts of a community which dreamed of offering their young people a quality education steeped in the Catholic tradition yielded both a structure and an environment that allowed for the realization of that dream. The original two classrooms ultimately evolved into a campus complete with a library, athletic bowl, gymnasium, CYO activities room, and a computer lab. The current campus, fully equipped with up-to-date technology, educates young people from Pre-K through 8th grade. The first 8th grade class, consisting of 6 students, held commencement ceremonies in June of 1906; thousands have since earned their diplomas and gone on to serve as class valedictorians in both public and private high schools. Furthermore, our alumni have gone on to become lawyers, doctors, teachers, members of the clergy, engineers, accountants, public servants, etc. Ultimately, while class sizes have fluctuated over the years (in 1965, enrollment was at its apex with 300 students), the dedication of our clergy, administrators, teachers, parents, generous benefactors and parish members to this tradition of academic excellence has never wavered. The “family of families” that is St. Mary’s School continues to serve its students by offering a structured learning experience marked by the teachings of Christ and by the essence of an education of the highest caliber.
With Jesus Christ as our teacher, model, and inspiration, St. Mary’s Catholic School exists as an educational community called to foster the spiritual development, academic excellence, physical, emotional, and social growth of all students. Each student’s uniqueness is embraced in a loving and nurturing environment. We strive to cultivate a love of learning and a Catholic commitment to service, social justice, and respect for all life.
COAT OF ARMS
St. Mary’s Catholic School
Explanation of Armorial
The Shield or Echelon is divided into two sections. The top or Chief is a field of blue or Azure. The color blue symbolizes “loyalty and the seeking of truth” and is one of St. Mary’s School colors. The color is also taken from the Belleville Diocesan Coat of Arms. Emblazoned on this field are two insignia. On the left-hand side of the shield or the Dexter Chief can be found the Hawk descending or Hawken, this insignia having a long history at St. Mary’s School representing the school’s sports mascot. The color of the Hawk is black symbolizing “Constancy in Effort”. On the right-hand side of the shield or Sinister Chief can be found the large case letter M, this insignia representing the Latin for the name Mary or Maria. The color of the letter M is gold or Or. This insignia is used to signify the Blessed Virgin Mary in whose honor the
school is given title. The insignia is also taken from the Coat of Arms of Saint Pope John Paul II.
Dividing the shield is a line or Fess a horizontal bar dividing the top third of the shield from the lower two-thirds. It appears as a broken dental line or embattled argent dividing the two sections yet joining the colors of the two sections of the shield. Its significance can be found as a symbol of a river divided by ports, as Chester, IL can be recognized and also the river port city of Chester, England after which Chester, IL was named.
The bottom two thirds of the shield or Echelon is gold or Or. The color gold symbolizes “generosity of spirit”. In the center or Nombril Point is to be found an open book or Biblia representing both an open search for learning and the
open bible signifying our openness to the Word of God. The book is Silver/White or Argent symbolizing the Peace of Christ and the peace of mind that comes from learning. Emblazoned across the book’s open pages are the numbers 1863
recalling the year that St. Mary’s School was opened to educate students.
At the top of the shield or Crest is a Cross with ornate or floral edges or Cross Flory. The color of the Cross is Gold or Or. This cross is represented in the Belleville Diocesan Coat of Arms and represents the early French Missionaries who settled communities along the Mississippi River and our belief in the Lord Jesus who was crucified and rose from the dead.
At the bottom of the shield can be found the banner or Slogane, it bears the motto of St. Mary’s
School: “St. Mary’s School / A Family of Families”.
Meet Our Administration
Sebastian Ukoh, CM
Meet Our Faculty
1st & 2nd Grades
Kelley Gardiner, MA
3rd & 4th Grades
CRE, Technology Coordinator,
7th & 8th Grades
Meet Our Staff
Mary Jo Schwent
The vision of St. Mary’s Catholic School is to continue to educate, inspire, and challenge our students to become life-long learners and strong, faith-filled individuals. We strive to provide our students with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to be effective citizens and leaders in our future world. Our goal includes developing an environment where students, teachers, staff, parishioners, and school families work together toward the ultimate goal of knowing, loving, and serving God and others today and into the future.