We help people because we are disciples of Christ.
For the principal, faculty, staff and students at St. Mary School in Alma, these are words to live by, words that become engraved on their hearts.
St. Mary School, a ministry of Nativity of the Lord Parish, has increased its student numbers this year in both the preschool and elementary school. Principal Lisa Seeley, who has been at St. Mary in that position for 15 years, attributes the school’s growth to word-of-mouth, based on its high academic achievement, significant service work, and students’ good behavior. Saginaw Catholic Diocese Welcome Scholarships have also played a key role, with 12 new students receiving scholarships this school year. In addition, the Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan Olszewski and St. Mary Funds have been dedicated to providing scholarships for St. Mary students since 2007.
According to its mission statement, St. Mary School is “…committed to academic excellence and forms children into life-long disciples of Christ and responsible stewards of the parish, community and world.” Therefore, students and their families, faculty and staff pour their hearts into providing service to a variety of organizations. Within their community, students go once a month to Masonic Pathways, a retirement community, for the celebration of Mass with residents. In addition, they make quilts for the Masonic Home, veterans, and cancer patients at the Pardee Cancer Center. St. Mary students also collect food for Thanksgiving baskets. At Christmas, they adopted 4 families through Alma’s Child Advocacy Program and provided special gifts for each member of the families. During Lent, they collect items for the homeless, and through the 4 North Project, they raise money to provide school supplies to students in Uganda. Principal Lisa Seeley says St. Mary students definitely see the connection between the real world and the school mission!
According to Seeley, the banners inside the school doors truly describe St. Mary School: Peace to All That Enter. She hears over and over again how amazed people are when they walk through these doors. Seeley adds, “The classes are so quiet and the students are so engaged. Christ is involved in everything we do and is the foundation for our school; one symbol is the the Cross right when you walk in. We have many prayer services and themes throughout the year; the decorations change but the Cross is constant. You can really sense that in the hearts of the students.”
St. Mary School currently employs 15 faculty/staff members and enrolls 80 students in Y5 through sixth grade, and another 70 students in the preschool program for three and four-year-olds. All faiths are welcome. To learn more or to schedule a tour, click here!