All-Girls High School

St. Mary’s Academy High School excels at preparing young women for leadership in a global society. Our goal is to empower our students through the development of analytical skills, confidence, and generosity to make a difference in the world around them.

As a rigorous college-preparatory school, our seminar-style classes encourage inquiry, debate, and cooperative learning. Our unique Block System schedule consists of four ninety-minute class periods. This proven approach to learning fully engages and focuses your daughter while allowing her to enjoy a fresh slate of classes come January.

Walking through the halls of the high school, you will immediately notice a dramatically different atmosphere – one where girls take center stage. Our students are challenged by their peers to achieve more; they feel more comfortable being themselves and expressing their ideas; and they show greater gains on core academic and life skills.

Our High School students typically push themselves beyond expectations—enrolling in several Advanced Placement classes and taking more than the required number of course credits.


 

News & Announcements

SMA Earns Recognition for AP Computer Science Offerings

SMA is one of only 232 schools in the country to be recognized with the College Board's AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding young women's access to AP Computer Science A (CSA).

The academy also offers AP Computer Science Principles at our all-girl high school. Research shows that girls’ schools are leading the way in closing the gender gap by setting up women with the essential skills and attributes needed to succeed and lead in STEM-related industries.

High School Principal's Blog

π Day Reminds Us of Never-ending Potential
by Iswari Natarajan, High School Principal

Happy Pi Day (3/14), everyone! Today at 1:59 pm will be the “PIest” moment of the year: 3.14.1:59. My never-ending fascination with π is no secret, and every year, I get beyond excited for this day. For me, this year, the digits of pi that never end, never show a pattern, yet embody an inherent pattern in our universe, represents new ideas, new perspectives, and infinite possibilities. It represents the idea to look forward to what is yet to come.

In times of crisis, new perspectives are often forced upon us. Exactly two years ago, on pi day, we were forced to embrace new ideas and perspectives amidst feelings of uncertainty and fear. The COVID-19 restrictions created new appreciations of what we value, new traditions with loved ones, new amendments to lifestyles, new ways to connect, and new ways to teach and learn. New ideas are often born when we take the time to look at things from a different perspective. Astronauts often describe this as the “overview effect.” It is what happens when you see planet earth from space. In 1948, Fred Hoyle, an English astronomer, wrote: “Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from the outside, is available, a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.” 

A new idea: something born from new perspectives, something that stems from a sense of wonder, something that trains our energy and attention on possibilities. Infinite possibilities. For me, the beauty of π, in part, is that it puts infinitely new ideas within reach. For me, it represents endless possibilities. For me, it is insPIrational (ha!) With every new digit, π inspires me to look forward to things yet to come. If times are hard, things will get better. If times are good, the future will be even better. So, just keep dreaming and putting one foot in front of the other. In the words of Nikki Banas: ”Keep dreaming of growing and rising higher. You have new mountains to climb in front of you and bigger dreams to chase. No matter where you are right now, always, always know that the best is still yet to come.” With that optimistic outlook, let us all “spring forward” to a fantastic Quarter 4!

I feel truly blessed to be part of our incredible SMA community. My love for each of you is very much like π -- a bit irrational, never-ending, and forever a constant. 

To infinity and beyond.

Previous Blog Posts:

Iswari Natarajan, HS Principal

“The summit is what drives us, but the climb itself is what matters,” Conrad Anker. There is nothing more inspirational than our majestic mountains to start the school year on the right foot. Amidst all the uncertainty that persists, the fact that we could have a safe and meaningful retreat together as a community is not lost on me, and I am very grateful. One of my favorite parts of the retreat is to have a town meeting with the whole student body against the beautiful backdrop of the mountains. The theme for this year’s town meeting was “First Steps.” 

Iswari Natarajan, High School Principal

Fear of the unknown can often hold us captive. In the face of fear, when we choose to enter the arena, place one foot in front of the other, and pivot if we need to, that's when we grow. That's when we spread our wings and soar! This new academic year is calling all of us to do just that - to show up in the face of uncertainty with courage, flexibility, grace, and compassion. I start every academic year with a town meeting at Snow Mountain Ranch with our students. The entire high school student body huddled close together with the beautiful backdrop of our Rocky Mountains is the perfect setting to come together as a community. I have often felt that I wouldn't have it any other way, but this year was different.

Iswari Natarajan, High School Principal

I experience a deep sense of discomfort when the following words appear on my computer screen: “An update is now available for your Mac.” My default response is to click on “Remind me later,” and quickly move on. It is the same feeling I get when I try something new, or when I take a risk, or when I step outside of my comfort zone. It is also in these very moments when I make the conscious decision of choosing courage over comfort that I find myself growing the most.

Expect the best from a girl…that’s what you’ll get.

New Research Released December, 2018:
Girls' School Graduates Have a Clear Edge Over Co-educated Peers

Fostering Academic and Social Engagement:
An Investigation into the Effects of All-Girls Education in the Transition to University.  

 
Prepared by Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl in collaboration with the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at the University of California, Los Angeles, this data analysis is an update of the 2009 report commissioned by NCGS and conducted by Dr. Linda Sax and colleagues, including Dr. Riggers-Piehl. 

Fostering Academic and Social Engagement focuses a lens on how graduates of all-girls schools today compare to female graduates of coed schools in terms of their academic characteristics and readiness for university. The findings are extensive and speak highly of the work happening in our schools -- work that is setting up girls' school graduates to be confident and impactful twenty-first century community members, change-makers, and leaders. In summary, the researchers concluded that when compared to their female peers at coed schools, girls' school graduates:

  • Have stronger academic skills
  • Are more academically engaged
  • Demonstrate higher science self-confidence
  • Display higher levels of cultural competency
  • Express stronger community involvement
  • Exhibit increased political engagement

 

 

More research from the National Coalition of Girls' Schools:

Education Makes all the Difference for Girls

Single-sex vs. Co-ed Schooling for Girls: What You Need to Know

There are so many ways to get involved in the High School!  

 

Clubs

Clubs: Amnesty International Club | Astronomy Club | Chinese Club | Diversity Club | Environmental Club
FOR Club (Friends of Rachel) | French Club | Genetics Club | Karaoke and Crafts Club | Library Advisory Club | Outreach Club | Empty Bowls Club | Pre-Med Club | Journalism Club | UNICEF | World Culture and Geography Club | Ukulele Club

Sports

Basketball | Cross Country | Dance Team | Field Hockey | Golf | Lacrosse | Soccer | Swimming and Diving | Tennis | Volleyball

and more!

Model United Nations | Robotics | Musical Theatre | STUCO| Habitat for Humanity | Literary Magazine | United Nations Commission on the Status of Women | Loretto Leadership Council | All Academy Musical | Photography | Mouse Mischief | Border Experience in El Paso | International Summer Immersion Trips | Orchestra

3

international travel experiences available

88%

of HS faculty have
advanced degrees

100% of AP Calculus students achieved the maximum score of 5 over four recent years.

91%

of students enrolled in at least one Advanced Placement class