St. Mary's School system was founded in 1887 by our first resident pastor, Father Francis Xavier Schulte. The Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque arrived the next year and had primary responsibility for the education of parish children through the 1950's - with as many as 24 sisters serving at one time. The high school was added in the early 1900's and the sytem now includes Preschool through 12th grade, with St. Catherine's Center in nearby Oyens IA (TK through first grade), St. Mary's Grade School on the church block (second through eighth grades), and St. Mary's High School.
The philosophy of St. Mary’s High School is based on Biblical teachings, culminating in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and continuing through current Catholic Church teachings. Our school complements the family by promoting the holistic education of each student, focusing on spiritual, scholastic, and social development.
Our school provides a God-centered atmosphere that allows students to develop their knowledge of the Catholic faith and to live that faith in their personal lives. As Christians, we proclaim counter-cultural values and teach respect for God, all people, and all creation. We instill moral values in our students and encourage one another to foster stewardship of the gifts God has given each of us.
Our educational system helps each student to gain a broad base of knowledge and experience across all curriculum areas. In order to prepare individual students to be citizens of a global community, we stress effective communication, physical well-being, advanced technological skills, responsible decision making, higher-level thinking, individual creativity, and the ability to access and interpret information. Since education is ongoing, we approach these essential skills as part of a lifelong process.
We acknowledge the dignity and uniqueness of each person. As Christians, we also have a responsibility to our community and the world. We emphasize that acceptance, cooperation, compassion, personal accountability, responsibility, and Christian leadership be expressed in daily life. Christian service is a fundamental expression of these beliefs.
St. Catherine-St. Mary’s Grade School and St. Mary’s High School save the tax payers of the school district $1,242,000.00 in taxes, annually. The schools’ payroll generates $933,028.00, multiplied many times over in our community.