College Decision Day 2022

May 1st is finally here! After quite the interesting high school journey for the Class of 2022, these seniors have persevered and are off to some of the best universities in the country. It really speaks to the work ethic and resiliency of these individuals and the class as a whole for them to have received over $14 million (and counting) in scholarship money to these schools and to have been accepted to over 80 different colleges across the country.

The St. Mary’s High School Center for Career and College Counseling also deserves a pat on the back for their efficiency and attention to detail in helping our seniors apply to these schools and for beginning to talk to these students and their parents about their different options for the next steps in their educations as early as their freshmen year.

Without further ado, let’s see where some of the Class of 2022 is heading off to. You can download the complete slideshow, here, and be sure to check back often as our seniors continue to make their college decisions.

St. Mary’s High School Set to Launch New Academies Program

In an ongoing effort to innovate and advance St. Mary’s college-preparatory curriculum, The Academies at St. Mary’s High School is a new program created by the school that will launch with the start of the 2022-23 school year.

This pioneering initiative will allow students to participate in focused areas of study during their Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years with the end goal for them to achieve a deeper understanding of the potential career paths and majors that colleges and universities offer.  Freshmen will automatically be enrolled in The Academy of The First Year, giving them the tools to succeed over the next four years of high school.

The Academies at St. Mary’s High School will include:

The Business/Entrepreneurship/Finance Academy

The Education Academy

The Engineering & Experimental Design Academy

The Global Citizenship/International Relations Academy

The Sciences & Health and Wellness Professionals Academy

The Hospitality & Event Planning Academy

The Journalism & Marketing Academy

The Law & Criminal Justice Academy

The Performing Arts Academy

The Visual Arts Academy

The Academy of The First Year

The Academies will be managed by St. Mary’s dedicated faculty, under the guidance of the Dean of Academic Affairs, Mr. Keith Junik, and enhanced by adjunct professors and guest lecturers, including professionals from the school’s passionate alumni base, parents, and local and national experts in their fields. The Academies will meet twice weekly for 80 minutes and co-exist with the gold-standard New York State Regents Curriculum and Lancer Life Curriculum currently offered at St. Mary’s. St. Mary’s High School currently ranks seventh in Buffalo Business First’s rankings of 131 high schools in Western New York.

“We are always trying to be innovative and creative when it comes to our curriculum,” said Dean of Academic Affairs, Keith Junik. “A few years ago, we instituted the Lancer Life Curriculum, which mandates students take courses that teach important life skills, like public speaking, leadership, personal finance, and our award-winning senior portfolio capstone project. The Academies at St. Mary’s High School takes that initiative even further, giving our students a real advantage as they head off to college, already having a background in majors they may want to pursue or crossing things off the list they’re no longer interested in,” Junik concluded.

“It is the overall student experience and the desire to make it a rewarding, positive, and practical one that motivates the Administration at St. Mary’s High School,” said Head of School, Kevin Kelleher. “We want to make that student experience second to none, and programs like this – that are a forward-thinking way to educate  – allow us to do just that. A new initiative like this gets our students, faculty, and staff excited about our future. Our families are thrilled with the concept.  We’re looking forward to developing The Academies Program at St. Mary’s High School into an academic tradition of unparalleled excellence,” Kelleher said.

Take a look at each academy more in depth here.

Second Quarter Dean’s List Announced

St. Mary’s High School is proud to announce the following students have been named to the Dean’s List for the second quarter of the 2021-22 school year. These Lancers do it all – in the classroom, on the athletic fields and courts, on the stage, and for their community. Their work ethic is unmatched. Thank you for giving us your very best.
















Winners of the 21 for ’21 Campaign Revealed

As we look back on 2021, we have discovered the winning class of our 21 for ’21 Campaign. Congratulations to the Class of of 1970 who accounted for 16% of the total donations last year! The Classes of 1965, 1971, and 1964 were all in the running as well.

Thank you to all of our alumni who made a donation last year. We are working every day to make you proud.

St. Mary’s Names 12 to Scholar Athlete Team

Congratulations to Hailey Miller and Jordan Hummel who were named WNY Scholar Athletes!

St. Mary’s also had 10 Lancers named to the Honorable Mention list, including: Mia Moore (soccer), Shae O’Rourke (soccer), Charlie Pawli (soccer), Gabby Gambino (soccer), Ava Hickok (soccer), Griffin Dempsey (soccer), Charlie Stansberry (soccer), Ryan Hersey (football), Jack Bestpitch (football), and Margaret Nawojski (cross country).
Congratulations to all who put the “student” in student athlete!

St. Mary’s Brings College 101 Night Back to Campus

After a year with a virtual College 101 program, St. Mary’s was happy to welcome back some of our youngest and brightest alumni back to campus, live and in-person for College 101 Night this year. We welcomed back seven of our young alumni to talk with our juniors and seniors (and their parents) about their college experiences thus far – how they chose their schools and majors, what campus life is like, how to develop good study habits and a routine, how to handle a stressful roommate situation, and more. There’s nothing like hearing the experiences of someone who was once in your shoes to help get a clearer picture of the future.

Thank you to Hannah Carrow ’20 (Roanoke College), Shannon Dienes ’21 (Niagara University), Claire Fahey ’19 (Gannon University), Katie Fahey ’21 (John Carroll University), Matt Walter ’21 (Babson College), Eric Brown ’18 (SUNY Geneseo), and Sean Brown ’21 (SUNY Erie Community College) for sharing your expertise with the group!

Leonard Bernstein Pens St. Mary’s

With the remake of the film West Side Story hitting theaters last week, it has spurred a little trip down memory lane.
Leonard Bernstein is the famed composer of West Side Story. He composed the music for the original Broadway production that premiered in 1957 along with the film version that was first released in 1961, eventually winning the Academy Award for best Feature Film.
In 1963, St. Mary’s was the first high school in the country to put on West Side Story. Knowing St. Mary’s was the first school to bring his music to life in a high school auditorium, Bernstein felt compelled to send the school his well wishes by way of a personal telegram, which you can read below.
Receiving this telegram prior to the opening night of St. Mary’s 1963 production of West Side Story was obviously a great thrill for the cast, crew, and directors!

You can see more from WKBW Channel 7 and their interview with one of the stars of the 1963 production, Barbara Link LaRue ’63 here.

O’Rourke Earns Polar Plunge Princess

Royalty! We’ve got a Polar Plunge Princess in our midst!

St. Mary’s senior Shae O’Rourke gets it done in the classroom – a National Honor Society student; on the soccer field – Gatorade Player of the Year/USA Today Player of the Year/All-American; and in the community.

After being named Gatorade Player of the Year this summer, Shae was able to name a charity that would receive a donation from Gatorade on her behalf. Shae chose Special Olympics NY, and through her one donation, Special Olympics NY was able to sponsor two athletes for an entire season, making Shae a Special Olympics NY Game Changer.

Never one to say, “that’s good enough,” Shae took it upon herself to participate in this year’s local Polar Plunge, as all of the proceeds from the fundraiser also go to Special Olympics NY. So, Shae does what Shae does, and got a team together and fundraised among her family, friends, and the St. Mary’s community, brining in the most amount of donations for her age group and earning the title, Polar Princess! St. Mary’s fosters this sense of service to others.
Congratulations to Shae and her team of other St. Mary’s students!

St. Mary’s Hosts Paint Night

In December, St. Mary’s hosted a paint night under the direction of our very own “Bob Ross” – Art Teacher, Mr. Rich Christian. Attendees painted a Charles Burchfield winter scene and had a wonderful time snacking and sipping on refreshments. They then had a one-of-a-kind canvas to take home as a keepsake. Thank you to those who came out to paint with us, including some of our very own faculty and staff, and stay tuned for more fun events like this in the New Year!

Second Annual St. Mary’s Nights in the Village Is Rousing Success

On December 2 and 9, 2022, so many St. Mary’s families and alumni stopped by in the heart of the Village of Lancaster to shop, eat, see Santa, and listen to some Christmas carols by our very own Varsity Chorus. We are so blessed to surrounded by such an amazing community!

We are already looking forward to next year’s big nights! Stay tuned for exact dates, but it has typically been the first and second Thursday in December.