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St. Mary’s High School
Greetings, one and all, and a very warm welcome to the WRX Property Group series on Catholic secondary schools in Kitchener-Waterloo. Yesterday we looked at Resurrection Catholic SecondarySchool, in the northwest of Kitchener near the border with Waterloo.
Today we’ll be looking at the second Kitchener secondary school, St. Mary’s High School, which is located quite centrally within the city.
St. Mary’s High School stands near the intersection of Block Line Road and Homer Watson Boulevard. It’s near the Alpine Village, Country Hills, and Kingsdale neighbourhoods of Kitchener. Together with Resurrection, St. Mary’s High School serves most of Kitchener’s Catholic secondary school students.
The school’s student population, at present, is approximately 1880, but at times it has grown to serve over 2000 students, making it one of Kitchener-Waterloo’s – and Ontario’s – largest schools.
Elementary schools zoned for St. Mary’s are: Blessed Sacraments; Canadian Martyrs; John Sweeney; Monsignor Haller; Our Lady of Grace; St. Aloysius; St. Anne (Kitchener); St. Bernadette; St. Daniel; St. John Paul II; St. Kateri Tekakwitha; and St. Timothy.
St. Mary’s High School started out as an all-girls preparatory school called St. Anne’s Convent School in 1907. It was located in downtown Kitchener (Berlin, at the time), right next to St. Jerome’s, which was the all-boys Catholic school. By 1920, St. Anne’s had become St. Mary’s, and over the years it expanded its course offerings, class sizes, and facilities.
The school population grew and grew, and more building were built to keep up with the increasing class sizes. St. Jerome’s closed its doors in 1990, and St. Mary’s became co-ed to ensure the boys seeking a Catholic education in Kitchener would have a place to learn.
Then, in 2002, St. Mary’s left the downtown location it had occupied for nearly a century and moved to its current location. The newly-built educational facilities here were better able to serve the large student body, and by moving from downtown, the school is now more accessible to students commuting from throughout Kitchener.
St. Mary’s school colours are silver, white, and blue. Their team name is the St. Mary’s Eagles, and their mascot is Jerome the Eagle. Jerome the Eagle is a proud, upstanding bald eagle, who can more often be found standing, incidentally, than flying. His hobbies include supporting St. Mary’s athletics and screeching.
St. Mary’s motto is Virtus et Scientia, which is Latin for “Virtue and Knowledge” – two qualities that the high school aims to instill in its staff and students.