St. Mary's is more than a School.

It's a community where each family is valued and championed. It's a school where we shape not just minds, but the hearts of the future. Below, you will find the experiences and heartfelt reflections from members of our community that are a testament to the unique and transformative journey each child embarks upon here.

As you read through these stories, we hope you feel the warmth, enthusiasm, and pride that define our school. Choosing the right educational path for a child is a significant decision, and through these testimonials, we hope to provide you with a glimpse into the life-changing experience and last impact that St. Mary's offers. 

We invite you to explore and discover why St. Mary's Episcopal Day School is the ideal choice for your child's educational and personal journey. 



A teacher and student smiling at each other.


A Nurturing Environment
Our school is not just an institution; it's a family. We provide a caring, supportive atmosphere that respects each child's individuality, fostering a love of learning and personal growth.

Academic Excellence
Our rigorous and innovative curriculum challenges students to think critically and creatively, preparing them not just for the next grade, but for life. Our educators are passionate about teaching and committed to the success of every student.

Community Engagement
We believe in learning beyond the classroom. Our students engage in meaningful community service projects and extracurricular activities that build character and leadership skills.

Spiritual Growth
Rooted in the Episcopal tradition, we nurture spiritual development in an inclusive, welcoming environment. We celebrate diversity, encourage ethical thinking, and teach respect and responsibility towards others and our planet.

Whole Child Development
Beyond academics, we focus on nurturing character, instilling compassion, and fostering leadership skills, ensuring students are well-equipped for success in all phases of life.

A Foundation for the Future 
Graduates from our school leave as confident, compassionate leaders, ready to excel in high school and beyond. They carry with them not just knowledge, but the values and skills to make a positive impact in the world.

Get to Know St. Mary's

Why ST. Mary’s?

Meet Miss Louise

Discover the Magic of St. Mary's

We understand there are a lot of questions when considering schools. We’re here to answer those. Connect with us to discuss your questions.

Cole F.

Class of 2024

I have been a student at St. Mary’s for all ten years.

I play on the Saints’ baseball team. Also, I am on the Video Production Crew for the morning show (Saints at 8), serve on the Community Council, and am a Drumline Captain (five-year member).

The teachers actually get to know me instead of just seeing my face among a sea of students. I also think that the surprise trips in eighth grade set SMEDS apart from other schools!

My happiest moment so far was when I found out about our first surprise trip. The children on the morning show announced that the eighth graders would be going on a surprise trip. I was in the studio at the time, and started celebrating somewhat quietly because the show was still live. The surprise trip turned out to be to United Skates and Pinchasers.

I think it’s special that even though the school has changed so much, my family still finds it a special place. We have a lot of Saints in the family. My mom, aunt, and uncle all attended SMEDS, and my sister is currently in 5th Grade. My grandmother was a former faculty member, and my grandfather was Parents’ Association President from 1990-1991 and Board of Trustees Chairman from 1991-1992. I also have many cousins who attended St. Mary’s throughout the years.

My favorite SMEDS tradition is probably Reindeer Games. I’m looking forward to helping lead the games as an 8th Grader this year.

I will miss the great friends I’ve made along the way.

A headshot of student Cole F.

Jean Bauer

Faculty member for 31 years

I started college in Philadelphia, and after a co-op, I quickly realized a desk job was not for me and went back to my first choice of education. I received a B.A. from Eckerd College and a M.A. from University of South Florida. There are A LOT of educators in my family!

I have taught US History for all of my 31 years at St. Mary’s, 7th Grade Life Science (Biology) for 27 years, and even one year of 6th Grade mathematics when I first started. I have also moderated the Yearbook Club for 22 years!

Seriously? Just one?! That’s impossible! I guess I would have to say Blessing of the Pets since my son Jamie was born on that day (10/3/2003); it’s the only one I have ever missed! And of course the day the finished yearbooks get delivered each year is always a great feeling.

The physical changes to campus itself. It is completely unrecognizable from when I started!

Absolutely our supportive community. We are truly a family here.

Anything outdoors: kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, biking, photography, travel, working in the yard, and reading!

Be kind, be yourself, and effort will take you far. Also, have a love of learning!



Trustee and Current Parent

I loved the practice of law from my first days in a courtroom. As a prosecutor, I was assigned to various divisions prosecuting various types of crimes. I always admired the judges before whom I practiced and felt early on I would love and be honored to serve in that role. I left the State Attorney’s Office to gain experience on the other side of the courtroom and it was an easy transition for me. Throughout my career, I’ve recognized the importance of our legal system and intently listened to my clients and advocated for them. From the bench I appreciate the opportunity to hear both sides of a matter and apply the law to the facts before me. I manage a heavy case load with efficiency and patience. I feel very blessed to have found a career I enjoy each day.

Jonathan and I loved St. Mary’s from our initial tour with Mrs. Lopez. We could feel the warmth among the faculty and students. The size of the school community, the classrooms, the grounds and especially the Christian foundation all guided our decision to apply and choose St. Mary’s for our daughter. We were thrilled to start her education here and treasure each day as she approaches 8th grade.

Each member of the Board, past and present, serves with dedication and an open mind to keep SMEDS a nurturing environment for our children. I’ve gained an even greater appreciation for the tireless work of the administration and faculty. Though it involved many hours of work, the summer of 2021 proved very rewarding as the Board/ Vestry committee worked on revised bylaws and opened lines of communication between the school and Church. I remain grateful Chair Chris Davitt asked me to work in that capacity and we proudly accomplished our goals and strengthened working relationships.

My heart swells every time I enter campus. Opening day chapel, assemblies, field day, grandparents’ day, graduation and every tradition throughout the school year connect generations of students and parents. All of these experiences are led by the most loving faculty anyone could ever imagine. I love how every teacher knows and cares about the students and their families. The feeling of extended family is truly unmatched.

What a joy to serve as chair of school photos for several years! I looked forward to seeing the children grow from year to year and watching the sweet dynamic of how each grade approached school photos. I loved those mornings as the entire student body came through with their bright smiles.

A headshot of the honorable Frances M. Perrone.

Laura Alexander

Alumna, Class of 2002

After the best 10 years at St. Mary’s, I attended high school at Berkeley Preparatory School. From there, I moved up to North Carolina and went to Wake Forest University where I majored in Health and Exercise Sciences. I took a year off to be a nanny before starting graduate school at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. In 2013, I graduated with my doctorate in physical therapy and started my career. I worked in the
outpatient setting full time for years. Currently, I teach at my graduate school as well as treat patients in the home health setting.

There are so many! I think some of my favorite memories were Reindeer Games as an elementary student, playing sports throughout middle school, and of course, the 8th grade surprise field trips. I also met my best friend there in kindergarten. We are still close to this day. She even surprised me by flying into town for my son’s adoption day!

St. Mary’s has always felt bigger than just a school. There is a culture at St. Mary’s that extended beyond my 10 years there. They encouraged academic excellence as well as highlighting the importance of your character and how to give back to others. I will always remember participating in Meals on Wheels as a middle schooler. I also had teachers and coaches invest in me as a student. It made me want to do the same when I grew up. Having those things taught and demonstrated to me at a young age definitely impacted me.

Being a part of the SMEDS family has been such a gift. Before I was a student my grandmother, Mrs. Fay Ennis, taught there and now sits on the Distinguished Faculty Society. My sister (Carrie Alexander Ferderigos ‘00) also attended SMEDS, and currently my nieces are students in Pre-K and first grade. I am so jealous that they are just now starting their SMEDS journey and love hearing about their experiences!

A picture of alumna Laura Alexander and her child.

Hear from More Community Members

Faculty Spotlight

Administrator Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

Family Spotlight