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About St. Mary's Montessori School

Our Mission
The mission of St. Mary of the Purification Montessori School is to promote and nurture the optimum spiritual, intellectual, cultural and physical development of the children of St. Mary’s School through a Catholic Montessori Education System according to Roman Catholic principles and in a collaborative partnership with parents.

Our History: We Opened Our Doors in 1930
In 1929, the then, Diocese of Galveston-Houston purchased six acres to start a new parish community in Southeast Texas. This new Church, located in Houston's Riverside Terrace community, was named. St. Mary of the Purification Catholic Church. The area surrounding the peaceful wooded church grounds would soon become home to. St. Mary's School. A temporary school building was erected in 1930 and opened the following September 8. The first enrollment listed 35 pupils. The blessing of the old school building took place October 27, 1930. The Sisters of Dominic staffed the school until it closed in 1967. St. Mary's school reopened in 1980 and adopted the Montessori System based on learning methods and styles developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. The school is recognized as the only African-American Montessori School in Texas.

On April 5, 1929, Monsignor M.J. Daly was appointed the first Pastor/Administrator of the school. He was followed by Father Dexter George in 1960. Father George was succeeded by Father Frederich O'Connor until 1968 when Father George Swilley became Pastor/Administrator in June 1968. In 1968, Father John LaBauve, SV.D. became the first African-American Pastor/Administrator. Father Charles Leisring, SV.D. replaced Father LaBauve in 1973. In 1975, Father George Artis, SV.D. became the Pastor/Administrator. It was under the leadership of Father Artis that the Montessori School, was opened in 1980. Father Artis served until1984 when Father William Feldner, SV.D. became Pastor/Administrator. Father Michael Fritzen, S.V.D. became the Pastor/Administrator in July 1996 until he was replaced by Father Francis Alvin Dixon in 1999. Father Dixon was replaced by Father F. Borgia Aubespin, S.V.D. in 2001, the current Pastor/Administrator.

Sister Edna Herbert, O.P. was the principal when the school was reopened in 1980. Mrs. Rose Ellis (the first lay principal of the school) succeeded Sister Herbert in 1985 and was principal from 1985 to 1994. Ms. Erin Smith followed Mrs. Ellis as principal in 1992 and served in this role to 1995. Dr. Mae Smith became principal in June of 1995. She was succeeded on July 1, 2003 by Mrs. Mazie S. McCoy who is the current principal.

St. Mary of the Purification Montessori School is one of fifteen, Houston, Texas, inner-city schoolsgoverned by the Office of Catholic Schools, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. The school is sponsored by St. Mary of the Purification Catholic Church. The school has adopted the Montessori System based on learning methods and styles developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. The school is recognized as the only African-American Montessori School in the state of Texas. It primarily serves the Greater Houston, Harris and Fort Bend Counties, Texas.

St. Mary of the Purification Montessori School has full accreditation from the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department which is recognized by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) as the official accreditation agency for Catholic Schools in Texas. St. Mary's is under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston School System and is affiliated with the American Montessori Society, Texas Association of Non-Public Schools, National Catholic Education Association, National Association of Mathematics Teachers, National Association of Science Teachers, and National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Office Of Development
The school has an Office of Development. Major goals of the Office of Development are to organize and administer effective fund-raising programs to support St. Mary of the Purification Montessori School. The fund-raising programs include, but are not limited to Annual Fund Giving, Student Financial Aid: Scholarships, Grants, Loans, Work Study; Capital Funds, Endowment Gifts, Memorial Gifts, Planned Giving, Deferred Gifts, Major Gifts, Outright Gifts, Student, Staff, Alumni Giving, Friends Program Gifts, Special Events Gifts, Special Projects Gifts and Other Giving. The school is an IRS 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization (EIN 74-6018777).

In an effort to expand the in-kind support of the school, it is essential that coalitions are established with individuals, institutions, agencies, businesses, corporations, foundations, etc. Members of the coalition can provide valuable support bases to ensure quality education for children. St. Mary of the Purification Montessori School does not discriminate in recruitment, admissions, financial aid, educational programs, activities, or employment and treats all persons equally, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability or any other classification proscribed under local, state, or federal laws.

Parents are the first educators
St. Mary of the Purification Montessori School acknowledges that parents are the first educators of their children. Faculty, staff, clergy and parents work together as a collaborative team to teach as Christ taught. Our team creates a warm caring environment that, by example, teaches Christian principles. We nurture and encourage the development of self-esteem and dignity in each child. St. Mary's is a school that uses both traditional and the Montessori method to empower each child with Christian values, academic skills, and social principles to continue his/her educational endeavors and live a full Christian life. Our aim is to graduate students who are well-versed in the Catholic faith, have a personal relationship with God, and are academically prepared to continue their education.

School Day
7:45 - 3:15 PM. Students are considered tardy after 8:00 PM

Extended Day Program
Extended Day: 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM



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