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History

Our story begins in 1994, in Aliso Viejo Calif. when Father Ernest D. Sillers founded St. Mary's with a humble set of four classrooms.

He belovedly referred to St. Mary’s, his fourth school, as the “jewel in the crown” because we were his first non-church affiliated school.

Father Sillers wanted a school that was inclusive of all faiths and offered a trinity of values: integrity, academics and spirituality.

Father Sillers founded St. Mary’s to prepare our students for the inevitability of a more globally connected world… one that is intellectually diverse, interconnected by technology and perennially in flux. His dream was to transform students into global citizens who, when tested, would find strength from their St. Mary’s foundation.

Father’s vision has strongly resonated with families throughout St. Mary’s 30-year rich history. St. Mary’s is a diverse community speaking many languages, believing in varied religions and ascribing to different cultural beliefs. Because of our foundation, vision and values, in 2007, St. Mary’s became an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School Organization. Today, we are the only independent school in Orange County to incorporate the IB curriculum from preschool through Middle School.

The palpable pride within the St. Mary’s community stems directly from this clarity of purpose: academic excellence, with compassion… for a better world.

St. Mary’s Today

Our school is blessed to be led by Doug Patterson, our Head of School. Our 6.25-acre campus, in Aliso Viejo annually enrolls 715 students and approximately 140 employees. Our three divisions, Early Education, Lower and Middle School encourage critical thinking while focusing on developing skills to meet the challenges of the ever-changing world. Nearly 1,800 students have graduated from St. Mary’s and are in the world making a positive impact every day.

St. Mary’s uniquely providing a trans-disciplinary IB curriculum with high academic standards, coupled with extensive student life offerings. At the heart of the St. Mary’s experience is a values-driven atmosphere that helps children to become caring, compassionate individuals who are not just critical thinkers, but young people who take ownership for improving the world. Every day we work to live out our mission: world-sized hearts; world-class minds.