Parochial School of Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church in the Village of La Jolla
U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School –Awarded in 2005
Accredited by the Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA)
Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Member of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)
Member of the Association for Curriuculum and Development (ASCD)
History of Stella Maris Academy
On Thanksgiving Day, 1944, Monsignor Joseph O. Clarkin, pastor of Mary, Star of the Sea, announced to parishioners that property at the northwest corner of Herschel Avenue and Kline Street had been purchased for the purpose of building a parish school. The tradition of the Easter Monday Ball began in 1946 as a means of raising funds for the building of the Mary, Star of the Sea Church parish school which was named Stella Maris Academy. The Easter Ball continued, with a brief hiatus, as a fund-raising tradition at SMA. That tradition continues (under a new name) to this day as the major fund-raiser for Stella Maris.
On March 17, 1947, the Feast of St. Patrick, as a result of the successful fund-raising effort, ground was broken for Stella Maris Academy and in September of 1947, Stella Maris Academy opened its doors for the first time with an enrollment of 210 students in grades one through six, with four sisters of the Holy Cross Order serving on the faculty. When it opened, Stella Maris was the only parochial school north of San Diego and south of Los Angeles. A seventh grade class was added in 1948 and an eighth grade followed in 1949. In June 1950, twenty-two eighth grade students graduated in the first graduation ceremony at Stella Maris Academy.
It soon became apparent that the school's facilities were inadequate to accommodate the demand for admissions. Accordingly, on St. Patrick's Day, 1955 (the eighth anniversary of the SMA groundbreaking), ground was broken for the senior building and on December 18, 1955, the new, one-story school building, designed to accommodate 200 children, was blessed. In 1983, a second story was added to the school's senior building.
In 1992, the last nun from the Sisters of the Congregation of the Holy Cross left Stella Maris Academy and in 1998, Sister Mary Kiely, OSF joined SMA as its principal, the first religious to hold that post since 1982, and held that post for eight years. In 2006, Mrs. Patricia Lowell became principal of Stella Maris Academy.
The mission of Stella Maris Academy is to empower a community of diverse learners to achieve their God-given potential by providing a Christ-centered, academically excellent, and safe environment.
Statement of Philosophy
The parents, administration, faculty, and staff of Stella Maris Academy believe that Christ is the center of our lives and that we are called to proclaim the Good News, to create community, and to be of service to all of God’s people.
We acknowledge that parents are the primary educators of their children.
We foster a supportive environment that balances high expectations with the respect for individual differences.
We commit ourselves to challenge students to become life-long learners while developing a healthy attitude of personal value and self-worth.
We prepare students for higher education, responsible citizenship, and moral integrity in an ever-changing world.
School-Wide Learning Expectations
Graduates of Stella Maris Academy are:
1. Knowledgeable/concerned Catholics who:
- recognize the need to love and serve God by serving others
- live the Gospel message and share it with others through their Catholic faith and familiarity with scripture
- realize the need for Jesus and the power of prayer in their daily lives
- participate regularly in the liturgical and sacramental life of the church
- appreciate the variety of God-given talents bestowed on all individuals
- demonstrate integrity and honesty in all relationships
2. Healthy achievers and learners who:
- set priorities and attainable goals in order to maximize their potential
- demonstrate critical thinking skills
- think creatively
- are poised and articulate public speakers
- demonstrate competency in the use of the written word
- take responsibility for their own learning
- have developed an appreciation of a variety of literature and fine arts
- utilize good time management and study skills
- cultivate a healthy lifestyle
- are prepared for a technologically changing world
3. Community minded individuals who:
- respect and appreciate God’s world and the people in it
- communicate effectively with others
- model the Social Skills Curriculum
- perform service to improve the lives of others
- have developed a spirit of healthy competition, good sportsmanship and
4. Morally sensitive individuals who:
- respect and protect human life at all stages
- are developing a moral conscience in harmony with unchanging Christian principles
- display sensitivity to the feelings, beliefs and ideals of others
- are open to and appreciative of different cultures
- take responsibility for their own actions and behaviors
- are prepared for responsible citizenship
Policy of Non-Discrimination
The Catholic Schools in the Diocese of San Diego, mindful of their mission to be witnesses to the love of Christ for all, admit students of any race, color, and national and/or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the schools. The Catholic Schools in the Diocese of San Diego do not discriminate on the basis of of race, color, national and/or ethnic origin, age, sex or disability in the administration of educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other school-administered programs.