Valerie Mirshak

When my husband and I first moved to Augusta, our oldest child was in preschool and kindergarten was close on the horizon. I went to the St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School Open House that year not knowing what to expect. While my husband had grown up in the area and attended St. Mary’s as a student, I grew up in a military family and spent my childhood in public schools all around the country. Catholic schools were still something of an unknown for me, and I wasn’t completely sure that we would choose one for our kids. At the Open House, however, I was immediately impressed by the talented, capable and loving teachers that we met there. The classrooms were bright and inviting, as well as outfitted with the newest teaching technologies. But what convinced me most of all that St. Mary’s should be our family’s school was the warm atmosphere and strong sense of community that I experienced there as early as that very first Open House visit.

Now, four years later, our oldest child is a third grader, and our second child is a new kindergartener at St. Mary’s. I can honestly say that I could not imagine our family having landed at any other school. Both of our boys have had exceptional teachers throughout their school experience thus far. They have learned so much, and—most importantly—have developed a deep love of learning as well. But beyond the academics lies the biggest reason we are so thankful to call St. Mary on the Hill School “home”: instead of being merely a school, we truly feel that St. Mary’s is a kind of home. In few other places can you find such a warm community where parents are actively interested in the school, know your children by name, and care for them just as you care for theirs. I believe that this is because the school teaches and lives by the same values we hold dear, and nurtures our children in a Christ-centered environment. It has been a joy to witness how my children’s faith—in addition to their textbook knowledge—continues to grow each day at school. St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School is a true blessing to our family in so many ways, and we look forward to spending another 10+ years in this one-of-a-kind school community!

- Valerie Mirshak

Therese & Brian Rhodes

Having been a teacher for six years at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School, I was fortunate to witness the many great things happening at this school. I saw that St. Mary's provides a loving and loyal environment where the entire community of parents, teachers, students, and parish is committed to academic and personal success. At St. Mary's the teachers are dedicated to providing spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical education in a Christ-centered atmosphere. Before St. Mary's, I started my teaching career at a public school. Unable to mention Jesus or God in my teaching, I quickly recognized the tremendous need for Christian values to be modeled in the classroom. When it came time for my husband, Brian, and me to choose a school for our children, we knew without a doubt that St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School was the place for our family. We wanted a quality education as well as the opportunity for our children to hear Jesus’ words influencing their work and play every day.

-Therese & Brian Rhodes

Carolina Blouin

“When we decided to move to Augusta, it seemed that real estate information only highlighted the public school system in Columbia County. A St. Mary's mom, who met my husband at work, learned we are Catholic. She called and urged me to visit St. Mary's and meet some of the teachers. I didn't think we could afford a Catholic education, but I did visit St. Mary’s as well as a public school in Columbia County prior to making a decision. The public school was nice, but St. Mary's felt like home. Not only are my children getting a tremendous education in smaller classrooms, but also with a Christian formation. St. Mary’s is a joyful school with dedicated parents, teachers, and staff. You can’t help but feel the love! Stewardship made it possible for us to be a part of St. Mary's and we could not be happier. The kids enjoy walking to Mass, they like the uniforms (no drama), and yes, they love the food! Our school has great cooks!”

– Carolina Blouin

Kraig & Marilyn Wangsnes

“It was a blessing that we moved our son from another private school to St. Mary’s as a rising 7th grader! Thank you St. Mary’s for a remarkable two years. St. Mary on the Hill is an excellent Christian school where a boy can proudly mature into a young man.”

–Kraig & Marilyn Wangsnes

Tony & Alicia Ramage

“As a military family, we moved to Augusta 11 years ago when our oldest child was going into first grade. One of the first things we did, even prior to house hunting, was tour St. Mary’s School. We immediately fell in love with the atmosphere and couldn’t picture sending our children anywhere else. In the years since then, our children have thrived at St. Mary’s, where their spiritual and academic development has been nurtured and encouraged. Our two oldest children now attend Aquinas High School and have been well prepared for the challenges of Aquinas’ rigorous academic environment. Additionally, they have been able to face the social and moral dilemmas of high school with the strong moral and spiritual foundation they received during their formative years at St. Mary’s. Socially, my children and our family have developed abiding friendships that have rounded out our experiences. Our decision to become a part of the St. Mary’s community was life-changing and we are all richer for it.”

–Tony & Alicia Ramage

Juan M., St. Mary’s Class of 2010

“I attended St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School all nine years (K-8) and without this experience I would not be who I am today. The school challenged me to achieve my highest academic potential every year by surrounding me with other students who had been instilled with a respect for their teachers and fellow peers early on in their St. Mary’s education. Also, the projects that were a large part of my Junior High education greatly benefited me in high school. St. Mary's was a major reason I became an athlete in high school as well. I was constantly surrounded by healthy peers who had a great passion for playing sports and being active. This environment encouraged me to become more involved in sports and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Most importantly, St. Mary's provided me with a great spiritual foundation. The school's active involvement with St. Mary parish's youth group is what allowed me to develop a strong faith in high school. When the teachers and youth group leaders live out their Catholic faith through their actions and words, it really affects the development of the surrounding children. I just graduated from Aquinas High School, and I am preparing to go off to NYU. I feel prepared to take on the many academic, physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges that await me.”

—Juan M., St. Mary’s Class of 2010

The Flanagans

Our family transferred to St. Mary's (SMS) this year from another private school.   We spent five months intensely scrutinizing three different schools, one public and two private. Our criteria were, an active Christian faith, (love of God and love of neighbor), a strong academic environment, and a written policy on appropriate and inappropriate student behavior with discernible written consequences for infractions. How has SMS measured up these past five months? Our daughters are relaxed, happy, and confident! We are all growing daily as a family in our love for the Lord and for our Catholic faith! The academic curriculum is challenging and the grading system is tough, (94 and above is an A!). The students are well behaved and respectful, and the administration is in charge! Also, we love the easy to manage website for school families with consistently current posts on homework, grading, school events, and of course, student and staff directory! Our personal favorite extra about SMS is First Friday Mass with the entire school in attendance! What a heavenly experience! This is the reason we were all created... To give glory to God!

-The Flanagans