History of St. Nicholas-St. Mary School
St. Nicholas-St Mary School has a long history of academic excellence. The school was established in 1971 as the result of a merger of St. Nicholas Parish School and St. Mary’s Parish School. St. Nicholas opened its school in 1871 shortly after Monsignor Peter Nagel founded the parish. St. Mary’s Parish opened its school in 1875. The Rev. Dennis O’Haran was instrumental in founding St. Mary’s. These two parish schools were staffed by religious communities dedicated to education. The Sisters of Mercy taught and administered St. Mary’s while St. Nicholas was staffed by the Sisters of Christian Charity. The Sisters of Christian Charity have maintained a teaching presence at St. Nicholas-St. Mary School until 2015, having spent more than 140 years teaching at the site. Recently another religious community, the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary have begun teaching at the school. We are grateful to the many religious who taught in these two schools.
In 1971, all local parochial high schools were merged to form the new Bishop Hoban High School. With St. Nicholas High School and St. Mary High School now closed, the elementary portions of those schools were merged to form St. Nichols-St. Mary School at the St. Nicholas site. Pastors from both parishes continued to lead our school along with the sisters who have served as principal.
In July, 2007 the Diocese of Scranton consolidated all schools under the central administration of the Catholic Schools’ Office. As part of this shift, the Holy Redeemer School System was created and St. Nicholas-St. Mary School was incorporated as part of this system. Many schools were closed during this time period, and St. Nicholas-St. Mary School welcomed students from many other schools, adding to the richness of our student body.
Today, St. Nicholas-St. Mary School continues as part of the Holy Redeemer School System and a strong feeder school to Holy Redeemer High School.
Catholic education is a mission of the Church. We at St.Nicholas-St. Mary School see this mission in a threefold dimension: to transmit and explain the message of Christ in His Church; to foster a sense of community among all members, and to develop within each child a sense of service. If this threefold mission is accomplished, then the student will come to the fullness of Christian growth by becoming a member of a serving community in search of peace, justice and charity. We aim to accomplish this by integrating faith with those basic academic skills necessary to prepare each student for Christian leadership and participation, so that he/she may be prepared to function effectively in today’s society.
Development in the primary grades is attained in a relatively structured environment with a variety of learning experiences. Whole group teaching is supplemented by small group instruction based on individual needs. In the intermediate grades and in the middle school level, great stress is placed upon problem solving and critical thinking skills as a major part of the pupil’s intellectual development. This is achieved by combining the basic curriculum with a strong emphasis on class work, homework and good study habits in an environment that is conducive to learning.
Since the development of the Christian message is a priority in St. Nicholas-St. Mary School, the teachers endeavor to correlate the moral and spiritual values with the everyday living of each student. We attempt to do this by stressing the Gospel message while providing an atmosphere of prayer and concern for all humankind. Students plan and participate in weekly liturgies. The practice of daily prayer is encouraged to help foster and develop the child’s spiritual growth. The students are involved in various service projects in response to the needs of the Church, the community, the nation and the world.
St. Nicholas-St. Mary School will continue to build a warm faith-filled school community, which has been our tradition. Likewise, we will continue to maintain the academic excellence for which we St. Nicholas-St. Mary School has been known.