Our Mission

To ensure learning for all our students within the framework of Catholic Christian values

Support St. Mary School – Donate to the Annual Fund

At St. Mary School, we are dedicated to providing an exceptional learning environment for our students. Each year, we rely on the generosity of our families to contribute a minimum of $250 to the Annual Fund. Your donation is vital to maintaining and enhancing the quality of education we offer.

How Your Donation Helps:

  • Maintaining Facilities: Ensuring our lower and upper school buildings are well-maintained, clean, and improved over the summer.
  • Restocking Classroom and Athletic Equipment: Upgrading educational materials, such as books, whiteboards, and gym equipment, to keep our students well-equipped for learning.
  • Investing in the Future: When immediate needs are met, funds are used to address teacher requests for additional resources, including expanded classroom libraries and educational software.

Every contribution, no matter the size, helps us create a better educational experience for our students. Thank you for your continued support and generosity.


Our Programs

Our Early Education program is designed to ignite the curiosity and enthusiasm for learning in our youngest students (ages 3-4), setting them on a path to lifelong success. 

Our philosophy towards elementary education is rooted in a deep commitment to nurturing not only the academic growth of our students but also their personal and spiritual development. 

Our Middle School program is designed to empower students with the skills, knowledge, and character they need to thrive in their academic journey and beyond. 

Our After School program is designed to give students extra support with their homework and time to unwind in a safe, nurturing environment.

Meet our principal

Meet our distinguished Principal, Joseph Poletti, a seasoned educational professional with an impressive 37-year career dedicated to shaping young minds and fostering excellence in education. His diverse roles within the field have included serving as a classroom teacher, instructional technology facilitator, state department consultant, university program administrator, athletic director, central services director, and school administrator. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role.


Visit Us

School Tours

For the 2024 - 2025 School Year

Discover the excellence of St. Mary Catholic School through our guided tours! Prospective students and parents are warmly invited to experience our vibrant educational community in action. During these tours, you'll get a firsthand look at our historic campus, meet our dedicated staff, and witness the engaging learning environment that sets St. Mary apart.


155 Years of Academic Excellence

Sisters of Charity at St. Mary  (photo credit: New Hanover County Library)
Sisters of Charity at St. Mary (photo credit: New Hanover County Library)

Welcome to St. Mary Catholic School, a K-8 institution nestled in the heart of historic downtown Wilmington!

St. Mary Catholic School is strategically located, serving families not only in New Hanover County but also offering convenience to families across multiple locations in Brunswick County, ensuring accessibility to a quality education for all.

With a rich legacy of academic excellence and a diverse student body, we are more than just a school; we are a close-knit family committed to nurturing the future leaders of tomorrow.

Our school is known for providing a foundation of religious education and a strong arts and STEM program. We are the only school in Wilmington offering Suzuki violin, and our middle school students have an opportunity to take high school courses. 


At a Glance











"Wonderful school. I had a graduated from Saint Mary that loved every moment of it. I currently have my kids attend and they loved it as well. The teachers are wonderful, and they offer a great Science program."

                                          ~October 04, 2023 

"We have 3 children who started at St. Mary in Kindergarten. We especially appreciate the individualized instruction, excellent academics, diversity, and amazing downtown location. Our kids routinely engage in arts and history events downtown. They also have all earned state medals participating in St. Mary's Science Olympiad team, and our oldest was quickly accepted into a high school honors program, where she is thriving with the basis of education from this little gem of a school. It is also the only school-based Suzuki violin program in the city, and it is amazing to think that my three kids can play an instrument this well they have learned at school! This year we have a new principal who has been working to make the school even better, which is hard to imagine but I believe it will be true!"

                                      ~September 08, 2023 

"St. Mary Catholic School is a small school that provides personalized education based on the student's needs. The teachers are extremely responsive and well trained, challenging students academically across content areas. There are multiple enrichment activities available, including top-rated Science Olympiad teams, Battle of the Books, advanced middle school mathematics, and a comprehensive technology program. In addition, the school offers a wide range of athletics, a school-based Suzuki violin program, band, choir, and art. Weekly religious instruction, attendance at mass, and service opportunities instill a sense of social responsibility and moral character at all grade levels. Finally, the school community is very family oriented. Our child enrolled in the 4th grade during COVID and we were warmly welcomed into the fold. Regular social events help families build school-based relationships that create a close-knit social network upon which families can rely."

                                               ~July 20, 2023 


A Day in the Life

Grade Levels

St. Mary offers PreKindergarten 3 to 8th grade. PreK 3 and PreK 4 are offered as a half day and a full day (until 3:00 p.m.)

School Hours

School begins at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at 3:00 p.m. After school is offered from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. as an addition to tuition. Mass is celebrated with the community Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m.


As a Catholic Institution, St. Mary follows the Standards and Instruction of the Diocese of Raleigh. St. Mary students participate in faith formation throughout their years.

Classes Offered

Core courses are Science, Math, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, PE, Art, and Music. Middle school electives are Journalism, Technology, and Spanish. High school Math I and Math II are offered to advanced math students in the 7th and 8th grades.

Phone Number

(910) 762-5491 ext. 140

Email Address


217 S. 4th Street 

Wilmington, NC 28401