With 68 students in preschool through eighth grade, St. Mary School in Paris is a small, intimate academy, and that’s just the way they like it, says Principal Melody Thompson.
The Catholic school, founded in 1888, emphasizes spiritual development, responsible behavior and academic skills that will serve students in high school, college and beyond.
Thompson believes that it is the school’s small size – most classes have no more than 10 students each – that is crucial to student success.
“Because of this,” says Thompson, “we can do amazing things.”
For example, teachers can divide the class into groups of two or three (even a group of one, sometimes), allowing for individualized instruction and for students to proceed at their own pace.
“Teachers ask themselves “Are we reaching each child?” Thompson says. “We know that we are.”
For extracurricular activities including sports, St. Mary elementary students are eligible to participate in programs at Bourbon County and Paris Independent schools.
Middle-schoolers may participate in Paris Independent and Lexington Catholic’s middle school athletic programs.
“We have a family atmosphere,” Thompson says. “Because we are small we are able to work together. This really is a community.”