St. Mary's Acad. (Downtown)
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From left Rick Turoczy, Wim Wiewel, Dr. Melody Rose and Joseph E. Robertson Jr., M.D
From left Rick Turoczy, Wim Wiewel, Dr. Melody Rose and Joseph E. Robertson Jr., M.D
St. Mary's Academy hears from experts, CEO's on the future of learning, leading and innovating (Photo) - 05/22/15
Portland, Ore. - On Monday, May 18, St. Mary's Academy hosted a unique forum that called on experts in education, business, technology and development to help enrich the school's vision for campus expansion. St. Mary's Academy's Post Office Block Development Community Forum: The Future of Learning, Leading and Innovating attracted 200 of the school's community members eager to hear from keynote speaker Renée James, President of Intel, and a high caliber of panelists from Portland's higher education, business and development communities.

"The community forum was intended to ensure we aren't under-visualizing the opportunity that we have been afforded through the purchase of the block. The campus expansion project is not only about bricks and mortar - it's about how St. Mary's can continue to be the leader in education for the future women leaders in our own community and throughout the world. We are grateful to have had the incredible expertise of our education, creative, technology, business and development communities engage in this important conversation," said Kent Roberts, St. Mary's Academy's chairman of the board and shareholder at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt.

Keynote speaker Renée James spoke about Intel's initiative to increase diversity in technology by engaging younger generations in technology early on, adapting the nature of tech jobs to be more attractive to women and making sure female professionals in tech sustain their career path. Her main advice to St. Mary's was to increase STEM programs and to form partnerships with tech companies to allow for internships and networking opportunities.

Moderator Rick Turoczy, co-founder of the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE), a startup accelerator formed in partnership with global advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy moderated each of the panels and raised important questions regarding campus expansion, sustainability, and the school's potential for further integration in downtown Portland.

Future of education panelists Oregon Health & Science University President Joseph E. Robertson, Jr., M.D., Marylhurst University President Dr. Melody Rose and Portland State University President Wim Wiewel, shared their thoughts on what the new building will need to include to stay competitive, academically challenging and attractive to future generations of St. Mary's students.

"Think differently about what classrooms look like. They have been the same for hundreds of years and they don't match what we now know about learning and what is needed to bring students to success," advised Dr. Rose.

St. Mary's Academy also heard from Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear, Andy Bryant, chairman of the board of Intel and Diane Fraiman, partner at Voyager Capital, as part of the future of business panel. These experts shared their knowledge on what St. Mary's should offer for their students to be pertinent in the job market.

"Mentorship is one of the most important tools for women in the job market. It will allow your students to understand the work place, and to learn how to become brave and reliable leaders," said Fraiman.

The forum ended with a dynamic panel of some of Portland's experts in development including Mark Edlen, managing partner at Gerding Edlen, chair of the Portland Development Commission and CEO of the Neil Kelly Company Tom Kelly, and Bob Scanlan, CEO of ScanlanKemperBard Companies. These experts insisted on the importance of flexibility and sustainability, both in terms of construction and financing to make sure the new campus will stay adaptable and relevant for years to come.

"You need to connect the dots. Build what is needed for your school's mission, then add components like a start-up incubator, makerspace, senior living space, as well as an attractive ground floor foyer to invite the neighborhood on campus. This is an amazing opportunity and a great responsibility for St. Mary's. Your biggest risk is not thinking big enough," said Edlen.

St. Mary's Academy is grateful to have been able to call on experts who are willing to inform and expand its vision of a dynamic campus to develop young women as the leaders, thinkers and creators of the future. The vision for expansion focuses on innovative facilities and enhanced space for science and technology, athletics, fine and performing arts, and more. The school will take these suggestions into consideration as it plans to expand its campus in the heart of downtown Portland.

# # #

St. Mary's Academy is a Catholic high school for young women located in the heart of downtown Portland that provides a challenging college-preparatory education with a focus on developing the whole person. Founded in 1859 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, St. Mary's Academy is Oregon's oldest continuously operating secondary school and offers a supportive learning environment to a diverse student body from more than 35 cities in urban, suburban and rural Oregon and Southwest Washington. For more information about St. Mary's Academy, please visit www.stmaryspdx.org.
St. Mary's Academy sophomore Kailan Mink, seniors McKenzie Vanko, Alison Brennan and Elizabeth Wiley, and sophomore McKenna Vanko
St. Mary's Academy sophomore Kailan Mink, seniors McKenzie Vanko, Alison Brennan and Elizabeth Wiley, and sophomore McKenna Vanko
The Blues swing their way to the top: St. Mary's golf team wins state championship (Photo) - 05/21/15
The St. Mary's Academy varsity golf team took first place in the 2015 Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) 6A Girls Golf State Tournament held on May 18 and 19 at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, Ore. The Blues took first place with a score of 649, defeating West Linn by one stroke and Sheldon by two.

"Our score today is the best single day score of any team I have ever coached at State. The come from behind win was stunning - defeating West Linn by one and the next team by two," reported head coach Dan Friedhoff.

St. Mary's senior and valedictorian Alison Brennan's two day total score was 153, followed by senior McKenzie Vanko and sophomore McKenna Vanko who tied at 160, senior Elizabeth Wiley at 179 and sophomore Kailan Mink at 182. The Blues made their school proud by showing great team spirit during this championship and throughout the season.

"I will remember forever the spirit of this team, the mutual support, the care, the laughter, the determination, the hugs, the love they have for each other. They were St. Mary's at its best," said assistant coach Sara Salvi.

Students, faculty and staff welcomed the team back to school with a congratulatory banner, music and cheers to thank them for taking St. Mary's to the top. This is the first time since 2009 that St. Mary's golf team has placed first in state. Last year, the team placed second in state behind West Linn.
The Marian Singers pose with their first place trophy. Photo credit Maileen Hamto
The Marian Singers pose with their first place trophy. Photo credit Maileen Hamto
St. Mary's Academy's Marian Singers named OSAA State Choir Champions (Photo) - 05/11/15
Portland, Ore. - With an almost perfect score, St. Mary's Academy's Marian Singers boldly claimed first place in the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) 6A State Choir Championships on Saturday, May 9 at George Fox University. The Marians are the first all-female choir in the history of the competition to be named first in state.

"This is a huge accomplishment, as any state championship is, but as an all-women choir competing against choirs twice our size with tenors and basses, there is something that rings extra special about this win," said St. Mary's Academy's Director of Choral Music Kathy Briggs. "It is one for the record books. It's going to take some time for this to sink in. Out of a score of 100, the three judges awarded us 96, 96, and 97. It honestly astounded me when I saw our scores," she continued.

The Marians' win is not the only notable choral accomplishment to come out of St. Mary's Academy this academic year. Seven St. Mary's Academy students were selected for the Oregon All-State choir and five students were selected for the prestigious All-Northwest Honor Choir. In addition, a quartet from St. Mary's placed second in the Oregon Music Educators Association Ensemble Championships and senior Madison Wray was named OSAA State Solo Music State Champion in the Mezzo-Soprano Voice category earlier this month.

"The incredible accomplishment of the Marians, as well as St. Mary's other vocal performers, speaks not only to the strength of our choir program, but also to the passion and talent of Kathy Briggs. I could not be more proud of our students and program. This is so well deserved," said St. Mary's Academy Principal Kelli Clark.

"The girls are so happy. My heart is full," said Briggs.

# # #

St. Mary's Academy is a Catholic high school for young women located in the heart of downtown Portland that provides a challenging college-preparatory education with a focus on developing the whole person. Founded in 1859 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, St. Mary's Academy is Oregon's oldest continuously operating secondary school and offers a supportive learning environment to a diverse student body from more than 35 cities in urban, suburban and rural Oregon and Southwest Washington. For more information about St. Mary's Academy, please visit www.stmaryspdx.org.
Sydney Wagner '17, Larissa Banitt '15, Grace Hermes '17, Iris Cohn '17
Sydney Wagner '17, Larissa Banitt '15, Grace Hermes '17, Iris Cohn '17
St. Mary's Academy quartet places second in state; senior Madison Wray named top Mezzo-Soprano (Photo) - 05/07/15
St. Mary's Academy students performed in the Oregon Music Educators Association (OMEA) Ensemble Music Championship and the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) Solo Music Championship last weekend. A quartet from St. Mary's placed second in the OMEA Ensemble Championships and senior Madison Wray was named OSAA State Solo Music State Champion in the Mezzo-Soprano Voice category. The quartet included senior Larissa Banitt and sophomores Sydney Wagner, Grace Hermes, and Iris Cohn.

"I am thrilled that our quartet placed second in state. The amount of preparation and work it takes to perform as cohesively as these young women did is immeasurable. I couldn't be prouder of these students for forming this ensemble and attaining such high honors," said Kathy Briggs, St. Mary's Academy's director of choral music.

The OMEA Ensemble Music Championships were held May 1 at Pacific University. The following day, Madison Wray performed at the OSAA State Solo Music Championships at Lewis and Clark College. Wray was thrilled to be named State Champion in the Mezzo-Soprano Voice category. This was Wray's third time competing in the Solo Championships. In 2014 she won second place and placed fourth in 2013.

"Madison performed an incredible set of songs. I believe her charming and confident stage presence, exquisite vocal technique, and attention to detail and musical nuance gave her the winning edge in her performance. Madison's voice is incredibly strong and lovely. I am overjoyed that she received this award," said Briggs.

These five talented students are also part of St. Mary's Academy's Marian Singers and will perform in the upcoming OSAA State Choir Championships on May 9 at George Fox University. Last year the Marians placed fifth in state.