From the earliest days of the parish there was a desire to provide Catholic Education. However, with only a small number of children, the remoteness of the parish and its parishioners, the poor quality of the roads and the lack of mass transit, it was nearly impossible to provide a Catholic Education in a rural setting.
In 1948, the Sisters of Notre Dame bought property in Munson Township. In 1957, they opened a Kindergarten classroom in a converted chicken coop. This is the beginning of Catholic Education in Geauga County. Soon the school grew to include Kindergarten through eighth grade. In 1964 a Montessori school and the Sister’s Novitiate rounded out the Geauga Campus. Father Maher purchased 21 acres on North Street across the road from the rectory in 1952 for the future development of the parish school. The land included a house and several outbuildings. The house was rented out and later sustained a fire. Father Walsh, who was then the pastor of St. Mary inquired the suitability of renovating the damaged house and turning it into a school. Unfortunately, this plan was rejected due to not meeting the required code.
In the 1960’s three schools were opened in Geauga county. In 1961 St. Mary School opened with first through fourth grade classes. In 1962 St. Helen in Newbury opened a school. In 1963 St. Anselm Parish in Chesterland opened a school. All three schools opened in the care of the Sisters of Notre Dame.
St. Mary School Chardon is a fully accredited, Roman Catholic Elementary School in Chardon, Ohio. Over the past 57 years, St. Mary School has been serving Preschool through eighth grade. In the past 20 years, many capital improvement projects were undertaken to update the school. These projects included new administrative offices, converting the former church into a new gymnasium, as well as expanding and remodeling the library. The computer lab was redone and a science lab was added. Classrooms were updated with Smartboards, students in fourth through eighth grades are participating in a one-on-one initiative and using laptops provided by the school for instruction, projects, and assignments. PreK-3 students are using I-pads.
In 2017, St. Mary School became the first designated STEM school in Geauga county. As one of the school’s STEM project, a greenhouse will be built on school grounds. Funding for a Makerspace room is ongoing and plans to establish this room are in progress.
St. Mary School will soon celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2021.
St Mary Chardon is located at 401 North Street in the heart of historic Chardon Village, just north of the town square. We are the only STEM Designated school in Geauga County and service students preschool through 8th grade.