Type to search


St. Mary’s High School set to launch innovative Academies Program


LANCASTER – In an ongoing effort to innovate and advance St. Mary’s High School’s college-preparatory curriculum, The Academies at St. Mary’s High School is a new program created by the school that will launch with the start of the 2022-23 school year. 

 This pioneering initiative will allow students to participate in focused areas of study during their sophomore, junior and senior years with the end goal for them to achieve a deeper understanding of the potential career paths and majors that colleges and universities offer. Freshmen will automatically be enrolled in The Academy of The First Year, giving them the tools to succeed over the next four years of high school.

The Academies at St. Mary’s High School will include: the Business/Entrepreneurship/Finance Academy, the Education Academy, the Engineering & Experimental Design Academy, the Global Citizenship & International Relations Academy, the Hospitality & Event Planning Academy, the Sciences and Health & Wellness Professionals Academy, the Journalism & Marketing Academy, the Law & Criminal Justice Academy, the Performing Arts Academy, the Visual Arts Academy, and the Academy of the First Year.

The Academies will be managed by St. Mary’s dedicated faculty, under the guidance of the dean of Academic Affairs, Keith Junik, and enhanced by adjunct professors and guest lecturers, including professionals from the school’s passionate alumni base, parents, and local and national experts in their fields. The Academies will meet twice weekly for 80 minutes and co-exist with the gold-standard New York State Regents Curriculum and Lancer Life Curriculum currently offered at St. Mary’s. St. Mary’s High School currently ranks seventh in Buffalo Business First’s rankings of 131 high schools in Western New York.

“We are always trying to be innovative and creative when it comes to our curriculum,” said Junik. “A few years ago, we instituted the Lancer Life Curriculum, which mandates students take courses that teach important life skills, like public speaking, leadership, personal finance, and our award-winning senior portfolio capstone project. The Academies at St. Mary’s High School takes that initiative even further, giving our students a real advantage as they head off to college, already having a background in majors they may want to pursue or crossing things off the list they’re no longer interested in.”

“It is the overall student experience and the desire to make it a rewarding, positive and practical one that motivates the administration at St. Mary’s High School,” said Kevin Kelleher, head of school. “We want to make that student experience second to none, and programs like this – that are a forward-thinking way to educate – allow us to do just that. A new initiative like this gets our students, faculty, and staff excited about our future. Our families are thrilled with the concept. We’re looking forward to developing The Academies Program at St. Mary’s High School into an academic tradition of unparalleled excellence.”