The SMH Brand Guide
- Visual and Verbal Identity
- Editorial Content Style Guide
- Social Media Guidelines
- Saint Mary's Hall Traditions and Terminology
- Web Standards
- Buildings, Facilities, and Landmarks
Editorial Content Style Guide
- Dates and Times
- Locations on Campus
- Names and Titles
- Forms, Classes, and Sports
- Academic Degrees
- Campus Naming Guidelines
- Always bold dates and times in the future so that they stand out for readers
- Include the day, month, and date for a future event happening this year
- Ex: Monday, August 25
- Include the day, month, date, and year for a future event happening in any year that is not the current year
- Ex: Sunday, December 10, 2018
- Do not bold or include day of the week for dates in the past
- Do not abbreviate months
- Times should follow these guidelines:
- No zeroes should follow the time after the hour.
- No space following the number, all times should include a lowercase “am” or “pm.”
- For ranges of time, include a space after the am or pm, a dash, and another space before the end of the time range.
- 9am – 10am
- 10am – 4:30pm
- Always format documents and attachments on electronic letterhead (make sure logo has registration mark®).
- The Athletics, Enrichment, and Fine Arts Departments should use their department-specific letterhead.
- Myriad Condensed Web font is preferred.
- An Oxford comma is preferred when listing more than two in a series.
- “The student-athletes demonstrate talent, grit, and commitment.”
- When using ellipses, space before and after.
- “Going … going … gone!”
- Saint Mary’s Hall – not St. Mary’s Hall. Use “SMH” with discretion and only after first use of full name.
- Tobin Fine Arts School at Saint Mary’s Hall
- Coates-Seeligson Theater/Chapel (internally known as Theater/Chapel)
- All buildings should be listed by their full names, when possible (Peggy Pitman Mays Dining Hall).
- Spirit Store (not spirit store)
- MS/US Library should be Middle/Upper School Library where space allows.
- Please refer to “Campus Naming Guidelines” for more details on the names of campus locations.
- Adult Names (including faculty, parents, or anyone outside the SMH community)
- Faculty names should be first, last, and bold on first reference. On subsequent references, they should be referred to as Ms., Mrs., or Mr. and unbold.
- Include capitalized title BEFORE name with no comma in between.
- Head of Upper School Brent Spicer
- Include Dr. if appropriate
- English Department Chair Dr. Teri Marshall
- Bold name only, not title
- Student/Alumni Names
- Student names should be first name, last name, and bold on first reference. On subsequent references, they should be referred to by first name only, unbold.
- Students’ last names should never be used in social media, Home Page News, or any communications viewed by the general public. Use first name, last initial only, and bold.
- All student names should include Form. Acceptable uses:
- Junior Joe Smith
- Joe Smith (Form 11)
- Form 11 student, Joe Smith
- Alumni names should include graduating year. Acceptable uses:
- Jane Smith (Class of 2015) – Preferred use
- Jane Smith ‘15
- “How the heck do I refer to them?”
- Alumni – A group of men, or a group of men and women
- Alumnae – A group of women
- Alumnus – One man
- Alumna – One woman
- If writing generally about specific jobs, do not capitalize titles (“head of community engagement and director of admission report to head of school.”)
- Job titles are capitalized when they come before the individual’s name, when job titles appear in a bulleted list, or when included in a signature.
- “If you have any questions, contact Saint Mary’s Hall Head of School Len Miller at email@example.com.”
- Job titles are not capitalized when they follow the individual’s name, or when job titles appear in a list as part of a sentence.
- “Len Miller, head of school at Saint Mary’s Hall, presented at the parent coffee.”
- “The director of admission, head of community engagement, and chief financial officer all report directly to the head of school at Saint Mary’s Hall.”
- Titles of books, movies, plays, TV shows, etc. should be italicized. Articles should be in quotes.
- “Form” should always be capitalized.
- When writing a range of Forms, it should be “Forms 1-5.” Not Form 1- Form 5, F1-F5, F1-5, etc.
- Formal names of classes should be capitalized
- “AP Advanced Algebra”
- Groupings of classes by general name should not be capitalized
- “ballet and modern dance classes” and “foreign language classes”
- Departments, offices, and programs should be capitalized (Athletics, Enrichment, Fine Arts). Other acceptable uses: the Fine Arts Department, the Office of Community Engagement, the Digital Cinema Program.
- Parents’ Association (not “Parents” or “Parent’s”)
- Barons’ Club (not “Barons” or “Baron’s”)
- Never capitalize sports team names
- “varsity men’s basketball” (apostrophe)
- “Form 8 boys basketball” (no apostrophe for Middle School sports)
- “track & field” (not track and field)
- Barons Day
- Only capitalize the level (bachelor or master) of the degree when stating what type of degree (arts, sciences, etc.,) was earned (formal name of degree); also capitalize the type of degree.
- "Joe Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Texas A&M University.”
- “Joe Smith has a Master of Arts from Texas A&M University.”
- When not specifying the type of degree (arts, sciences, etc.) earned, the level of the degree becomes possessive and is not capitalized (informal name of degree).
- “Joe Smith has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.”
- “Joe Smith earned a master’s degree.”
- Do not make “associate degree” possessive.
- When abbreviating degrees, capitalize the level of the degree (bachelor or master) and the type of degree (arts, sciences, etc.) earned; use periods.
- “Joe Smith, Texas A&M University – B.A.”
- “Joe Smith, Texas A&M University – M.A.”
- When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas:
- “Joe Smith, Ph.D.”
- Do not precede a name with Dr. and follow it with Ph.D. in the same reference. Use one or the other.
- Our campus and school is Saint Mary’s Hall.
- For internal communications, shorten to SMH after the first reference.
- Do not abbreviate “Saint” by using “St.”
- All-School must be hyphenated.
- The Athletics Department is also referred to as Saint Mary’s Hall Athletics
- Fine Arts
- The Fine Arts Department should always be referred to as the Tobin Fine Arts School at Saint Mary’s Hall.
- Division - Always spell out division names and only shorten on internal documents if space is an issue (ex. Lower School).
- The Middle School is named the Ewing Halsell Middle School.
- The Upper School is named the Betty Stieren Kelso Upper School.
- Special Events
- The fall back-to-school event is called Baron Bazaar.
- Baron Bash is usually held in conjunction with the Ben McMurray Golf Classic.
- The large fundraising gala hosted every other spring is called Passport.
- Each spring, students invite their grandparents to campus for Grand Day at Saint Mary's Hall.
- Each of the seasonal all-school tailgates hosted by the Barons’ Club are known as Barons Day.
Social Media Guidelines
By integrating social media into our school communications strategies, we ensure the delivery of widely accessible, timely news and information across multiple channels. Facebook and Twitter help tell the Saint Mary’s Hall story on a day-to-day basis, engaging our community with eye-catching photos and “human interest” updates that offer an instant snapshot of campus life.
Our social media presence has evolved into a lasting and dependable two-way communications tool for Saint Mary’s Hall, and as such, should reflect the unique voices of each of our respective divisions while following school standards for branding, professionalism, grammar, and writing style. These guidelines also provide a framework for the “rules of engagement” in social media.
- Primary Social Media Channels/Guidelines
- Social Media Strategic Best Practices
- Athletics Social Media Channels/Guidelines
- How to Contribute
- Social Media Accounts for Clubs & Teams (Approval Process)
- Personal Social Media Accounts
SMH Official Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SaintMarysHall)
SMH Official Twitter (https://twitter.com/SMHallSA)
SMH Barons Athletics Twitter (https://twitter.com/SMH_Barons)
SMH Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/smhallsa)
Head of School Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/smh_headofschool)
Athletics Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/smh_barons)
Fine Arts Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/smhall_finearts)
- Our official school presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is devoted to a well-rounded representation of student interests and achievements across all divisions, including academics, fine arts, athletics, community service, clubs, and campus life. We have a Social Media Committee made up of members of the various departments at SMH who coordinate and execute social media for the school.
- The director of marketing and communications and assistant director of marketing and communications are the primary managers of all SMH social media channels. However, the Athletics and Fine Arts Departments are responsible for managing, posting content, and monitoring stats/analytics on their respective Instagram accounts.
- • Approved to post: Members of the SMH Social Media Committee, including the director of marketing and public relations, assistant director of marketing and public relations, web manager, head of community engagement, head of school, assistant director of fine arts (and/or Fine Arts appointee), athletic director (and/or Athletics appointee), director of student enrichment (and/or Enrichment appointee), and head of admission (and/or Admission appointee). Only approved persons may post on the behalf of Saint Mary’s Hall.
- The Athletics and Fine Arts Department will continue to post “big story” content on the school’s main channels, i.e. athletic championships or fine arts accolades.
- Passwords to social media accounts may not be shared with students.
- Passwords for respective accounts must be updated at the beginning of every school year and in the event an approved poster is no longer an employee of SMH.
- School events are covered, but not as the primary means for advertising an event. Statistics show that social media posts that are organic in nature are more widely viewed, liked, and shared than posts that advertise events or performances. As such, ads or endorsements should not be published.
- SMH social media channels shall not be used to support or endorse outside organizations or events.
- It is okay to share/retweet content related to SMH on the school’s main channels as long as the content is in good taste and places the school in a positive light. Always check the source of the content you would like to share/retweet to ensure the content the individual/organization posts is appropriate. Please notify the Marketing & Communications Department before sharing/retweeting any content by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Posts should be brief, and should always include a relevant photo, video, or gif.
- Only use preapproved SMH hashtags (when possible and relevant). A list of approved hashtags can be requested by contacting email@example.com Use trending hashtags as they apply and are appropriate. Campaign or event related hashtags are acceptable as well as long as they apply and are appropriate.
- Posts should be brief, avoid oversharing, and rapid-fire tweeting on one event. Exceptions would be preannounced live tweeting or Facebook/Instagram stories.
- Include quality video, photos, or other graphics. All photos should include the SMH logo when possible (which ensures our branding is attached to any media shared by our followers).
- For the protection of our students’ privacy, student full names should be avoided. Instead, use first name and last initial (“John S.”) or in the case of Athletics “play-by-play” tweets, student last name (“Walker”) is acceptable. Alumni and faculty should be noted with first and last names.
- Create engaging event invitation posts that go beyond event details and ticket sales. Example: “Our sensational singers and percussion perfectionists made melodic music at the annual Lower School Choir & Orff Winter Concert this morning in the Theater/Chapel. In traditional Orff-Schulwerk style, the students moved around the stage singing, chanting, clapping, and playing a variety of instruments to create a lively and engaging feast for the senses. If you missed this morning’s performance, we invite you to attend an encore performance tonight at 6pm, or watch it from home on our Livestream page https://livestream.com/saintmaryshall/events/5709087. It’s truly a “must see” show!”
- Though our social media audience is largely our community, the target audience for social media posts should be strategic and focus on potential families and a larger audience outside of Saint Mary’s Hall whenever possible.
- Include background information; don’t assume the audience knows everything. Example: “As part of our school-wide Wellness Program, today we welcomed Dr. Nora Walker, a noted sleep specialist, SMH alumna (Class of 1978), and current SMH parent. She gave an impactful talk to parents about how they can help their children be healthier and more productive through better sleep. The presentation, which Dr. Walker also delivered to Middle and Upper School students last week, covered the basic science of sleep, the dangerous impact of sleep deprivation, what constitutes good sleep hygiene, and things that students, parents, and faculty can do to promote a healthy environment for sleep. Sharing Dr. Walker's valuable advice is just one way Saint Mary's Hall encourages a positive school/life balance for our community!”
- Posts should, when possible, direct audiences to our web site. Always try to include a Call to Action if relevant and appropriate. The goal is to drive traffic back to our web site, the school’s biggest marketing channel.
- Example: “Wow! Students in Kim Brown’s full-day Montessori class collected a truck-load of pet supplies to donate to the New Braunfels Humane Society! This is a Room 4 tradition begun by Mrs. Brown 11 years ago, and is just one example of our fantastic teachers and students giving back to the community. For more of the many ways we teach and model kindness, care, and respect in the Lower School, visit www.smhall.org/academics/lowerschool. #KinderThanNecessary
- Use @mentions whenever possible and appropriate. This will expand our reach on the various social media platforms. For example, @mentioning KENS5 when a story about the school is aired and posted to our account.
- Be aware of the day’s previous posts and scheduled posts. Try to avoid more than two posts per day (total) on Facebook. Try not to post more than once a day to Instagram. There are no limitations to posting to Twitter as it a channel designed for immediate and continuous information.
- Do not link social media channels to auto-post same content across channels. The same content should be different and crafted specifically for each platform.
- Avoid “emoji,” and instead, convey the emotions you wish to express with words and photos.
- The personal accounts of students, parents, and teachers are not to be “tagged” in any post.
- SMH social media channels shall not be used to support or endorse outside organizations or events; however, it is acceptable to acknowledge other schools and partners (i.e. “Good game, @GenevaSchoolTX! Thanks for hosting #BaronVolleyball tonight!”) Another exception would be content highlighting student community service.
- Posts relating to controversial matters or matters of opinion should not be “liked” or shared by Saint Mary’s Hall social media accounts.
- The personal accounts of students, parents, and teachers are not to be “tagged” in any post.
- School accounts may not follow or promote the personal accounts of teachers, coaches, or staff.
- Posts that are relevant and informative to the larger outside community may be boosted on Facebook to increase reach. If you are interested in having a post boosted, please submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
SMH Barons Athletics Twitter (https://twitter.com/SMH_Barons)
- The official Twitter account for SMH Athletics is an effective, real-time social media channel for school sports news, scores, photos, videos, and team updates.
- The athletic director and approved coaches are the primary managers of the SMH Barons Twitter page. A list of approved coaches, and a new password is to be provided to Marketing at the start of each school year.
- The director of marketing and communications, assistant director of marketing and communications, web manager, chief advancement officer, and the head of school also are authorized to post.
- Posts should be brief, and it is suggested we include a relevant photo.
- Do not overshare/rapid-fire post on one event. Exceptions would be preannounced live tweeting.
- SMH social media channels shall not be used to support or endorse outside organizations or events; however, it is acceptable to acknowledge other schools and partners (i.e. “Good game, @GenevaSchoolTX! Thanks for hosting #BaronVolleyball tonight!”)
- Posts relating to controversial matters or matters of opinion should not be “liked” or shared by Saint Mary’s Hall social media accounts.
- Student last names may be used with or without first initial. Alumni and faculty should be noted with first and last names.
- The personal accounts of students, parents, coaches, and teachers are not to be “tagged” in any post.
- School accounts may not follow or promote the personal accounts of teachers, coaches, or staff.
- Email ideas, photos, and videos for posts to email@example.com. We may not be able to post everything we receive, but we might be able to use your content elsewhere. If you are a member of the Social Media Committee, please email your suggested posts from your area for the week every Monday before 10am to the chair of the committee.
- Email links to articles of interest on academic/parenting topics that support our mission and core values to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If a faculty member in your division is teaching a creative lesson that ties into a holiday or current event, or has unique knowledge, personal experience, or a connection to a current event that could become a timely post, share it with us at email@example.com.
- Include a high-quality photo. Blurry or mediocre photos do not add value.
- Consider “liking” our page and our posts from your personal account.
- If you are a club sponsor or team coach who would like to create a social media account for your club or team, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a meeting to share your goals and plan for the account.
- Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts only will be considered (i.e. no Snapchat, Tumblr, or other lesser known social media channels will be considered).
- For the account to be approved by the school, the following information must be provided:
- Account administrator(s)
- Goal of the account (examples: to market to past and future members, to market the team to prospective college recruiters, teambuilding, etc.)
- What types of content will be shared on the account?
- Frequency of posts
- Proposed username and password
- Proposed avatar
- If account is approved, all posts must be in good taste and conform with guidelines as stated in Section A and Section B (above). Saint Mary’s Hall has the right to remove posts and/or delete the account at any time.
- Faculty and staff may not engage with current students on social media (i.e. “friend” or follow on personal accounts), regardless of who initiates the request.
- Faculty and staff may not contradict the school’s mission nor violate any school policies in his or her personal social media use, and are expected to maintain the same level of appropriateness and transparency that they would display in the school setting.
- Faculty and staff may not post photos, videos, or names of current students on their personal social media accounts.
- Faculty and staff who have heretofore used social media to communicate with students are asked instead to communicate with groups of students through “community groups” on the SMH Portal. Through a “community group” a faculty or staff member may post photos, upload videos, post announcements, etc.
Saint Mary's Hall Traditions and Terminology
Convocation is typically held the first week of school in the Alonso Ancira Event Center. The event welcomes the entire Saint Mary’s Hall community back to school. Along with faculty, staff, and the board of trustees, the entire student body attends. Heads of divisions speak as well as students from each division. It precedes the Blue Tie Ceremony.
Alonso Ancira Event Center
The Alonso Ancira Event Center is a complex constructed in 2012 as part of the “I AM Saint Mary’s Hall” capital campaign; it houses gyms, athletic locker rooms, coaches’ offices, a speech and debate classroom, and an Upper School English classroom.
The annual Alumni Reunion celebration occurs in May, and provides an opportunity for alumni from all over the country to return to Saint Mary’s Hall for fun, food, and fellowship. It includes a cocktail party and brunch for the 50th year class, and an opportunity for alumni to pose for class photos, and visit with current and former Saint Mary's Hall teachers.
Athletic Director (AD)
The athletic director oversees the Athletic Department. The AD oversees the coaches and athletic programs, and along with his staff handles all athletic scheduling and tournaments.
Students, parents, faculty, and their families may use the outdoor athletic facilities whenever they are free from official use. Groups using athletic facilities require prior approval from the athletic director.
Baccalaureate, a non-denominational service which honors the graduating class, is traditionally held in the Coates-Seeligson Theater/Chapel on the day before Commencement. Family and friends attend as well as the Upper School faculty, who are in academic regalia. The Senior Video and a Senior Reception follows the Baccalaureate Service.
Baron Bazaar is a back-to-school event designed to help families check off all of their back-to-school “to-do’s.” Booths are set up to provide information about all the major divisions and departments of our school, and students may register for after-school activities and clubs. Class schedules, locker assignments, textbooks, and parking permits are also distributed, and families are invited to shop for uniforms and SMH spirit gear.
The Baron Bistro is a snack bar located in the Peggy Pitman Mays Dining Hall, and it offers a wide range of healthy food options through a partnership with Sage Dining Services®. Middle and Upper School students have the opportunity to purchase food Monday – Friday from 7:30am – 10:30am, Monday – Thursday from 2pm – 5pm, and Fridays from 2pm – 4pm. Snack bar cards (used as currency) are available for purchase at the Saint Mary’s Hall Spirit Store.
The Baron’s Club helps spread school pride across the Saint Mary’s Hall campus. This club helps host all-school spirit days, in support of our student-athletes.
The Ben McMurray Golf Classic
The Ben McMurray Golf Classic, is a four-man scramble tournament for avid and novice golfers alike, and takes place at the picturesque Quarry Golf Club. During the Ben McMurray Golf Classic, golfers vie for the title of tournament champion, complete with a “Purple Jacket” and Tournament Cup, which are presented at the tournament celebration party. Tournament sponsorships and team entries support the Saint Mary’s Hall Athletics Department and the Ben McMurray Scholarship Fund.
Held annually in the spring since 1930, Bishops’ Day is a celebration of intramural activity. Each division hosts its own version of the traditional Upper School Bishops’ Day. Named after former bishops of the Episcopal Church, the teams for Upper School are known as Capers (yellow) and Elliotts (blue), while the Middle School teams are called Bennetts (green) and Baileys (orange). In Lower School, teams are separated into purple and white.
The Bishops’ Cup is awarded to a team (Capers or Elliott), in the Upper School, with the most points accumulated over the year.
Bishops’ Christian Citizenship Cup
The Bishops’ Christian Citizenship Cup is presented at Commencement to a Saint Mary’s Hall graduating senior who exemplifies outstanding qualities of Christian citizenship.
Black Box Theater
The Black Box Theater is used for speech and drama classes and small theater productions. It is part of the Tobin Fine Arts School at Saint Mary’s Hall and located in the Fine Arts Courtyard.
Blue Tie Ceremony
The first Blue Tie Ceremony was held in September of 1940, when blue ties were awarded to the Class of 1941. The Blue Tie Ceremony is traditionally on the Friday of the first week of school. Blue ties and senior rings are bestowed by senior sponsors and the head of school. In true Saint Mary’s Hall tradition, family members who attended Saint Mary’s Hall, faculty or staff members, and trustees are given the honor of presenting a blue tie to their senior.
The Saint Mary’s Hall Campanile (affectionately called the Bell Tower) was built in 2006 as part of the Marrs and Verna McLean Library Complex. The Bell Tower serves as an orientation point for all members of the school community. It has become an icon and part of the school’s history.
The Coates-Seeligson Theater/Chapel (also known as the Theater/Chapel), is located next to the Upper School Circle, and hosts many special events on campus, from Blue Tie to drama productions to Chapel to musical concerts to daily announcements for Upper and Middle School. The East and West Galleries, are located inside and often display student art work. The Theater/Chapel is adjacent to the Zeller Theater.
The school has two college counselors who begin meeting with students their freshman year. The College Counseling is located next door to the Office of Admission.
At Commencement, faculty, family, and friends gather in the Alfonso Ancira Event Center to celebrate graduating seniors. All faculty attend in academic regalia in support of the soon to be graduates. In a tradition dating back many years, senior girls wear formal white gowns and carry 12 red roses, while senior boys wear tuxedos.
Our campus is blessed with numerous courtyards:
- Baylan Courtyard – by the Fine Arts building (between the Black Box Theater and art rooms)
- Thuss Memorial – between the Lower School and Montessori rooms
- Plaza de Mexico – near the Science buildings
- Jamie Armstrong Bennett Courtyard – in front of the Upper School Office
- Bishops’ Dining Hall Courtyard – between the Peggy Pitman Mays and Middle/Upper School Library
- Montessori Courtyard – in front of the Lower School Offices
- Faculty Courtyard – next to the faculty lounge (formerly known as The Pit)
- John H. White Family Courtyard – in front of the Alfonso Ancira Event Center
- Viroslav Courtyard – behind the Middle School classrooms
- Turner Children’s Garden – middle of Lower School
- Mollie Steves Zachry Courtyard – adjacent to the Social Science and History Center
- Dixon-Allen Courtyard – west of the Peggy Pitman Mays Dining Hall
- Mollie Steves Zachry Courtyard – south of the Peggy Pitman Mays Dining Hall
Creating Independence through Student-owned Strategies (CRISS)
The CRISS program is our approach to providing comprehensive, effective, engaging instruction. New faculty members receive training at the beginning of the year.
Cum Laude Society
The Cum Laude Society recognizes exceptional scholarship by juniors and seniors and is the private school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa. Students who have outstanding GPAs and SAT scores are invited to join along with new faculty who have Ph.D.s or are already in Phi Beta Kappa are inducted. Students are inducted annually in a special ceremony.
Commonly referred to as “Scope & Sequence,” this document defines standards that articulate our curriculum. It may be found on the Saint Mary’s Hall Community Portal or obtained from the division head.
Distinguished Alumni Award
This Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an alumna or alumnus who has made significant contributions to Saint Mary’s Hall, the community, and her or his profession.
Extended Care Program (EC)
The EC Program is housed near the Lower School. It is offered before and after school. EC provides a safe on-campus location for students to play, complete homework, read, and much more. Child care is available from 7am – 8am and from 10:45am – 6 pm.
The Upper School Faculty Lounge/Workroom is located in the hallway behind the administrative offices. The Middle School Faculty Workroom is located within the Middle School office, and the Lower School Faculty Lounge/Workroom is located across from the Lower School Library. The Lower School Workroom, along with other items, has a laminating machine. Mailboxes for faculty are located in their respective division’s faculty lounge/workroom. Each lounge/work room has a copy machine, coffee pot, refrigerator, and microwave, among other useful items.
Fiesta, our annual all-school fall festival, was first held in the 1940s. The event was originally held as a fundraiser and the booths at the early Fiestas were created and run by students, representing a variety of school clubs. Today, Fiesta is a “fun-raiser,” with more than 1,000 students, parents, alumni, faculty, and staff enjoying an afternoon of food, fun, and games.
Grades at Saint Mary's Hall are referred to as Forms, and are written Form 1 … Form 12.
Founders’ Day and Founders Day Award
Founders’ Day is a special event unique to Saint Mary’s Hall, in which the school annually celebrates a person or family whose faith, vision, and determination have made a lasting impact on our school. Introduced in 1998, the Founders’ Day Award is the highest honor given to our school’s benefactors, and is presented at the Founders’ Day event.
Nearly every student participates in at least one of the programs offered in the Tobin Fine Arts School at Saint Mary’s Hall. Meet up with the FOFTA to become part of the arts scene at Saint Mary’s Hall, and learn how you can help support the Fine Arts Department. Help out in the ticket box, plan artist receptions, help hang artwork for exhibits, organize the dance production costumes, and more. This organization is open to all Saint Mary’s Hall parents and is overseen by a chair or co-chair that rotates every two years.
Front Office Reception
The Front Office Reception is located in the main administration building. The main switchboard is located in this office, and can be reached by phones on campus by dialing “0.” Also in the main administration building are the head of school’s office and all of the business offices.
Referred to as the East and West Galleries, these are rooms located to the left and right of the Coates-Seeligson Theater/Chapel and may be reserved for small meetings, coffees, production dressing rooms, etc. The East Gallery is the room closest to the Fine Arts Administrative Offices and the West Gallery faces Lewis Field. They are used for art displays by the Visual Arts Department.
Grand Day at Saint Mary's Hall
Saint Mary’s Hall grandparents play an important role in their grandchildren’s lives, and we value them. Every spring, we host Grand Day at Saint Mary's Hall to honor our students’ grandparents. First held in 1981, on this special day, students, grandparents, and grand friends enjoy breakfast together, take a professional keepsake photo, and visit classrooms.
The gyms in the McCombs Family Athletic Complex are referred to as the Napier Family Gym (upper gym) and the Booke Family Gym (lower gym). The Alonso Ancira Event Center also serves as a gymnasium.
Head of School
Formerly known as the headmaster, the head of school is the chief administrative officer of our independent school. Each division—Lower, Middle, and Upper—has a principal known as the head of (Lower, Middle, Upper) school. Among other things, the head of school deals with the day-to-day operation of the school.
The health center, formerly the infirmary, includes several beds and is located next to the training room (at the back of the Booke Family Gym). It is staffed by a registered nurse during the school day.
Saint Mary’s Hall operates within the framework of an Honor System, setting a standard for ethical behavior. Each division has an honor code. The Upper and Middle School have a formal “signing” at the beginning of the year for all students and faculty. The Middle School also uses a signed Honor Pledge on all major tests and exams.
Honors or recognition ceremonies are held at the Lower, Middle, and Upper School divisions in the late spring.
Independent School Association (ISA)
Saint Mary’s Hall belongs to ISA of San Antonio, a collaborative organization of more than 30 schools in San Antonio. They meet regularly and often hold an educational in-service together.
Independent School Athletic League (ISAL)
The ISAL is the governing body for Saint Mary’s Hall Middle School athletics, and is made up of 18 schools in San Antonio and the surrounding area. ISAL is dedicated to providing quality athletics in order to help prepare young people for a life of integrity.
Independent Schools Associations of the Southwest & National Association of Independent Schools (ISAS & NAIS)
Saint Mary’s Hall is accredited by the ISAS. ISAS, a member of the NAIS Commission on Accreditation, has voluntarily submitted to a rigorous and impartial review of its accreditation program and demonstrated its adherence to the Commission’s Criteria for Effective Independent School Accreditation Practices. ISAS is commended by NAIS for the quality of the association’s accreditation program for its member schools.
Independent Schools Association of the Southwest Fine Arts Festival (ISAS Fine Arts Festival)
The ISAS holds an annual fine arts festival that many Upper School students attend, as well as more than 3,000 students, faculty, and clinicians from 45 independent schools across five states. This event showcases students’ creative talent through performances, workshops, and exhibits in all aspects of the visual and performing arts during the festival. Saint Mary’s Hall hosted the ISAS Fine Arts Festival in 2016.
The Jamie Armstrong Bennett Award
The Jamie Armstrong Bennett Award was established in 1972 and is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who has made a significant contribution to the life of the school and has exemplified the qualities of mind and spirit most valued by the founders.
Kim & Rod Lewis Track & Field
The Kim & Rod Lewis Track & Field is the track & field and grandstand complex.
The Marrs and Verna McLean Library Complex (Middle/Upper School Library) is open from 7:15am to 6pm, Monday through Friday. Each section of the library—the Bell Tower, the Hearth Room, and the Courtyard—must be reserved through the SMH Portal under Technology Links (WebEvent Rooms and Lab Reservations) for classroom use. There are junior and senior Upper School English classrooms upstairs (the Literary Loft). The Eleanor Duncan Sarratt Memorial Library is for children from Pre-School to Form 5 and is open from 7:30am until 4pm, Monday through Friday.
Lifers and Lifer Day
Students who attended Saint Mary’s Hall from Montessori, Kindergarten, or Form 1 and continue through Form 12 are fondly referred to as “Lifers.” At Commencement each year, Lifers are presented with Longevity Awards. Lifer is a term of endearment at Saint Mary’s Hall and a status of which our youngest students are keenly aware and to which they all aspire.
Lifer Day is a special Lifer recognition assembly attended by Montessori - Form 5 students, Lower and Upper School administration, Lower School faculty, and Lifer parents. The assembly honors Lifers with a video tribute and the sharing of fond memories by Lifers of their time in the Lower School. A breakfast is organized by Lifer parents for all the faculty and staff who have supported and mentored our Lifers along their Saint Mary’s Hall journey.
Students in Upper School are issued a locker which remains theirs until they graduate or leave the school. Upper School students’ book bags should be kept in the locker or with the student at all times—not left in the hallways. Middle School students change lockers every year and must keep their backpacks on a shelf in a pack room once books are emptied into the lockers in the morning. Middle School students may not carry backpacks during the day. Students are responsible for the upkeep of both their lock and their locker. Students may not write on the lockers or deface them in any way. All lockers are the property of the school, and the school reserves the right to inspect any locker at any time.
Lower, Middle, and Upper School Preview
- Montessori, Kindergarten, & Lower School Preview
This preview begins with Morning Moments, our assembly in the Lower School. Afterward, a curriculum overview and classroom tours will be given by Lower School administration. Following the tours, Saint Mary’s Hall administrators answer questions.
- Middle School Preview
This preview evening begins with a faculty-led tour of the campus. After the tour, students and parents have the opportunity to chat with faculty and administrators over hors d’oeuvres. Next, parents attend a curriculum overview presented my Middle School faculty, while students attend several “mini-classes” to experience Saint Mary’s Hall.
- Discover Saint Mary’s Hall
Every Columbus Day, we host a morning of discovery and exploration for prospective Upper School students and their families called Discover Saint Mary’s Hall. While students attend a class, take a student-led-tour, and participate in a question-and-answer session, where parents hear from a panel of current parents and students about life at Saint Mary’s Hall before taking a faculty-led tour of the campus and receiving a curriculum overview.
- A Taste of Saint Mary’s Hall
This unique Upper School preview begins with a tour of the school and an overview of the Upper School curriculum, presented by the chair of each department. Families have the opportunity to visit with current students, faculty, administrators, and other future families while enjoying a complimentary dinner. The evening also gives our faculty and students the opportunity to personally welcome and get to know each family while they experience Saint Mary’s Hall.
Maintenance is located at the north end of campus. The staff does all of the upkeep at the school and should be contacted when a maintenance problem arises. All maintenance requests go through the individual division offices.
Master Teacher Award
Based on nominations submitted by faculty, staff, students, parents, and school administration, the Master Teacher Award annually honors one faculty member from each of the three divisions (Lower, Middle, and Upper School) and one “at-large” faculty member. Initiated by an anonymous $1 million gift, Master Teachers receive $10,000 along with their award.
The Momentum Award recognizes a Saint Mary's Hall alumna or alumnus, 35-years-old or younger, who has, early in her or his life, set a standard of excellence.
Morning Moments kicks off the day for students and faculty in Forms 1 - 5. The assembly takes place three times a week and starts with a positive character word or wellness emphasis as well as various student presentations. It is a time of student leadership as students in Forms 3, 4, and 5 help lead Morning Moments, and Form 5 students provide the technical support.
Nota Bene, our digital alumni newsletter, is sent to alumni on a quarterly basis, and recounts news of note to alumni.
Out-of-Uniform Days (OOU Days)
At various times during the year, divisions sponsor OOU Days. They may be held to celebrate an event (the rodeo), to award a particular class, or to raise money for community service or other projects, in which case the students pay money to be out of uniform. Upper School clubs must apply to the Student Council to sponsor an OOU. These days often have specific dress requirements.
The Saint Mary’s Hall Parents’ Association is the biggest source of parent volunteers on our campus. Parents lend their time, expertise, and passion in a number of areas throughout each of the three divisions. Membership in the Parents’ Association is automatic and inclusive of all current SMH parents and guardians.
All vehicles entering the Saint Mary’s Hall campus must have an official Saint Mary’s Hall parking sticker or must stop at the gate for a visitor's pass. The speed limit is 15 mph on campus. Failure by any Upper School student to observe posted regulations for parking will result in forfeiture of parking privileges. Faculty and staff may park wherever they want on campus except for the Upper School Circle and reserved or visitor slots. (There is a designated area for senior class parking that other students may not use.)
Passport (our fundraising gala and auction) is held every two years, and is a great opportunity for the Saint Mary's Hall community to gather and celebrate Saint Mary's Hall. Partygoers can bid on great items in an online and live auction with themed packages.
The Prichard Classroom is a large classroom in the Social Science & History Center. It may be reserved for meetings and classroom instruction - must be reserved through the Saint Mary’s Hall Portal under Technology Links (Web Event Rooms and Lab Reservations).
Remington Concession Stand
The Remington Concession Stand is located in the McCombs Family Athletic Complex and is open during home athletics. The Remington Concession Stand sells concessions for spectators.
The Remmert Theater
Renovated in 2009, the Remmert Theater is used as a venue for films, concerts, performances, and various meetings. Located in the Upper School adjacent to the Jamie Armstrong Bennett Courtyard, it is also used by students for drama practice or classes.
Each color of the school tie has a specific significance:
- Purple - Uniform (Standard and Dress)
- Blue - Senior
- Red - Student Council
- Yellow - Sports Council
- White - Fine Arts Council
- Maroon - Honor Council
- Green - Community Service Council
- Maroon - Student Senate
- Green - Sports Council – Bennetts
- Orange - Sports Council – Baileys
- Teal - Community Service Council
- Navy - National Junior Honor Society
School Year Abroad (SYA)
The SYA is a cultural immersion program that allows Upper School students the opportunity to study in Europe or Asia for an entire academic year. Saint Mary’s Hall is one of 40 independent schools across the United States and parts of Europe that are part of the SYA consortium. There are currently five schools in four countries to which students can apply: China, France, Italy, and Spain.
The school's security staff serves to ensure the physical safety of our community, protect school property, and assure the proper use of school facilities. School security has the right to ask anyone to leave an area. All cars without an official Saint Mary’s Hall parking sticker must stop at the gate for a visitor's pass. The security team will run license and background checks for a visitor before access is allowed.
After the Blue Tie Ceremony, seniors apply for senior privileges to the assistant head of Upper School. Traditionally, these privileges include off-campus lunch and leaving daily announcements first.
The Shield, our school magazine, highlights all areas of the school including academics, special events and opportunities, athletics, fine arts, and alumni. The magazine is published twice a year as a printed and digital edition.
The SMH Fund
The SMH Fund is our annual giving program and represents approximately 4% of our annual operating budget. Every program is supported by The SMH Fund: academics, athletics, financial aid, fine arts, professional development and technology. Your gifts to The SMH Fund help provide our students with life-changing experiences and opportunities to nurture their individual interests and accomplish their personal goals. Gifts may be made online at www.smhall.org/onlinegiving or you may contact the Office of Community Engagement.
The Spirit Store is located across from the Peggy Pitman Mays Dining Hall and offers everyone on campus the opportunity to purchase textbooks, school supplies, and spirit wear. It is open daily, Monday through Friday, 7am – 4pm.
Saint Mary’s Hall recognizes and promotes the importance of a strong religious faith. To that end, students are exposed to many religions through the celebration of several important events. Every Monday, non-denominational services (called Chapel) are held in all three divisions, for a time of worship, reflection, and inspiration through music, scripture readings, and stories of faith and service. This day is a dress uniform day. Special chapels take place twice during the year: Christmas and Ash Wednesday.
Step-up Days give students an opportunity to visit their future teachers and classrooms in the spring semester, when transitioning from one Form to another.
- Imagine That!
Imagine That! is a collection of poems written by Saint Mary’s Hall Lower School students. Student artwork divides the poetry by Form level. Students in Forms 1 – 5 are represented within this enchanting representation of our student’s creativity. This collection is distributed free of charge to all Lower School students, parents, faculty, and staff.
- La Reata
La Reata is our student yearbook, was first published in 1928. Today, published by a staff of Saint Mary’s hall students. The student staff creates a theme and page layouts, as well as takes photos and writes stories for the publication. The distribution is approximately 600, and the yearbook can be purchased by students, parents, faculty, and staff.
- The Hallmark 2.0
The Hallmark 2.0 is our school newspaper. Inaugurated in 1956, it is written, edited, and published by students. The publication is created by students as part of an Upper School Advanced Journalism class. The publication includes student articles, photos, and content reporting on the many facets of Upper School students and campus life, including academics, sports, and the arts. Today, Hallmark 2.0 is a digital-only newspaper.
- The Walrus
The Walrus is the award-winning annual literary magazine sponsored by the Upper School of Saint Mary’s Hall. The magazine welcomes submissions of poetry, prose, scripts, art, and photography from any member of the Upper School student body. All work is judged anonymously by a student selection committee and the student editors.
Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS)
In 2016, Saint Mary’s Hall joined TAPPS for athletic competitions. TAPPS is an organization committed to building leadership, fellowship, fair play, and sportsmanship of students enrolled in the organization’s member schools in the area of academics, athletics, and fine arts by providing wholesome competition for young men and women.
Girls wear a white middy, a tie, a skirt (white for dress uniform and black for the standard uniform), socks, and saddle oxfords.
Boys wear black blazers, ties or bowties, and khaki pants for the dress uniform, and plain white polo shirts with khaki pants for the standard uniform. The boys also wear black dress shoes.
If a student desires to bring a visitor to school, permission should be secured from the individual division offices or the Office of Admission; all visitors must check in first at the front gate security kiosk and wear a “visitor” nametag.
Young Barons in Community (YBIC)
YBIC provides opportunities for Lower School students and their families to be a part of various community service projects throughout the year.
- Marketing and Web Site Requests
- Finalsite Messages: How to Create & Send Messages
- Best Practices for Messages
- Electronic Signs
- Updating TV Screens
- Email Signature
Once you submit a request, you will get an email with a ticket number and more information. If you have any updates to that particular request, simply reply to that email (or any email in that same thread). Only send a new email to email@example.com if it involves a new request.
All News From the Hall submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marketing requests may include:
- Electronic Sign Messages
- Logo Requests*
- Media Advisories
- News Stories (Web Site Homepage)
- Press Releases
- Promotional Items/Design Approvals
Web site requests may include:
- Content, Document, and/or Photo Additions/Updates
- Portal Announcements
- Calendar Changes
*Special Note: To ensure the integrity of SMH logos, any requests for use should be approved by the marketing and public relations director. Logos will be sent directly to the vendor. A proof should be forwarded by the vendor to the marketing and public relations director for final approval before anything is printed. Athletics, Enrichment, and Fine Arts Departments manage the logos specific to their area, and can be requested from department administrators.
- Remember the “2 second rule.” Allow for quick scan (many people read on smart phones, tablets, etc.)
- Subject lines should be short and to the point.
- Subject lines should be attention grabbing.
- Subject lines should start with a verb or action word, when possible.
- Ideally, a subject line should be 30 characters or less. Keep the subject line to 50 characters or less. Below the entry field for the subject line, Messages will count the characters for you.
- Just like writing an essay or technical paper, sometimes it’s best to write the subject line last.
- Messages allows you to change the “From” line for your emails. However, you should always use your division/department name. This way, as readers scan their inboxes, the message has a better chance to stand out.
- If you select your division folder first, the “From” line will automatically fill in.
- Do not use an individual’s name in the “From” line.
Body of the eNotice
- Only 19% of emails received are read thoroughly, and when interested, most readers only spend 51 seconds reading an email.
- Your message should be written and designed to be “scan-able.”
- Use multiple sections set apart by bolded headers.
- Make sure you’re only including the most important information.
- Write in a concise manner.
- Leave the “fluff” out (in other words, don’t be verbose).
- Use bullets to highlight important information like who, what, when.
- Bold important information like dates and times.
- Never underline important information. Over the years, readers have learned that anything underlined is a hyperlink.
- Never copy and paste directly from a Word document or another email. Doing so could bring over messy background code that will cause formatting issues.
- Use Notepad
- For detailed instructions, please refer to “How to Create & Send Messages.”
Saint Mary’s Hall has two electronic signs. The first sign is visible on the way to the Middle/Upper School, and the second is on the way to the Lower School.
The purpose of the signs is to quickly communicate special events, dates, and other important information to the community. Our signs are limited in space so messages should be very short; they should include the name, date and time, and location of the event.
These signs are meant to be read quickly as people drive onto campus; less is more.
- Communications Committee members should ask their area to send any requests through the appropriate Communications Committee member first. If the message is approved at the departmental level, the committee member will then submit the request to email@example.com. (Please submit the request no fewer than 3 business days prior to when the item needs to appear.)
Middle/Upper School Sign
Lower School Sign
1. Log into www.smhall.org/admin
2. Click on Composer.
3. Click on TV Screens.
4. Choose Your TV Screen Page
5. Click on the Compose toggle button.
6. Click inside content element to activate editor. Use editor functions to format text. (Bold, Italics, Bullets, and Header 3 style)
7. When finished editing, click Save or Cancel.
8. Publish the Page (Bottom Right)
SMH has a school-wide policy asking that all faculty and staff use a standard email signature for all school email communications. The purpose of the signature is to identify yourself, your title, contact information, and school information when communicating with our community.
Using Outlook from your desktop:1. Open Outlook
2. Click on File
3. Click on Options
4. Click on Mail
5. Click on Signatures
6. Create a new signature or edit an existing signature:
To edit an existing signature:
7. To create a new signature, click on the second box from the right (looks like a picture)
8. On the screen that pops up, select the SMHLogo.png file (Temp (T:) > Marketing > Email Signature > SchoolLogo)
9. The logo will appear within the box then click underneath it.
10. Underneath the logo type in the following information:
- Your Name (in bold)
- Your Title (in italics)
- Press “Enter” twice
- Saint Mary’s Hall
- 9401 Starcrest Drive
- San Antonio, Texas 78217
- Press “Enter” twice
- Your phone number (210) XXX-XXXX
- Your fax number (210) XXX-XXXX
- Your cell phone number (if you wish to list it) (210) XXX-XXXX
- Press “Enter” twice
11. In the box that says edit signature:
- Highlight the copy
- Choose the Myriad Condensed Web font from the font drop down.
- Change the font size to 11.
12. To add the Saint Mary's Hall social media icons (place under your phone number):
- Select the Picture icon
13. Go to the folder (Temp (T:) > Marketing > Email_Signature > SocialMediaIcons)
14. Select the Facebook (Twitter, Instagram, and Livestream) icons respectively and click OK.
15. The icon will be selected, then click the link next to the picture icon.
16. Select Existing File or Web Page at the top left on the screen.
17. Then, towards the bottom of the screen, click inside the address car and type:
18. Hit the space bar once and repeat steps 11 - 16 for the following:
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/SMHallSA
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/SMHallSA
- Livestream: https://www.livestream.com/saintmaryshall
19. Hit the Enter key twice and type the following:
- For our Athletics Twitter, visit: @SMH_Barons
20. Highlight @SMH_Barons and select the link icon next to the picture icon.
21. At the bottom, in the address bar, type in: https://twitter.com/SMH_Barons. Then click OK.
22. In the section called “Choose default signature,” select your name from the drop down under New messages and Replies/forwards.
23. Click OK, and then click OK again.
24. The following is an example of the finished signature with the social media icons.
25. If you have any issues, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Buildings, Facilities, and Landmarks
- Lower School
- Ewing Halsell Middle School
- Betty Stieren Kelso Upper School
- Tobin Fine Arts School at Saint Mary's Hall
- Athletics Facilities
- Dining Hall & Other Facilities
- The Lower School is home to the Turner Children’s Garden and the Carter Thuss Memorial Garden.
- Informally referred to as the Extended Care Building, the Ruth McLean Bowman Bowers Extended Care Building is the official name.
- Internally referred to as the Lower School Library, the Eleanor Duncan Sarratt Memorial Library is the official name.
- The courtyard outside of the Upper School head of school office is the Jamie Armstrong Bennett Courtyard.
- The Upper School history classes are held in the Social Science & History Center.
- The Social Science & History Center houses the Prichard Classroom, a conference room adjacent to the faculty workroom.
- Internally referred to as the Middle/Upper School Library, the Marrs and Verna McLean Library Complex is the official name.
- The large theater is the Coates-Seeligson Theater/Chapel.
- For internal communications, shorten to Theater/Chapel.
- Do not shorten by leaving out the hyphen in Coates-Seeligson or the slash in Theater/Chapel.
- The auditorium is the Coates-Kelso Auditorium.
- The lobby area is the Berridge Family Foyer.
- The galleries on either side of the Berridge Family Foyer are referred to as the East Gallery and West Gallery.
- The small theater located near the Jamie Armstrong Bennett Courtyard is the Remmert Theater.
- The outdoor theater is the Zeller Theater.
- Internally referred to as the Dance Building, the Center for Terpsichorean Arts is the official name.
- The athletic center is the McCombs Family Athletic Complex.
- That complex houses the Booke Family Gym (lower) and the Napier Family Gym (upper).
- The complex is also home to the McFadin Family Fitness Center and the LeFlore Student Center.
- The Remington Concession Stand is housed in the complex.
- Alonso Ancira Event Center - after the first mention in a communications piece, the name can be shortened to read Ancira Event Center.
- The back patio area is called the Kelleher Family Pavilion.
- The main athletic field, track, and associated areas are, together, referred to as the Kim & Rod Lewis Track & Field Complex.
- The athletic field is the Lewis Field.
- The seating area is the Greehey Family Grandstands.
- The field house, concession stand, and restroom building at the main athletic field is the Ruth Bowman Russell Field House.
- The dining hall is the Peggy Pitman Mays Dining Hall.
- The boardroom near the bell tower is the Alvarez Board Room.
- Officially named the Ruth Taylor Campbell Offices of Community Engagement and Admission, the suite is internally referred to as the Office of Community Engagement and/or the Office of Admission.