St. Mary’s International School is an all-boys’ Catholic school that instills its students with a sense of global awareness, offering a unique and fulfilling education to its diverse and international students.
By Mary Rudow
In my recent visit to St. Mary’s, I met with Brother Michel Jutras and Mr. Saburo Kagei, the former and present headmaster, respectively, to discuss the educational opportunities that the school offers, leading to the continuing growth and success of their students.
Mr. Kagei believes that St. Mary’s sets itself apart by encouraging individual growth and development both in and outside of the classroom.
“Students are encouraged to achieve excellence. A child can live up to his full potential. It’s OK not to be a top-notch athlete if you are interested in the fine arts.”
“Or if you want to you can excel in both,” Brother Michel adds, “there is nothing stopping the boys from participating in the roughest sports and being involved in the fine arts at the same time. The captain of a wrestling team may also be the finest performer in the school musical.”
In Tokyo Weekender’s July issue, the article “Interning in a Crisis” was published by a St. Mary’s student recounting his time interning at the Japan Association for the UNHCR. He wrote about the important role the UN Refugee Agency plays in helping displaced people in crisis areas around the globe, and provided staggering statistics on the rise of refugees in the Middle East with Syria.
Impressed by the piece, I asked about the author during our hour-long interview. I learned that he is a member of the school’s student council, and principal Mrs. Ramsey describes him as hard working and motivated. Mackenzie Lee, the author of this article, is a high school senior at St Mary’s, and a fine example of a hard-working student learning and developing at this school.
St Mary’s offers a number of extracurricular activities. Their sports teams excel, winning various tournament championships in the Kanto region as well as Okinawa and Hawaii. In the areas of fine arts, the vocal music groups/choirs extend their cultural experience by performing in countries such as the US, Austria, Hungary, Canada, Australia, and China, and participation in organizations such as the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Speech, drama and debate teams are leaders in their field as well.
As a Catholic School, St. Mary’s instills the importance of giving. “The focus at St Mary’s has always been on the heart and how we nurture empathy in the boys.” Mr. Kagei explains. “Our students are involved in charity programs from elementary level right through to high school.”
Whether it is fundraising for the “Save the Children” project, which generates 1 million yen every year during the month of December, or programs that raise donations for orphanages, nursing homes or other charitable organizations, the students and staff are always looking to find new ways to help charities. Teachers and parents are actively involved in these activities as well.
With a strong educational program, diverse extracurricular activities, and multiple service opportunities, a compassionate foundation is built at St. Mary’s, and their students are encouraged to give, to share, and to pursue their passion.
Founded by the Brothers of Christian Instruction in 1954, St. Mary’s offers an elementary to high school education, including the IB Diploma Program.
If you would like more information about how you can provide your son/sons with a unique, international, and all-boys’ educational experience, contact St Mary’s International School today.
For more information about St. Mary’s International School, please visit the official website.
Photo (from left to right: Mr. Saburo Kagei, two St. Mary’s students, and Brother Michel Jutras) courtesy of alumni, Koh Terai