Saint Mary Elementary School was the dream of Father William F. Grady, pastor of Saint Mary from 1908-1915. That dream was realized under his successor, Father James. J. Smith, just eight short years after the parish itself was begun. It was Fr. Smith who donated the statue of Christ embracing a small boy and girl that originally stood at the entrance to the school that now graces the third floor stairwell on Chestnut Street. The inscription reads:
Learn of Me, for I am Meek and Humble of Heart.
September 27, 1916 was the first day of school for the first students of Saint Mary Elementary School. About 100 students were enrolled. The first faculty consisted of four sisters of Saint Dominic, who came from a community in Jersey City. The first Principal was Sister M. Loyola. They were already teaching weekly catechism classes at Sacred Heart Parish in Lyndhurst and soon were prevailed upon to be the first teachers at Saint Mary. Today all of our faculty are members of the laity, but are no less a community of faith in Catholic education. In September 2009 Saint Mary Elementary School was officially approved as and renamed The Academy at Saint Mary.