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Our History

Nearly a century of Catholic excellence


Almost 100 Years of Nurturing Faith & Building Community


Saint Mark School was founded as a parish school by Monsignor Daniel J. McCarthy on September 24, 1924. The school began under the leadership of the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Columbus, Ohio. Their mission was precise: Christian values taught in the Catholic tradition, that is, to teach as Jesus taught. Located in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, Saint Mark School has provided a quality faith-based Catholic education to the parish of primarily Irish and Italian children at no cost to them. The first graduating class of 1928 had thirteen graduates.

After World War II, and continuing through the 1970’s, enrollment steadfastly grew to a highpoint of 135 graduates in 1975. Throughout all those years the school was predominantly a Catholic school, serving the children of the parishioners.


The Sisters of Saint Dominic were the first teaching community in the school. Thy remained a presence in the school for nearly sixty years. During the early 1950’s the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, New York became a large part of the teaching community.


In the 1980’s through the 1990’s, Saint Mark School underwent a change in population. The racial, ethnic, and religious makeup slowly began to change the composition of the school community. Many of the students attending the school came from outside the parish Brighton Beach and Coney Island. Also during this time the teaching staff shifted from a religious order of nuns to a predominantly lay faculty.


From the 1920’s to the mid 1960’s, Saint Mark School was a tuition-free school. The parish met the full cost of operating the school. Thereafter, families were charged tuition for their child’s attending. Since that time, the school has not relied upon the parish for financial support. Yet there was a particularly challenging time in the years prior to 2000. In 2000, Father Joseph Grimaldi became pastor of Saint Mark Parish. At that time he was faced with a school that was on the verge of needing a Diocesan subsidy. With his vision he was able to avoid that step and he committed his energies in leading the effort to generate support for Saint Mark School from alumni, parishioners and friends of the school. Under his guidance and with the work of the Finance Committee, the school was able to grow and become financially sound.

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