Strategic Plan

Letter from President Hurlburt

Dear St. Mary’s Ryken Community,

I want to share an update with you on our strategic plan.

First, thank you to our parents, faculty, board of directors and our students for responding to the surveys during the fall of 2017.  The results of the survey, as well as your comments, were communicated to the board of directors during a four-day retreat at the end of January.  A facilitator from Independent School Management guided the sessions.  You made it clear that our Catholic identity and Xaverian values are vitally important to the culture of our community as we look to the future.

Parents, you have affirmed what St. Mary’s Ryken’s non-negotiables are: an excellent, academic college preparatory program for students; a Catholic, faithbased education in a caring, value-centered community; a faculty and staff who are committed to a culture of learning and to the mission of St. Mary’s Ryken; a safe
campus environment where attention to the size of our school community and the size of classes is not sacrificed.  You encouraged us to be imaginative and creative in our future plans.

The strategic plan is an ambitious vision for our future.  Along with the work our school community is completing for Middle States re-accreditation this fall, we have been called to take a look at our past, our challenges and the exciting opportunities that exist for the future. With new programs that focus on STEM, health and wellness, and after-school and summer activities, community partnerships that enhance internship and job-shadowing opportunities, and new facilities that benefit our students and the Southern Maryland community, the strategic plan is the cornerstone of our foundation for expanding our prevailing strengths and being open to the endless possibilities for the future.  The Portrait of a Graduate calls us to take action immediately on some initiatives, while we know that others will evolve over time.

Our parents, alumni, past parents of our alumni, and faculty have all contributed to the great success of our past.  As we embrace the future with you and all of our stakeholders, together we will carry out the strategic plan.

Mary Joy Hurlburt
President and CEO

Our Mission


St. Mary’s Ryken is a Catholic, coeducational, college preparatory school community operated under the Xaverian Brothers’ sponsorship dedicated to academic excellence and individualized student growth.


As a college preparatory Catholic high school, St. Mary’s Ryken is a community of faith and service. As ministers of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ, we provide opportunities for students to build a relationship with Christ through the sacraments, community service, Campus Ministry and student retreats. As educators, we guide their spiritual journey as they become compassionate and honorable young adults.


St. Mary’s Ryken embodies the Xaverian values by recognizing each student as a unique individual with God-given talents that can be nurtured by a committed and compassionate faculty. Focusing on the growth of our students spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically, we offer rigorous academic programs and extracurricular activities to promote each student’s personal growth and interests. Our faculty and administration recognize that, in these challenging times, students must be well prepared in every field of study. It is our philosophy that students who understand ethical leadership and are confident learners will recognize their full potential throughout their high school years and beyond.

Portrait of a Graduate

At St. Mary's Ryken, every day we strive to instill core values in each student that reflect our school's overall values and mission. These values are reflected in the St. Mary's Ryken Portrait of a Graduate statement that is below. This statement embodies what makes a St. Mary's Ryken graduate unique and how they are prepared for success in their future. As educators, we focus on these values as they spend their high school years with us.

As a school community, we are committed to proving to you that by sending your children to St. Mary's Ryken, you are making the right choice for your family and your child's future!

In the Xaverian tradition, a challenging Catholic, college preparatory, educational program is a hallmark of St. Mary’s Ryken. As a center of growth and learning, SMR expects that all students and faculty are committed to academic integrity and excellence as well as spiritual growth. Such an atmosphere instills the desire to learn for the sake of learning and increases our students’ personal confidence as they experience success in the classroom, on the stage, stewardship in the community, among their peers and on the athletic field. Understanding the importance of developing the whole, unique individual, it is our hope that an SMR graduate will:

  • Be a person of moral character, be able to nurture a relationship with God through prayer, be a steward for social justice, and possess an understanding of Catholic theology and tradition
  • Possess a deep intellectual curiosity with a passion for lifelong learning, have the ability in personal and professional pursuits to effectively utilize evolving technology and understand how it impacts our society, have the competency for critical thinking and analysis in the humanities and the sciences, and be well prepared for post-secondary academic pursuits
  • Be a confident, self-assured young adult capable of developing enduring personal relationships, nurturing a spirit of harmony, be open to diversity and possess a global perspective, and be committed to making a difference in their community by their leadership.

Strategic Priorities


The board of directors is committed to the mission of St. Mary’s Ryken and to a governance and leadership model that is strategic, reflective and visionary. Our priorities are to:

  • Align the board agenda yearly with the administrative agenda.
  • Incorporate Middle States recommendations annually to the board and administrative agendas.
  • Sustain high levels of leadership on the St. Mary’s Ryken Board of Directors.


The faculty and staff of St. Mary’s Ryken are committed to educating a new generation of leaders who are grounded in spiritual, ethical and moral formation and are empowered to achieve beyond their expectations.  As an administration, we will:

  • Create a Faculty School Culture Committee that will embolden teaching excellence and holistic growth of faculty in the Xaverian way.
  • Continue, through the New Faculty Induction Committee, to provide long-term peer mentoring opportunities to introduce new faculty to the expectations and culture of working in the St. Mary’s Ryken community.
  • Ensure that all faculty, staff and coaches contribute to and support the school mission of St. Mary’s Ryken.
  • Continue to provide competitive salaries and benefits.
  • Enhance professional development opportunities to create a growth-oriented faculty culture.


St. Mary’s Ryken board of directors, administrators, faculty, staff and coaches are committed to fostering excellence for all student experiences.  They will:

  • Support students’ individual success, personal growth and discovery of their own uniqueness with opportunities to engage in the wide variety of experiences offered at St. Mary’s Ryken and in the greater community.
  • Create partnerships that foster collaborative relationships between St. Mary’s Ryken and leaders in local industry that mirror the innovative STEM/Project Lead the Way programs and refurbishment of Paschal Hall and the Donnie Williams Center.
  • Prepare and sustain a health and wellness program in conjunction with the opening of the Donnie Williams Center that reflects the mission of St. Mary’s Ryken.
  • Strengthen the presence of Campus Ministry in all aspects of student life.
  • Enhance the college advising program by building stronger relationships with sophomore and junior parents, and strengthen connections with admission directors across the country to enhance knowledge about SMR.
  • Explore the viability of schedule flexibility to serve differentiated learning styles.


The administration, faculty and staff are committed to advancing the mission of St. Mary’s Ryken by continuing to cultivate, build and sustain relationships with our alumni, the community, and elementary and middle schools in the tri-county area. They will:

  • Align enrollment goals with the strategic financial plan and sustain continuous enrollment of mission-appropriate families.
  • Promote outcomes and accomplishments of our graduates to help all constituents understand our core competitive identity as a Catholic high school in the Xaverian tradition.


As stewards of St. Mary’s Ryken High School, the board of directors and the administration are committed to caring for our resources. We will:

  • Continue to foster financial strength and stability.
  • Secure and continue to identify fundraising resources to fund the strategic plan goals.
  • Explore the feasibility of growing enrollment.
  • Update the campus master plan to maintain current buildings and provide competitive learning environments.
  • Review the technology master plan.
  • Expand the Summer Knights summer program to fully utilize the new Donnie Williams Center and the fine arts areas in Romuald Hall.

2017-18 Board of Directors

Mr. James M. Burke, SMR ’86
Chairman of the Board
President and Chief Risk Officer
Community Bank of the Chesapeake
Waldorf, MD

Mrs. Sue Ann Lewis Armitage, SMR ’83
Armitage & Armitage, PA
Lexington Park, MD

Dr. Catherine A. Bowes, SMA ’81
Assistant Principal
Eastern Technical High School
Baltimore, MD

Dr. Keith Crowley
Principal/Associate Head of School
St. John’s Preparatory School
Danvers, MA

Mr. Brendan Donohue
Xavier High School
Middletown, CT

Mrs. Gabrielle Forte
NAWCAD Patuxent River
Patuxent River, MD

Mr. Mark Guadagnoli
Vice President
Rainbow Construction Corp.
Waldorf, MD

Mr. F. George Heinze, RHS ’80
Pizza Hotline
Charlotte Hall, MD

Mrs. Mary Joy Hurlburt
President and CEO
St. Mary’s Ryken
Leonardtown, MD

Mr. Thomas H. Jarboe, SMR ’87
St. Mary’s County Commissioner and President
Kieyos LLC
Lexington Park, MD

Mrs. Erin Lyddane
Senior Vice President & Treasurer
Old Line Bank
Bowie, MD

Mr. Michael Mummaugh
Paragon Properties Inc.
Leonardtown, MD

Mr. Kevin J. Murphy, SMR ’91
Senior Vice President
Merrill Lynch
Washington, D.C.

Mr. Patrick Murphy, SMR ’87
Robert Half International
Alexandria, VA

Mr. Brian K. Norris, SMR ’84
Developer, President and CEO
The Cherry Cove Group
Lexington Park, MD

Mrs. Laura J. Roland
Assistant Superintendent for Catholic Identity and Accreditation
Archdiocese of Washington
Hyattsville, MD

Mrs. Christine Senese, SMA ’72
Director of Finance and Administration
Cedar Lane Senior Living Community
Leonardtown, MD

Mrs. Mary Lynn Stone
President and Co-Owner
Century 21 New Millennium, NM
Management Inc., and NM Commercial Real Estate
Alexandria, VA

Mr. John Taylor, RHS ’79
Vice President of Engineering Services
J.F. Taylor Inc.
Lexington Park, MD

Mr. Robert Taylor, RHS ’68
Bob Taylor Engineering Inc.
Lexington Park, MD

Mrs. Eleanor Long Tennyson
Senior Vice President, Investments
Tennyson Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
Washington, D.C.

Mr. Daniel White
Senior State’s Attorney, St. Mary’s County and CFO
Compass Marketing Inc.
Leonardtown, MD