In 1956, Bishop Edward Kelly purchased land at the corner of Cole and Northview in Boise (where the school is currently located), with a plan to someday establish a new parish. The first use of this land was the construction of Sacred Heart Mission School by Fr. James Hallissey. This Mission School was the first step in forming a new parish from the growing Sacred Heart Parish.
The new mission school opened in 1967 with three classrooms for first, second and third grade. The school added another classroom each year until 1970 when construction stopped with 6 classrooms. Parent volunteers helped with much of the construction.
Bishop Sylvester Treinen approved the new parish in June, 1970. Mass for the new parish was held in the Bishop Kelly High School gym until space at the parish school was remodeled into a chapel with seating for 300. During the summer of 1970, the parishioners selected Saint Mark’s as the name of their church and school.
Sr. M. Amelia was the first principal of the Mission school. Following Sr. Amelia were, Sr. Agnes, Sr. Mary Romanus and Sr. Dorothy Mary. In January of 1974, Bishop Treinen appointed Fr. Raymond Peplinski as pastor and principal.
On Christmas Eve 1975, the first mass was celebrated in the new St. Mark’s Church.
The school continued to expand. In 1982, two classrooms were added for a 7th and 8th grade. Also added were the gymnasium and stage and the adult education room. The first graduating 8th grade class was in 1983.
In 1998, two portable classrooms were added. These portables provided the necessary space for the school to begin offering kindergarten. In 2001, the school library was remodeled and a computer lab was built with funds raised by the Home and School Association. In 2004-2005, the vacated parish offices were converted into 2 classrooms and 2 restrooms. In November of 2007, ground was broken for 4 new classrooms to complete the Middle School. In Fall of 2015, St. Mark’s opened a preschool utilizing the church’s classrooms.
Today, St. Mark’s offers a Preschool to 8th grade quality, values based Catholic education with an enrollment of 340 students.
St. Mark’s is accredited from the Western Catholic Education Association, approved by the Idaho State Department of Education, and a member of the National Catholic Education Association.
St. Mark’s Catholic School Facts:
- Preschool through 8th grade
- Low student-teacher ratio – average class size of 20 students
- Classroom aides in lower grades
- Science lab and art and media classrooms in the Middle School
- Smart board and computers in each classroom
- 2 Computer labs
- Library with over 12,000 titles
- PE Teacher, Health Teacher, Music Teacher, Spanish Teacher, On-site Reading Specialist
- School Counselor, School Nurse, and Health Aide
- Full kitchen, cafeteria, hot lunch served daily
- Large fenced in playground, grass field and blacktop areas
- School security that includes a fenced and gated campus, locked doors and security cameras
- School bus with two pick up and drop off locations
- Supported by St. Mark’s Parish