Lisa Hart

Lisa Hart

Kindergarten 4 Teacher

• B.A., University of South Carolina
• M.A., South Carolina State University

Before joining the faculty at St. Peter’s in 2016, I was employed as the Lead Teacher in the Kindergarten 4 class at Congaree Wood Early Childhood Center. I have eleven years of work experience, including service in the military. My true joy is giving our young students their best first experience in elementary school.

Pamela Robinson

Pamela Robinson

Kindergarten 4 Assistant

I must say it has not only been a pleasure but a blessing to have been able to work for St. Peter’s for so many years and to be so happy in what I do. My reason for being here so long is the children. I have watched them grow in love and faith through the years. It brings me so much joy when graduates come back to visit, write and call me. Nothing can replace a “thank you”, “I love you” or “I learned that in K4”. The happiness and joy that I have shared with my St. Peter’s family are irreplaceable.

Tera Stanford

Tera Stanford

Kindergarten 5 Teacher

• B.A., Early Childhood Education, University of South Carolina
• M. Ed., Divergent Learning, Columbia College

It’s exciting to teach at St. Peter’s, where I can share my passion for education and faith. The first time I entered the school, I saw what a special place it is, truly a close-knit community of students, family, and teachers. I knew immediately that I wanted to work here.

I have taught K4 at USC’s Children’s Center, striving to create a nurturing and enriching learning environment there. I also had the opportunity to work at Brennen Elementary School, implementing engaging, small group intervention skills in the first grade.

I enjoy working closely with parents to provide the best possible education for each and every child.

Claire Slifko

Claire Slifko

Kindergarten 5 Assistant

• B.S., The College of New Jersey

In the past 35 years, I have worked in a public school district, a preschool, and a Catholic school. Guiding and nurturing students as they grow and develop their God-given abilities, showering them with positive reinforcement, my joy is to see the success my students achieve.

I am originally from New Jersey, where I recently held the position of first grade teacher at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School. There I implemented a curriculum which included Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies,Science and Religion. I was named Teacher of the Year in 2006. Prior to that, for ten years I developed and inplemented a Transitional First Grade Program for children who had completed kindergarten, but were not yet ready for first grade. I am a past recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award for excellence in eduation.

I am excited to teach at St. Peter’s, and I look forward to working with all our parents to achieve the very best for all our students.

Suzette Hawkins

Suzette Hawkins

First Grade Teacher

• B.A., Saint Ambrose University

Throughout my years, I have had many experiences in Catholic education. As a child I attended a Catholic elementary school and high school in Illinois. I then earned a B.A. in Elementary Education with endorsements in language arts and social studies from Saint Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. I have spent a privileged fourteen years at Catholic schools teaching kindergarten, third, fifth and sixth grades. I look forward to sharing the responsibilities with our parents of teaching their children and helping them to grow in faith and love of God.

Shelli Horabik

Shelli Horabik

Second Grade Teacher

• B.A., University of South Carolina

From an early age, I knew I wanted to teach. During my fifteen years working in financial services, I had plenty of opportunity to teach clients to steward their financial resources. But always I felt something missing. I knew I really wanted to teach elementary students. I went back to school, and then worked in the Lexington School District. To work in St. Peter’s is a dream come true. Here my faith and my love of academics come together in a beautiful way.

Marie Phillips

Marie Phillips

Third Grade Teacher

• B.S., Elizabethtown College

Teaching at St. Peter‘s has brought me both closer to the love of teaching and the love I have for my Catholic faith. The best part about St. Peter’s is the small family like atmosphere that welcomes you as you enter the door and I am privileged to be a part of that family.

Linda Boron

Linda Boron

Fourth Grade Teacher

• B.S. +30, Bowling Green State University & Cleveland State University

Being relatively new to South Carolina, my association with St.
Peter’s School is a significant part of my life. Daily, I am surrounded by dedicated teachers and staff members, an enthusiastic and supportive principal, a caring Pastor of an exquisite and historical church, wonderful staff members of that church who work to include us in such thoughtful ways, and most importantly, the precious children that I get to work with everyday. Combined, all these elements have made my vocation here a source of belonging and comfort.

Allison Gurn

Allison Gurn

Fifth Grade Teacher

• B.A., Elementary Education, University of South Carolina

I attended Catholic schools from grades K4 through 12th. Those years in Catholic schools ignited my passion for teaching. The small class environment and excellent Catholic curriculum made my education invaluable. I am overjoyed to teach at St. Peter‘s, where I have the opportunity to instill strong spiritual and moral values. I look forward to guiding my students in their intellectual, moral, social, and spiritual development at St. Peter’s. I am so grateful to be a part of this historic school, which is so much like a good family.

Rachel Geene

Rachel Geene

Sixth Grade Teacher

• B.A., Clemson University

This is my fourth year working in area Catholic schools. In addition to being the 6th grade homeroom teacher, I am very excited to teach 4th, 5th, and 6th grade mathematics. It is a great privilege to share Gospel values with my students and to teach in a small, nurturing school. As the oldest continuously running Catholic school in the state, St. Peter’s has a great reputation for its strong academic program. It is also known for being a faith-filled learning environment and a truly caring community.

Monica Wyrick

Monica Wyrick

Art

• B.A., University of Dayton, Ohio

Growing up, I attended Catholic elementary and high schools, the same schools my mother attended as a child. The Catholic school tradition runs deep in my family, and I am very grateful for the excellent education I received. Coming to St. Peter’s to teach is like returning home to the warmth and nurturing environment I experienced in Catholic schools as a child. I am grateful to “come home to St. Peter’s,” where I can share my knowledge and enthusiasm for art and encourage creativity in my students.
In addition to being a muralist and portrait artist, my background includes graphic art work in advertising and children’s book illustration. I taught children’s art for 11 years, and working with children is my most rewarding work. Married 27 years, I am the mother of three fabulous children. I think of St. Peter’s fabulous students as my “second” family!

Jennifer Priester

Jennifer Priester

Technology and After School Program Coordinator

• B.S., University of South Carolina

It is a privilege to teach at St. Peter’s and to prepare our students to use technology in their academic and adult careers. The fact that our classes are small gives our students the opportunity for lots of individual instruction. Each day, I look forward to sharing my knowledge and love of technology with our students. My goal is to create an atmosphere of excitement where students are eager to learn about the many ways technology can help them achieve.

Colleen Fennessy

Colleen Fennessy

Librarian

• B.A., University of South Carolina

As the St. Peter‘s librarian, I strive to have a warm and inviting environment for reading. I want to motivate the students to read more and to have a real love for literature. I enjoy bringing the stories to life using songs, props, and movement. Knowledge is endless when library skills are sharpened. The library should be a place of excitement, imagination, peace, and discovery. My goal is to bring these elements to the library at St. Peter’s School. I have been blessed with one of the best job in the world!

Marie El-Khabbaz

Marie El-Khabbaz

Librarian’s Assistant

Working at St. Peter’s Library is a privilege for me. Now I know more about books and how important it is for the children to read. Reading keeps their brains working, expands their imagination and their knowledge,improves their vocabulary skills, and their writing skills.

Veronica Smith

Spanish

B.A., University of Sonora, Mexico

I have nine years teaching experience in elementary and middle schools. I attended Catholic school in Mexico as a child, and I am happy to teach in a Catholic school environment. I teach Spanish from K4 through the sixth grade at St. Peter’s.

Dr. Andrew Kotylo

School Choirmaster

• B.Mus., M.Mus.,and D.Mus., Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University

I have served in Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, and Catholic churches and cathedrals. Most recently, I was Associate Director of Music at the historic Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut. There I was involved with every facet of a comprehensive music program that included the state’s oldest choir of men and boys.

As an organist, I have performed throughout the United States and in England. I have been a top prize-winner in numerous competitions, including the American Guild of Organists‘ National Young Artists Competition, the Arthur Poister Competition, the San Marino Competition, and the Ottumwa National Undergraduate Competition. I have been featured several times on American Public Media’s nationally-syndicated radio show, Pipedreams.

Dr. Wendy Valerio

Director, St. Peter’s Music Education Program

B.M. Ed., Baker University
M.M. Ed., Temple University
Ph.D. Music Ed., Temple University

As Associate Professor of Music Education and Director of the Children’s Music Development Center (CMDC) at the University of South Carolina, I teach graduate and undergraduate music education courses and conduct early childhood music development research, which has been sponsored by The Texaco Foundation, The Presser Foundation, University of South Carolina, and Temple University. Through USC CMDC, I and my graduate music education students provide weekly music education classes for children at St. Peter’s Catholic School, the Children’s Center at USC, and Music Play at USC School of Music.
My scholarly work has been featured in Journal for Research in Music Education, Learning from Young Children: Research in Early Childhood Music (Rowman & Littlefield), Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Musical Experience in Our Lives: Things We Learn and Meanings We Make (Rowman & Littlefield), Listen to Their Voices (Canadian Music Educators Association), The Development and Practical Application of Music Learning Theory (GIA), Music Play: Bah Bah, Bebop, Beethoven (GIA), and I co-authored Music Play (GIA), and Jump Right In: The Music Series, Kindergarten – Grade 5 (GIA).