Principal’s Newsletter August 2014

Dear parents, alumni and friends of St. Peter’s Catholic School,

As evidenced by the wonderful pictures sent to the school by our students, summer fun has been taking place at the beach, in the mountains, at state parks and amusement parks near and far. It is a pleasure to see the children enjoying themselves, proudly wearing their St.Peter’s t-shirts!

These quiet days before school begins allow us the time to prepare for the upcoming school. We are especially pleased to welcome 27 new families to the St.Peter’s School community! Our current enrollment shows a 25% increase from where we were last year at this time.

In June, we were sad to have to say good- by to Art teacher, Mrs. Molly Chance. She and her husband have moved to Tennessee, where we wish them much happiness. Upon her departure, Mrs. Chance wrote the following:

“From the very first class I taught, I knew there was something special about this school, its faculty, and its students. I know it is said a lot, but it is true…St.Peter’s is like a family! I will deeply miss St.Peter’s.”

We look forward to continuing our strong art program with our new art teacher, Monica Wyrick. Ms.Wyrick has over 11 years’ experience as an art instructor in North and South Carolina. She has her own fine arts business and has illustrated 7 children’s books. I am confident Ms.Wyrick will be an asset to St.Peter’s School!

The summer months also provide opportunities for Professional Development. This past July our pastor, Fr.Linsky, attended the Alliance for Catholic Education at Notre Dame University. His support and enthusiasm for the school is evident in his participation at this conference.

Faculty members, Mrs. Hawkins and Mrs.Bumgardner, spent a week working on the Diocesan Curriculum Committee with Notre Dame’s Ace Collaborative. The current focus is on the Math and Social Studies curriculum.

For the first time the faculty will begin the new school year by participating in a Retreat. The faculty will be traveling to The Oratory Center for Spirituality in Rock Hill to spend a day in prayer and reflection.

Our strength as Catholic school educators comes from our faith, professional knowledge and, as the gift of summer reminds us, time to replenish!  However, it is now time to have the students back in the school, for it is entirely too quiet!

We look forward to welcoming all of our students back to school August 20th!

Many blessings,

Mrs. Kathy Preston, Principal

Principal’s Newsletter June 2014

Dear parents, alumni, and friends of St. Peter’s School,

It seems hard to believe that we have come to the end of the 2013-2014 school year, a year filled with significant achievements.  In this the second year of our new logo, a beautiful mosaic made by all of the students now hangs in the first floor hallway.  It symbolizes our commitment to nurture and challenge our students, so that they achieve their fullest God-given potential.  Please drop by to see our logo in mosaic, which truly brightens the hallway and inspires all who see it.

Our new website is now live, thanks to our Development Director, Mrs. Hero.   It  is just the beginning of improved communications with our current and prospective parents.  Special thanks to our Advisory Board President, Dr. Dan Norris, not only for help with the website, but for all the ways he has aided the school in the area of technology. We are very grateful to Dr. Norris.

A new Physical and Emotional Health Program (PEHP) was initiated this year and was very well received by  students and parents.

Our biggest fundraiser for the school, the Angels in the Vista Auction, under the direction of Co-Chairs, Melanie McGehee and Katie Spann, raised a record-setting $40,000.  Mrs. McGehee and Mrs. Spann truly understand, “It is better to give than to receive.”  All in our school are in awe of their efforts that resulted in such success!

St.Peter’s School was one of 12 recipients nationally to receive   “Today’s Catholic Teacher” Innovations in Education Award.

Yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg, when I think of all of the amazing work taking place at St.Peter’s School to make it a place of academic and spiritual development.  We are blessed by many volunteers who work with our teachers to support our students as well as  parents and parishioners who give their time, talent and treasure to support the school.  Our new pastor this year, Fr.Gary Linsky, has brought new energy to the stewardship of our school, and we are grateful to have his excellent leadership.

Ultimately it is the words and actions of our students that give proof to our progress.  When asked how religious instruction impacted their development, our graduating 6th grade students responded,

“It makes a difference having religion every day of school.”  “I am more comfortable with my faith.” “I want to go to church now.” “I can apply Bible stories to decisions or obstacles in my life.” “I find strength in sharing my faith.” “I have been inspired by our religion classes, going to Mass and Morning Prayer, and I am more aware of the needs of others.”

I am very proud of all our students. Please encourage them  to read, practice math, and most importantly, go to church and continue praying this summer. I have also invited the students to send in pictures of themselves in their St.Peter’s t-shirts from a vacation destination, near or far.  Prizes will be given when they return in August!

Wishing all our St.Peter’s families a restful and rejuvenating summer break,

Mrs. Kathy Preston, Principal

Principal’s Newsletter May 2014

Dear parents, alumni and friends of St. Peter’s School,

The rosary I keep close at hand was given to me by my aunt.  She had a similar one, however, each bead on her rosary had been rubbed smooth from years of prayer. My aunt was the mother of 16 children and when my mother died at 51 years old, Aunt Ann continued to mother my five siblings and myself.  I think of my aunt frequently during the month of May as we focus on many special women throughout this month at St. Peter’s School.

Our traditional May Procession and International Rosary is a beautiful way to honor our Blessed Mother, Mary.  For over 30 years our students have been participating in this solemn procession and prayer with parents, teachers, and parishioners.  This year the rosary was said in different languages including Konkani, French, Arabic, Filipino, Spanish, Japanese, and German.

Teachers are celebrated throughout the first week of May during Teacher Appreciation Week.  We are truly blessed at St. Peter’s School to have committed teachers who work hard and take great joy in developing the whole child.

There is no more challenging or gratifying job than that of being a parent.  On Sunday, May 11 we pause to thank all our deserving mothers!  I am amazed and impressed by the many talents and generous spirits of out students’ mothers at St. Peter’s.  Please know that you are remembered in prayer throughout this month.  This final full month of the school year is very busy with special activities and end-of-the-year celebrations.  Please be sure to check the events calendar on this website  for important dates.

With gratitude for our wonderful teachers and mothers and the blessings of our Holy Mother, Mary, I am humbly yours,

Mrs. Kathy Preston

Principal

 

 

 

 

 

Principal’s Newsletter April 2014

Dear parents, friends, and alumni of St. Peter’s School,

Our students are currently focused on a most important spiritual journey during the Lenten Season, that of growing stronger in faith and closer to God.  On April  16, our students will participate in a school-wide retreat.  Starting with the 8:30 Mass, grades K4 and 5 will spend the day involved in activities that will help them understand the Triduum, which runs from Holy Thursday through the Easter Vigil.  They learn about the symbols of Easter, and they come to know the sacrificial love of Jesus.  Please pray for all our students during this holy season.

This month our 6th grade class is looking forward to another kind of journey—an exciting class trip to  Washington, D.C.  They  will visit the Smithsonian, Mt.Vernon, Ford’s Theater, the U.S.Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Holocaust Museum, St. Matthew’s Cathedral, and the Lincoln and Washington memorials. This year we will also visit the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and celebrate Mass  there.  Miss Geene and I are looking forward to traveling with our 6th grade students and are very grateful to Mrs. Potash and Mrs. Bradley for traveling with us.

Learning should be experiential and multi-sensory.  Students remember things that they experience. Our K4 students had much to share about all they experienced at the circus, including the animals and the clowns.  Special thanks to Mrs. Drafts and TD Bank for providing the tickets to this special event. The Congaree Swamp was a great place for the 3rd grade to experience different habitats and our 2nd grade will experience music, movement and the fine arts at the Cirque de la Symphonie  at the Koger Center this week.

Our students in grades3-6  didn’t travel far last week to experience an array of careers!  Thanks to our Guidance Counselor Ms.Carlson and parent Mrs.Sullivan,  our students were able to hear from a variety of professionals  in Neglia Hall who came to talk about their careers and the importance of education in their success.   It was a terrific afternoon of learning! Earlier in the week our students in grades K4-2 were able to learn from emergency personnel who visited St.Peter’s School with their fire truck, segues and four runners. It is wonderful to watch adults share their expertise with enthusiasm and children engaged and excited about what they are hearing…and hopefully dreaming about what they will be when they grow up!

As we begin this 4th quarter, let us keep each other in our prayers as we continue this journey together.

Wishing you and your family a joyful and blessed Easter season,

Mrs. Kathy Preston, Principal