Preparing for Advent

Saint Peter’s Announces Appointment of New Principal

After a long search process involving multiple candidates from across the nation, Fr. Gary Linsky, Pastor of Saint Peter’s, and members of the Principal Search Committee are pleased to announce the selection of Ms. Aubrey Herkert as the new principal of Saint Peter’s Catholic School. She begins her tenure at Saint Peter’s on June 13th and will overlap with Mrs. Kathy Preston, outgoing principal, until June 30th.  In July, Ms. Herkert will marry and become Mrs. Aubrey (Brodie) Wall. 

Ms. Herkert received a B.S. in Elementary and Kindergarten Education from The Pennsylvania State University and M. Ed in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a focus on educational technology at the University of South Carolina.  Most recently, she taught first grade at Satchel Ford Elementary School, where, among other responsibilities, she was a leader in technology implementation.  Of great importance, Ms. Herkert is an active member of Saint Peter’s Catholic Church.

The Diocese of Charleston has an excellent program to guide new principals in their initial years.  Additionally, we’re pleased that Mrs. Preston will continue in a mentoring role and that Beth Dinndorf, JD, recent past president of Columbia College and a member of Saint Peter’s, has graciously agreed to help in the transition process. 

Ms. Herkert brings an intense love of education, a proven track record of success in the classroom, and a youthful energy that bodes well as we enter our 166th year of educating boys and girls in the Capital City!  As one of her professors said, “She has the skills to listen and learn about Saint Peter’s, rather than come in to revolutionize!” We’re thrilled to have her on board and look forward to the benefits of her organizational skills, enthusiasm and expertise. 

Please welcome Ms. Herkert and pray for both her and Saint Peter’s Catholic School as we move forward in the coming academic year.

School Bulletin News: Christian Meditation

Christian Meditation

By: Ms. Allison Gurn, 5th Grade Teacher

“For our heart to be open to supreme reality we require the simplicity of a child to sit still in the presence of God and to remain open.”- John Main OSB

The back to school buzz can be a hectic time for both students and teachers.  The buzzing pencil sharpeners, the ringing bells, and the excitement of a new beginning can create an atmosphere of stress. Often times, we forget God’s presence amidst the stress. How did the St. Peter’s faculty become more aware of the Holy Spirit in our building? How did they prepare for Christ to enter our school building and our hearts?

On August 17, the teachers attended a professional development session on Christian meditation sponsored by Mrs. Patricia Moore Pastides, the first lady of the University of South Carolina. Dr. Gene Bebeau and Ms. Minchew, a third grade teacher at Holy Spirit Catholic School, led the workshop. They shared their knowledge and expertise from the World Community for Christian Meditation.

Christian meditation is a form of simple, still, and silent contemplative prayer. Meditation calmed and focused the faculty. It allowed them to spend some quality time with God. One teacher shared, “I wish I would have been taught this type of prayer in elementary school. I would have felt more connected to Christ and given me a better appreciation for the Mass.”

The teachers have since implemented Christian meditation into their daily schedules for their students and have found positive effects in the classroom.

Christian meditation strengthens the spirit of St. Peter’s. Thank you Mrs. Pastides, Dr. Bebeau and Ms. Minchew for giving us the gift of peace in our school. For more information about Christian meditation, visit


St. Peter’s Catholic School Celebrates 165 Years of Educating Students

August 24, 2017 – Columbia, S.C. – This week marks the 165th year where students will start the school year at St. Peter’s Catholic School in Columbia, S.C.

As the new school year begins, 130 students enter the doors of St. Peter’s Catholic School and become a part of the school’s rich history.  There is room for a few more students, but the intention is to keep the school relatively small, with one class per grade, from 4K through 6th grade, to best provide personal, individualized instruction.

“Historically St. Peter’s has been a smaller school with a lot of spirit,” said Mrs. Kathy Preston, Principal.  “We have a long and significant history in Columbia and we are making plans to look back, honor, and celebrate our past throughout the year.”

When the school was founded in 1852, it was first known as the Academy of the Immaculate Conception and was a school only for young women.  It became known as St. Peter’s Catholic School just twenty years later in 1872.

Today the school provides both female and male students an academically challenging education in a safe, nurturing environment. When St. Peter’s was founded, the school was run by the Sisters of Mercy.  Today, the school has a full staff of experienced, accredited, and degreed faculty and staff. There is one Religious staff member, Sister Vitalina, who brings more than two decades of school experience to her position as the St. Peter’s Guidance Counselor.

St. Peter’s has had its challenges through the years, but with strength and determination the school has always persevered.  Each time the school was tested, including during its destruction by Sherman’s troops during the Civil War, St. Peter’s Pastor, leaders, and church parishioners pulled together to sustain and rebuild the school.

“We are proud of our history and of all the students who have walked our halls through the years,” said Mrs. Preston.  “Each moment has brought us to where we are today; nurturing, challenging, and educating this next generation of students.”

For more information on St. Peter’s Catholic School, visit

St. Peter’s Catholic School has been an educational ministry of St. Peter’s Catholic Church since 1852.   A private school in the Catholic tradition, it provides K4-6th grade students with an academically challenging education in a safe, nurturing environment. The school prepares each student for a life of faith, virtue and excellence.  St. Peter’s Church has a rich history of service to the Midlands of South Carolina.