Shining the Spotlight on St. Peter Catholic Elementary School
At each Board meeting, one Catholic elementary or secondary school or site is invited to attend the meeting to share what makes it such an important part of the community it serves.
During the October 24 Board meeting, St. Peter Catholic Elementary School was showcased in the School Excellence Program. Principal Victoria Wegelin was joined by Kindergarten students Mason Nichols and Evan Pigeau, Grade 3 student Alexa Mlot-Styger and Grade 8 student Emily Slota, as well as Catholic School Council Co-Chair Lydia Morgan, who spoke about what St. Peter Catholic Elementary School means to them.
St. Peter Catholic Elementary School opened in a quiet neighbourhood in the south end of St. Catharines, right below the escarpment. There are currently 263 students from 161 families enrolled at the school.
The presentation began with Mrs. Wegelin, who brought along Mason and Nichols to show how well students work together. Asked what they learned from working with a classmate, the smiled and said that they have learned how to collaborate! A huge word – and concept – for our youngest students to successfully grasp!
Mrs. Wegelin spoke about the close connection students and staff at St. Peter have with their parish, St. Julia, and also with Monsignor Clutterbuck, their spiritual leader who is a regular and familiar presence in the school, not only for mass and sacraments, but for other celebrations. They strive to find the face of Jesus in everyone they meet, noting that all students are gifts from God to be cherished.
The school adopts many social justice causes during the year, including the Holy Childhood Walk for the Holy Childhood Association, the Terry Fox Run, WE Day charities, Packs of Hope, and also collects non-perishable items for the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s various drives throughout the year.
St. Peter is a member of the Denis Morris Catholic High School family of schools, and has a close connection with Denis Morris. Every grade spends a bit of time at the high school, whether it is for the annual Primary Christmas Party, art classes or the Grade 8 transition activities.
St. Peter has a strong foundation of faith, academics, athletics, arts and community. Staff strive every day to ensure every student achieves their personal best, and staff are immensely proud when they see former Jaguars visit from Denis Morris and they see their success.
Students are provided with descriptive feedback from their teachers to assist in their progress, and help guide them to a higher level. Staff also look at the whole child and put a special emphasis on mental health and well-being. The Zones of Regulation concept and restorative circles, which empower students to make express themselves in a safe and nurturing environment.
Alexa spoke about her appreciation for all of the hard work teachers and staff put into masses, celebrations and other events such as masses, and liturgies, as well as into making sure lessons are fun as well as educational. She said the presentations provided to students – such as ones focused on bullying awareness and prevention – help create a kinder school climate for everyone.
She also spoke about the many parents who are actively involved in the school in many ways, from organizing events to putting together nutritious snacks through the SNAC program.
Emily spoke about her pride at being a senior student at the school, and the responsibilities entrusted to the St. Peter Class of 2018. Students are given many opportunities to develop their leadership skills, from being the eyes and ears of the school, to being aware that there are many sets of eyes and ears on them during the day.
As co-President of the St. Peter Student Council, Emily also spoke about the many events and activities the Council plans for students, such as dances and fundraising programs, and about the exciting opportunities she and her classmates have to grow and develop their faith.
Finally, Mrs. Morgan spoke on behalf of Catholic School Council about the many excellent relationship between CSC and St. Peter staff, putting together programs, fundraising activities and other events, all to benefit the students at St. Peter Catholic Elementary School in a variety of different ways.