AFTER SCHOOL DANCE CLASS GETS KIDS MOVING
By: Jane Bornhorst, Our Parish Times, March 2022 Edition
Every Monday, a group of K-5th grade girls and boys stay after school to dance with the Panthers Dancers at Saint Peter’s School in Olney. “It’s nonstop moving. There’s no sitting down,” laughs Mrs. Cron, middle school language arts teacher and parent at Saint. Peter’s.
The youngsters have a great time and move their bodies, which is the goal, she says. “Some kids aren’t into sports, so I want them to have an outlet where they’re moving and healthy,” she says. “Of course, some of them like both sports and dance!”
Mrs. Cron founded and taught a similar program at St. Jane Frances de Chantal School for 15 years before coming to Saint Peter’s in 2021.
The Panthers stretch using ballet techniques and dance in the pop and jazz styles, with elements of musical theater choreography mixed in. At the end of the eight-week program, the students perform in a showcase for their families, dancing to songs like “Hard Knock Life” from the musical Annie and Disney movie favorites.
The dance program is offered every quarter for K-5, and Panther Dancers Pro is available for middle schoolers during part of the year.
Second grader Quinn Burritt loves being a part of the troupe. “We get to stay after school and listen to “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” and we dance and we laugh,” she says. “Mrs. Cron is really nice and she’s a really good dancer.”
Mrs. Cron says it is one of her favorite parts of teaching. “They’re the cutest kids ever. The class is a ray of sunshine in my week. It’s a really fun way to show your Panther pride.”
St. Peter’s principal says role ‘is one of greatest’ of his career
The Greater Olney News profiled Saint Peter's Principal Mr. Vincent Spadoni in the March 16, 2022 edition
Vincent Spadoni has spent his “life’s work,” as he calls it, serving Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington.
CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH
By Robin Vanderpool, Our Parish Times, March 2022 Edition
Like other school communities across America, Saint Peter’s students celebrated Black History Month in February. One specific activity included fourth and fifth graders in Ms. Morgan Duffy’s Social Studies classes researching and writing a report on notable African Americans. Each student was asked to investigate important dates and landmarks, childhood and adult milestones, and professional achievements for their assigned African American leader and write an accompanying report that summarized what they learned about the individual.
For example, fifth grader Shaw Vanderpool researched the life and accomplishments of John Lewis, a civil rights leader who served in Congress representing the state of Georgia for 17 terms until his death in 2020. When asked about the assignment, Shaw commented: “It was really interesting to learn about John Lewis’ dedication to public service, his friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his involvement in the March on Washington in 1963. I am glad that my classmates and I were able to learn more about African American leaders and Black History Month.”
David Duggan, a fourth grader, reported on Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era. The significance of Jackie Robinson’s trailblazing career is highlighted by the fact that the number 42 has been retired across all MLB teams. David shared that he “really liked learning about Jackie Robinson, especially all of his personal and professional achievements such as serving in the military, winning the World Series with the Dodgers in 1955, and his commitment to civil rights.” Both Shaw and David noted that their assigned notable African Americans were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In reflecting on the assignment, Ms. Duffy commented, “During the month of February I try to share with my students the many ways that African Americans have significantly influenced our society. Many of our students know about certain individuals like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Vice President Kamala Harris, but individuals like Arthur Ashe, Mae Jemison, Wilma Rudolph, and so many more also deserve the recognition and credit for transforming our society in such a positive way."