INTERNATIONAL NIGHT RETURNS
The rich diversity of Saint Peter’s community was on display at the school’s fifth annual International Night on April 30. Students, parents, and faculty were thrilled to see one of the school’s most popular events return after it was unfortunately cancelled in 2021.
This year, the event was held outside. Host families set up informative displays and proudly shared information about a specific country. Attendees received paper passports and were able to collect stickers as they visited each country display. Hundreds of attendees enjoyed an evening sampling delicious food, learning different countries around the world and socializing with friends.
'JOSEPH’ AT SAINT PETER'S BRINGS MUSIC, SMILES
By Joe Howard Our Parish Times, May2022 Edition
An athlete trying his hand at theatre took the lead in Saint Peter’s Catholic School’s production of “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat,” which tells the biblical story of a boy expelled from Canaan by jealous brothers only to rise to prominence in Egypt and later help his family.
Football and lacrosse player Reese Dickerson impressed in the title role, supported in the school’s largest-ever production by show director Phyllis Bottegal and music director Peter Nguyen.
“It’s very exciting,” seventh-grader Dickerson said of playing Joseph. “You’ve got to take on a lot of leadership. You’ve got to dedicate yourself.”
Dickerson and fellow seventh-grader Andrew Chipperfield – who played oldest brother Reuben – earlier had impressed the show directors singing “God Bless America” during morning announcements, a preview of what they’d bring to the show.
“A rock opera is an entirely sung show,” said Bottegal, the school’s drama teacher. She credited the efforts of the cast and Nguyen in learning those songs. “It was a lot of fun, but it was hard,” she said.
Music teacher Nguyen noted pandemic-related regulations steered the production, including “teaching the acting and seeing expressions that are half-covered” by masks. Nguyen credited everyone – including the set, costume and hair and makeup teams – for staying focused. “The kids have been great,” he said. “There are some long nights.”
While drama productions are normally reserved for seventh- and eighth-graders, the demands of the musical and dance numbers compelled the invitation of fourth- through sixth-graders to participate.
Eighth-grader Ryan Ikwuemesi brought laughs as the Pharaoh of Egypt, delivering a hip-shaking version of “Song of the King” in a sequined jumpsuit fit for a King (of Rock and Roll). Georgie Sardelis signing “Those Canaan Days” as Simeon and Kasey Hartwick with Judah’s rendition of “Benjamin’s Calypso” were other lively solos.
Advancing the story were Gabriella Loudermilk and Demi Stroms as the Narrators, handling heavy doses of lyrics and choreography in harmony.
“These kids were so proud of themselves,” said producer Lauren DeZinno, the school’s Spanish teacher. “You could hear them chanting ‘Go, go Joe,’ and cheering for themselves. It was heartwarming.”
SAINT PETER'S ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT
Danielle Trotta, Saint Peters Class of 1998, Middle School Science Teacher, Holy Redeemer Catholic School
Jacqueline Trotta, Saint Peters Class of 2002, Pre-K Teacher, Saint Peter's Catholic School
Saint Peter’s connection:
The Trotta’s have been parishioners of St. Peter’s Parish for 33 years. Danielle, Jacqueline and their younger brother, Nicholas (Class of 2006) each attended St. Peter’s School from Kindergarten through 8th grade.
Favorite memory from my time at Saint Peters:
Danielle: My favorite memory was field day in 8th grade. Being an 8th grader, we looked forward to being team captains. I remember having so much fun making our banner, coming up with our cheer, and having a blast with all of the events. At the end, we all signed each other’s shirts.
Jacqueline: When I think back to my time at St. Peter’s, two memories stand out the most. In 3rd grade, Mrs. Baka would take any opportunity to read us the Magic School Bus series. She LOVED the book series and always dressed up as Ms. Frizzle for Halloween! Secondly, being a part of the first drama production the school produced, with Mrs. Bottegal. I played the role of a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz (performed in the Parish Hall). It was a wonderful experience!
Biggest influence influences during your time at Saint Peter’s:
Danielle: Mrs. Tagarsee influenced me the most. She was my middle school math and science teacher. She taught me so much, both academic as well as life lessons. She always told me that I would become a math and science teacher. I never believed her, as I had other career ambitions, but all along, she was right. I wish I could personally thank her for everything she has done.
Jacqueline: One person that influenced me during my time at St. Peter’s was my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Baka. The impression that she left while reading to the class instilled in me the joy that I have today when I read to my class. She did not only “read” the book to us; she became the story. Mrs. Baka made learning fun. I am so grateful to have had her as my teacher. Another teacher who influenced me was my middle school Math teacher, Mrs. Convey. Even though math was not my strong suit, she always gave me the confidence that I needed to push through.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
Danielle: Being a student, within the Archdiocese of Washington (St. Peter’s and Good Counsel) has set me on the path to where I am today. Because of that, I wanted to be able to give back to the community that helped shape me.
Jacqueline: From an early age teaching was always something I wanted to do. Specifically, working with younger children. I was fortunate enough to start my educational career here at St. Peter’s. I started as paraeducator for 4 years, before becoming a lead teacher in Pre-K. I have enjoyed being a part of the St. Peter’s community for the past 12 years. St. Peter’s feels like my second home!