A JOYFUL CHRISTMAS SEASON AT SAINT PETER'S
By Jane Bornhorst
Saint Peter’s School celebrated the Christmas season with several events that spread seasonal cheer throughout its community.
In mid-December, a cookie exchange and staff breakfast were provided for school faculty and staff by parent volunteers.
That same evening, the Saint Peter’s Christmas show took place at the Performing Arts Center at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. The event began with the school choir singing several Christmas songs, followed by this year’s show, “A Christmas Yarn.” In a nod to the classic tale, “A Christmas Carol”, the musical follows workers at Unique Gifts from Luxurious Yarns (U.G.L.Y.), the world’s leading supplier of ugly Christmas sweaters. Through the course of the story, the workers overcome obstacles and discover the true meaning of Christmas. Music teacher Mr. Peter Nguyen directed the show, the lead performers and stage crew in the production were the school’s 6th graders, while students in grades K through 5 performed musical numbers throughout.
The following week, Saint Peter’s held a family-favorite event, the school’s Christmas Tree Lighting, complete with hot cocoa, cookies, festive music, and a craft for the kids.
Later, guests headed out to enjoy the school’s third annual Christmas Lights Tour, in which 41 families signed up to decorate their houses with lights and more to be included in the event. Maps of multiple tour routes were provided to families so they could drive by with their children to enjoy the twinkling displays.
“It has become one of our family’s favorite holiday traditions, says Susan Whelan, mother of Delaney, a fifth grader. “It’s our third year participating as one of the homes on the tour. We always have so much fun decorating our home, but we get even more excited about driving around to see everyone’s fun and festive displays! We grab our mugs of hot chocolate, put the windows down, blast and sing Christmas tunes while we drive the routes that are so well organized by the volunteers,” she says. “It’s a wonderful experience all around and one that I hope continues for many families for years to come.”
Celebrating 65 Years on the 65th Day of School
By Robin Vanderpool
During the 2022-2023 school year, Saint Peter’s School is celebrating its 65th anniversary with a host of activities, including commemoration of the 65th day of school on December 12, 2022. The 65th day celebrations paired fun and creativity with prayers of remembrance.
In the spirit of “Saint Peter’s Through the Decades”, students and teachers enjoyed a costume-themed tag day by wearing costumes representing each of the six decades since the school opened (1950s to 2000s). Anson (4th grade) and Ela-Lucia (6th grade) Shish enjoyed the day in their colorful and vibrant 1970s apparel. Two of the 4th grade teachers, Mrs. Morgan Moshovitis (1970s) and Mrs. Eunice Pak (1980s), also joined in the costume fun. In addition to the tag day, students enjoyed cupcakes and classroom scavenger hunts. When asked about the spirit of the day, Ela-Lucia recalled: “It was cool to think about all the students at Saint Peter’s over the past 65 years and dressing up in a decade outfit was a fun way to celebrate the anniversary!”
Classrooms also prayed a decade of the rosary, one representing each of the 65 years of the school’s history. In reflecting on the celebratory festivities, Principal Nelson Abreu summed up the day by saying “It was a great honor to be a part of celebrating the 65th anniversary of Saint Peter's School. There was joy in our classrooms as we honored our amazing school community. Throughout the day we prayed a decade of the rosary for each of the 65 graduating classes. The most rewarding part was praying the final decade of the rosary for our current 8th graders, the 65th graduating class of Saint Peter's together as a community.”
More 65th anniversary activities are planned for the remainder of the school year, culminating in the graduation ceremony for the 65th class of Saint Peter’s School in June 2023.
By Jane Bornhorst
On Tuesday and Friday mornings, students at Saint Peter’s School in Olney put on a live broadcast news show for the entire school community. A different group of students participates each week.
"They quickly learn that speaking clearly and slowly, which is hard to do in front of a camera, as well as delivering with energy and smiles and timing their joke delivery is not as easy as they thought," says Mr. Stephen Szot, technology teacher and staff facilitator for the show. "They learn that preparation helps by practicing the show script the night prior to airing."
Students learn to be part of a team, work with others, and develop communication skills. They also gain a sense of pride from appearing on the show. Some grades have specific roles on the program. Eighth grade anchors and third grade weather reporters learn to read from and control a teleprompter. Fifth graders learn to operate a complicated sound board, and a digital video camera.
“Framing the optimum shot during a show with backdrop TVs and projectors with any number of students is critical to producing a professional morning show,” Szot says. Students also learn how to make “hand-offs” from anchor to guest speakers, weather presenters, and others.
Eighth grader Alexandra Kissal has had the opportunity to work as an anchor for the show. One of her favorite aspects is leading the school in the Morning Prayer and The Pledge of Allegiance. “Working on the Morning Show has provided me important lessons including hard work and accountability,” said Alexandra. “There is a lot that goes into the Morning Show production, and it is truly a team effort.”
The show would not be possible without the help of faculty and staff, including Mr. Peter Nguyen, music teacher. Also, school faculty and staff provide weekly content including special events and class projects to showcase.
"Our show brings the school together twice a week and keeps everyone informed of important events like tag days, school plays, bake sales, mass, and other student-centric events," says Mr. Szot.
The morning show is also streamed on YouTube, allowing parents, grandparents, and friends to watch the show live or on demand.
"Everyone comes together to make the show a success demonstrating the pride in our wonderful school and sharing our Catholic faith with family and friends," Mr. Szot says.
The Saint Peter’s school morning show can be enjoyed by visiting bit.ly/SPOmorningshow