by Mark Dryfhout
On Saturday, Sept. 7, St. Peter's School in Lewiston will host a celebration to commemorate the 60 years of academic excellence and prestige that it has maintained. The event will begin at 4 p.m. at St. Peter's R.C. Church, where a Mass will be held. It will be followed by a reception at the nearby Barton Hill Hotel & Spa.
Food and refreshments will be available, and an evening program will feature a number of festivities. Alumni, former students, parents, faculty, and those who have shared an experience with St. Peter's are welcome to attend.
Sixty years ago, on Sept. 1, 1953, St. Peter's School was opened following a year of construction with a mission to prepare students for their future education and support them spiritually with a Roman Catholic environment.
St. Peter's School offers a full curriculum, including arts, sciences, mathematics, languages, religious education, as well as a weekly Mass, which features student participation.
Having been ranked the No. 1 middle school in Niagara County, No. 1 private middle school in Western New York, and No. 4 out of 211 WNY middle schools in the Business First rankings, St. Peter's has a lot to talk about. The school boasts a dedicated faculty of teachers and administration, modern education technology, and an interactive parent-teacher communication network.
Regardless of these assets, the school's motto, "It takes a village," reflects that St. Peter's faith, faculty and family support has been the key to its success for the past 60 years.
"It's a community-wide effort," Principal Maureen Ingham said. She noted that, with the combined efforts of St. Peter's family, faculty and faith, the school "has no other opportunity to do anything but succeed."
The school's perseverance over the years is exemplified by its resilience through financial burden created by the technology expenses, operating costs and decreasing size of religious orders locally. In spite of everything, the private school continues to grow, as recent statistics report the next school year's enrollment has increased by 30 percent.
Ingham credits the parents of the school's students as the biggest factor in St. Peter's survival. She said the parents help the most by helping their children, hosting fundraisers, volunteering at the school, and communicating with the school through its online communication network.
Clearly, the school has a lot to celebrate, and the event committee is eager to host the school's alumni, parents and students for the festivities. Those with questions on the anniversary, or wishing to make a donation, can call the school at 716-754-4470.