According to faculty, parents and students, the theme of this year's Catholic Schools Week, "Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service" is a perfect description of St. Peter Catholic School in Fulton.
"The theme highlights what Catholic schools are all about," Principal Teri Arms said during a special open house Tuesday night. "St. Peter is a small, close-knit community that supports one another in every way."
Arms, who has served as principal at St. Peter for two years, said she likes Catholic schools because, "in addition to the academics, you live the faith throughout the school day."
Third- and fourth-grade teacher Kristie Wilson, who has taught at St. Peter for 14 years, said one of the advantages of Catholic schools like St. Peter are the smaller class sizes.
"We're able to give more individual instruction if students are struggling," said Wilson, whose son attended St. Peter through eighth grade and now is a junior at Helias High School in Jefferson City. "I enjoy the camaraderie and working with coworkers that become friends. I have worked in public schools, and I'll never go back ... it's just totally different."
Parent Heather Harrison said she also likes the small classroom settings, noting "it's really community-oriented, and you know everybody."
Asked what she enjoys about attending St. Peter, Harrison's daughter, Megan, a sixth-grader, said, "you get to see your friends every day and your classes never change."
"The same people are always together - you know everybody," Megan Harrison said.
First- and second-grade teacher Peggy Markway, who has been at St. Peter for 20 years, said what she enjoys about the school is its small size.
"We know the kids, we know the families, and we know what's going on," Markway said. "I think the kids, the families and the teachers all work well together - it makes it pleasant to come to work each day."