By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN At St. Peter’s Catholic School in Delano, the start of the school year is chock-full of newness.
Take the school’s new principal, for instance. Shannon Calice comes to St. Peter’s with 13 years of fifth- through eighth-grade teaching experience and a passion for Catholic education.
“I’ve always loved school,” she said.
Calice received her teaching degree after her two daughters started elementary school.
She had the opportunity for more schooling recently, when she earned an ed specialist degree (three classes short of a doctorate).
For Calice, becoming a principal was the next step in her teaching career.
“I think I’m going to like this,” she said, conveying her excitement to be at a small school like St. Peter’s.
“It’s just such a wonderful community,” she added. “These parents give their all. Everyone I’ve met has been so wonderful.”
Before her first day at St. Peter’s Aug. 6, Calice had been a teacher at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Savage.
“Looking back on my years, I’ve loved being with the kids and learning from them,” she said.
Once they’ve graduated, students often stop by to chat with Calice and share what’s new in their lives.
“One class I taught was ancient history, and I’m not going to kid myself and think that the kids all remember learning about the Egyptians,” Calice said. “But, they do remember who you are. They remember if you were genuine, and I think that stays with them.”
At St. Peter’s, Calice is looking forward to building relationships with students, staff, and families.
“We definitely want to bring up enrollment, and we also want to work on differentiating instruction to reach out to students we currently have,” she said.
New preschool program
One way St. Peter’s is reaching out to families is through a new preschool program from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Classes for 3-year-olds will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 4- and 5-year-olds will meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Preschool teacher Terri Konczak has a degree in early childhood education, and 22 years of experience working with young children and families.
Konczak started Buffalo United Methodist preschool four years ago, and she’s excited to share her faith and teaching experience in Delano.
Preschoolers will have opportunities to learn through large group, small group, and free-choice activities.
“Our goal is for every child to be confident and successful as they enter kindergarten,” Calice noted.
For more information, or to register, call (763) 972-2528.