Mrs. Ingham's Message for November 18, 2018
November...the month when we hear the word “THANKFUL” over and over again is filled with activities, conversations and writing pieces where we all have the opportunity to focus on all of our gifts we have received and all of those things we have for which we are most appreciative. Teachers and staff were asked to respond to this statement: The Lord has been good to me….What am I most thankful for?
Perhaps the reason we all get along so well is because we share so many common feelings.........Ranked #1 by the majority of our teachers and staff was gratitude for their family...their children who have been successful and who have stayed close to the Lord, and those who are 25 years old and still call or text each day...for their patient spouses, their extended families, some living close by and others a ways away...and for the health and prosperity of those they love.
A new teacher is grateful “for being given this opportunity to once again work with students and teachers in this warm and caring environment.”
Another new teacher who came to SPS from a closed school says she is “thankful for working at St. Peter’s and being a part of a “school family” again!”
A great job, good health, beautiful children are all mentioned by many of our staff as their thankful moments. Mentioning not just a “job,” but a “job that they love,” with coworkers who support them is a most thankful moment.
“Being able to profess my faith,” each and every day, with others who share this same faith is the greatest of gifts the Lord has given me.
And...thankfulness for “family” includes our family at home as well as our family at school. It truly doesn’t get any better.
A THANKSGIVING PRAYER
Thank You, God, for the times You have said "no." They have helped me depend on You so much more. Thank You, God, for unanswered prayer. It reminds me that You know what's best for me, even when my opinion differs from Yours. Thank You, Lord, for the things you have withheld from me. You have protected me from what I may never realize. Thank You, God, for the doors You have closed. They have prevented me from going where You would rather not have me go. Thank You, Lord, for the alone times in my life. Those times have forced me to lean in closer to You. Thank You, God, for the uncertainties I've experienced. They have deepened my trust in You. Thank You, Lord, for the times You came through for me when I didn't even know I needed a rescue. Thank You, Lord, for the losses I have experienced. They have been a reminder that You are my greatest gain. Thank You, God, for the tears I have shed. They have kept my heart soft and moldable. Thank You, God, for those people in my life whom You have called home to be with You. Their absence from this earth keeps my heart longing for heaven. Thank You, God, that I have an inheritance in the heavenly places...something that this world can never steal from me and I could never selfishly squander. Thank You, God, for the greatest gift You could ever give me: forgiveness through Your perfect Son's death on the cross on my behalf. Thank You, Father, that You know me, You hear me, and You see my tears. Remind me through difficult times that You are God, You are on the throne, and You are eternally good.
Maureen Ingham, Principal
Mrs. Ingham's Message for November 11, 2018
The month of November is traditionally a month of thanksgiving...not just in the celebration of the holiday with turkey and potatoes and pumpkin pie, but of taking time out of our busy over-scheduled lives to “give thanks” for our many blessings. Over the next couple of weeks I will share with you the thoughts of our children and staff as they respond to the question...God has been so good to you...for what are you most thankful? You think that food, clothing and Mom and Dad are at the top of the list...not the case for so many...and for so many reasons
It would be wrong if the Principal did not kick off this “thankful campaign,” so I will share some of the things that I know are truly gifts from God...blessings which I have in my life...that show me daily that the Lord loves me…
MY FAMILY...a husband who is kind and patient and lets me be who I am and do what I do and who loves me no matter what...4 healthy children who have grown into thoughtful, kind parents and who represent our family proudly in our community across many different venues...10 grandchildren who light up my life when they walk into the room, ask me to read one more story, or simply smile showing their deep resemblance to their Ingham parent , 6 sisters...all different and all O’Hara...the best way to be...and nieces and nephews that strengthen the family as they grow and multiply across the country…
MY FRIENDS...many wonderful memories with high school, neighborhood and career friendships that have helped to mold me into the person...and the friend ...that I am today...and the BEST friend ever that is more like a sister and who puts up with me when I am crazy, has patience with me when I am losing it, can follow a disjointed unrelated story all the way to completion, who finishes my sentences as I fall asleep in the middle of our time together, and who knows just what to say and do without ever being asked.
MY CAREER...a phrase I often use is the one that defines teaching as “the greatest career ever,” and that feeling has never gone away. With over 40 years living this career of teaching, I know that there is still nothing more I would rather do...so many lives have been touched, and each one has touched me and taught me to be the best teacher I could be. Colleagues and “bosses” along the way have left memorable marks on who I am and how I do what I do...each and every day.
MY EXPERIENCES...happy and sad...scary and enjoyable, challenging and easy, creative and ordinary...so many opportunities have crossed my path and I thank the Lord for putting each one in front of me, because I learned...I grew...and then I could choose what to do again...and what was best left packed away never to be used again.
MY ABILITIES...to smile even after the toughest of days...to stay awake all night with a group of teenagers at a sleepover, to run a marathon meeting day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., to bake brownies with my grandson, to push a stroller for 8 miles so the baby didn’t wake up and to hug and pray and love with all my heart...those are things I do best…
And most importantly...and that which makes all of the other gifts available to me… MY FAITH AND RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. As I grow older and make more time to build a strong relationship with the Lord, I find myself more relaxed and at peace knowing that HE is in charge...not me...and that whatever happens...He will see me through. Perhaps that is what I am most thankful for...knowing and loving the Lord, most intimately, and letting Him hold my hand and guide me through each day. NEXT WEEK....the teachers and staff say Thank You Lord!
Maureen Ingham, Principal
Mrs. Ingham's Message for November 4, 2018
Last week I shared some information about our terrific Middle School at Saint Peter’s and this week, as I share some additional information, I cannot help but think back to when these “upper-classmen” first started at SPS. Like so many of us, we can easily look back and share that common phrase...where did the time go? I guess, like our own children, time passes, life is busy and “POOF”…they are young adults. The great news is we are confident that because of the foundation we provide, the opportunities we offer and the upbringing in your homes that surrounds all that they do...they are going to be most successful in high school and beyond. And so I continue...
Extra-curricular activities include our widely popular sports program which offers swim, soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball and track.
Other extra-curricular events include our STREAM academies which offer after school opportunities for growth in the areas of Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. Future Cities Club has grown in popularity each year, and students work with teachers, alumni, and local engineers in an after school environment, where they create a “city of the future,” complete with a transportation system, realistic economy and a life-like building of their city. They are then entered into the Diocesan-wide competition in late winter, where they formally present before teams of local engineers who judge their project in a host of different categories. Our annual Spring Musical offers opportunities for those who love the stage and have that knack for singing, dancing, performing “on stage,” as well as helping “behind the stage” as part of the crew or the technical directing department.
As we work to develop the whole child, we offer a Junior St. Vincent de Paul Society, which provides our Middle School students with the opportunity to work with members of our parish as they visit the sick and elderly, collect goods for those in need, and learn more about how they can be more Christian to others, just as Jesus wants.
Middle School students can be altar servers, both for our Friday school Mass and all parish Masses at both sites every weekend.
As is the “nature of the student” at this phase of life, we offer many fun activities that teach respect, responsibility and provide good times and healthy interactions with peers. SPS hosts three dances per year and students invite guests from other local schools to attend. Dress down days are very popular as classes determine a worthy charitable cause, collect from all willing to participate, and have a chance to wear jeans and t-shirts and be a bit more relaxed. Comfy day, Pajama Day, and the popular “rite of passage” for Grade 8...the lock in...where students sleep (?) over all night at school and enjoy the company of their classmates from 8 pm until 8 am, are just a few of the additional activities available to our Middle School young adults.
The culmination of their time at SPS is a class trip where, every other year, Grades 7 & 8 travel to a renowned city for both an educational and recreational adventure.
What happens at Saint Peter’s for our Middle School students is multi-layered, but we believe provides opportunities for our students to grow in the image and likeness of the Lord in a safe, caring, nurturing environment, filled with learning opportunities and growth experiences for every style of learner and every type of interest. Please call us at any time if this experience sounds like one that might be of interest for you or your child. You will be happy you checked us out! And...the most important piece of all… how do our students do when they move on to high school??? The most common response we hear from the receiving schools is that the students from SPS come very well prepared. Not all qualify for reception of the credits they were hoping to take with them to high school, as some high schools have very high acceptance criteria, but no one has ever said, from Niagara County to Erie County, and every school in between, that the students from SPS are not ready to learn, are respectful and strong in leadership skills, and very favorably stand out in a crowd. Proud??? You bet we are!!!
Maureen Ingham, Principal
Mrs. Ingham's Message for October 28, 2018
BLINK!!! It is almost November and it seems, just as the leaves are falling rapidly from the trees, so are the days passing on the calendar...and way too fast, that’s for sure. We are keeping busy as always, making sure that our students are growing academically, spiritually, socially and physically. We believe that we are offering opportunities in all of these areas and are very proud to share.
This week we will talk a bit about our middle school program, to let you know the strength and opportunities that exist for our oldest students. Middle School at SPS is truly an individual entity, in that content area, certified teachers are responsible for all core areas of instruction; Religion, Mathematics, English Language Arts, Science/Health, Social Studies and Spanish. Middle School students also receive instruction in weekly or twice weekly classes of Art, Music, Computer/Technology Integration and Physical Education.
Upon graduation, students in Grade 8 can earn up to three (3) high school credits; Biology, Spanish I and Algebra.
Classes at the middle school level are divided into smaller groups for instruction (no more than 10 students in the 4 core areas) to provide for more individual attention where needed and to promote collaborative learning and group projects/interactions
Students in Grade 8 are provided with a personal Chromebook and carrying case that is theirs to use for the year. All other middle school students have access to shared Chromebooks, iPads and desktop computers as needed, and all students have a Google account. All technology in our building is protected with filtering and protective software to ensure that all are safely using these resources at all times.
Academic Support Services are provided 3-4 times per week, and students have an additional 30 minutes at each of these blocked times of direct instruction, in which they may receive a little extra time and/or practice in an area of need
Student Support Services are available to students with a 504 Accommodation Plan or those who may need some specific assistance in an area where they may be a bit behind or need a different style of instruction for a given topic
Leadership opportunities are provided in a variety of ways for the 6th, 7th and 8th grade student at SPS: Student Council officers and representatives, Recyclers for the school, Morning and Afternoon live news announcers on our school-based daily broadcasts, bus and lunchroom buddies, reading buddies and readers and altar servers at weekly Mass, just to name a few.
Next week, I will share some of the other components of our growing Middle School program. In this school year, ten new students joined our Middle School across all three grades and our new students have blended and adjusted as if they had been at SPS since Pre-K. That is a tribute both to them and to our children, who always welcome newcomers as friends and a part of their classroom family. After three days in, you can’t tell which students are just beginning at St. Peter’s and who are the veterans !
Maureen Ingham, Principal