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I graduated from the eighth grade at Saints Peter and Paul School in May of 2001 after attending the school since kindergarten.  During my time at SSPP, as us Royals affectionately call it; I learned many lessons both in and out of the classroom.  I learned many things in science, math and my favorite subject, English, within the classrooms at Saints Peter and Paul.  Of course all those lessons were taken with me through high school and onto college where I majored in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Journalism, but the lessons that I learned outside of the classroom at SSPP are the ones that I value the most. 

I find it hard to explain to my non-SSPP friends what is was like going to school there. There was such a sense of community at the school on a daily basis that still exists there today.  As you walk through the hallways you can see life-long friendships being formed.  Not many people are able to say they have the same friends that they had when they were seven, but I can and I know I owe that to my time at Saints Peter and Paul.  I met two of my best friends who served as bridesmaids in my wedding in Mrs. Rose’s third grade classroom.

I also learned the value of hard work at Saints Peter and Paul.  Although my class was one of the largest SSPP has had in recent times at 26 students, it still felt small which made the academic environment competitive and challenging.  The teachers at SSPP have a way of encouraging the best from their students and achieving results by getting it from them.  I will never forget the extra time that was spent by the middle school math teacher, Ms. Mullen, helping me on those math problems I just could not get on the first try.  We always joke in my family that math is not our strong suit and I was no exception to that joke.  When I registered for my freshman classes at Alton High School, I was enrolled in all honors classes except for algebra fearing I would be unable to keep up in the advanced class.  My fears proved to be unfounded.  By the end of the first semester my teacher was meeting with me after class recommending that I be moved to the honors class due to my good grades.  I know that all the extra time spent with me before and after school by Ms. Mullen is the reason I was able to succeed in my math classes in high school and beyond into college.

This brings me to the teachers of Saints Peter and Paul.  Although several of the teachers have retired since I was there, many still remain. The teachers are truly the heart of the school.  They are constantly going the extra mile for their students, pushing them to be the best that they can be.  All it takes to see this is to just walk through the halls and see all of the student projects displayed in the halls.  Just pop your head into one of the classrooms and you will see the amazing environment each teacher has created for their students to learn in.  These teachers devote their time before and after school and even on weekends to make sure that their students are receiving the best education they possibly can.

I know that I will always remember my time at Saints Peter and Paul fondly. I carry my time there with me every day and hope that one day I can give my own children the same kind of education, memories and lasting friendship that I was so blessed to receive there. 

Mary Kate Brown

Saints Peter and Paul Class of 2001

What has satisfied us most about sending our four children to  Ss. Peter and Paul is the wonderful Catholic education they received. Christian morals and values were instilled in them from day one.  They all have done wonderfully academically; that we owe to the marvelous staff.  The two that have graduated from SSPP entered high school with confidence.  Both are honor students, as will be our next two, I am sure. We have always enjoyed the family-like atmosphere at SSPP and our children have established life-long friendships, too.  We thank SSPP for preparing our children for the world!

Brant and Melissa Goble

I send my son to Ss. Peter and Paul for several reasons, one being the values of morality, humanity and Christianity he is given.  The teachers are very respectful of parents and students and they encourage the students to do the same.  The parents are very helpful and responsive to the needs of their children as well as the other children in the school.  My older daughter attended a Catholic school also.  I find SSPP is more dedicated to the teaching, learning and responding when there is a problem. I also like the smaller class sizes where my child can receive more one-on-one attention should he ever need it.

Christina McFadden

I can’t imagine sending our children anywhere else.  Not only is Ss. Peter and Paul excellent faith-based education, it also provides a long community of families.  Every day I am reaffirmed in our decision to send our girls to SSPP when I see their smiling faces and top mark grades.  Whenever our schools needs something, our parish family steps up to the plate.

Angela G. Borman

St. Peter and Paul school is a great school. My son has done very well academically.  It makes me feel good knowing that he is getting a good strong Catholic education. I like knowing and witnessing the people who are teaching him good Christian values and leading him, practice them on a daily basis through kind words and works.

Jennifer Hamberg

In the spring of 1909, Father Edward Spalding watched a new school erected adjacent to the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church on State Street. Spalding, the parish priest since 1888, had witnessed hundreds of children pass through the Church’s educational system in the years he presided over the community. Father Spalding, and his parishioners, feared their new endeavor, this large brick and mortar school, might fail, and the classrooms might sit empty for upcoming academic years. Instead, in that first fall quarter of 1909, over two hundred and fifty children flooded the classrooms, packed the first floor, and opened the rooms of the second floor, as they created a school that thrived. Those students, and their parents, looked for a parochial education that would move them forward academically, spiritually, and give them a foothold in the great path of life. When Father Spalding dedicated the building, the parish dream of a new schoolhouse remained grossly in debt to the builders and contractors that worked for months to see the completion. To rectify this debt, during the last months before the first school bell rang, the parishioners organized games, auctions, and events to ensure the bills would be paid. Those fundraisers would make the new building open for business, debt free, and ready to teach the community’s children valuable lessons that would be handed down to generations, and ultimately to us. 

When Father Spalding nervously stood over the cornerstone of this new school, a few short months before the students enrolled, he feared the future, a future that he and his parishioners had invested in so deeply. In that moment of doubt, he drew upon the tradition of the Saints Peter and Paul community, one that had thrived for several generations before. He drew upon those parishioners that sat before him on countless Sundays, reared in the faith, and were believers in the passion of the education they received in his parish.
Now, we are well invested in the twenty first century, and our school stands in the same spot Father Spalding watched erected over one hundred years ago. But we, as a community, need to reinvigorate the passion those parishioners saw in their fellowship at the dawn of the twentieth century. As a community we need to continue to have those events, auctions, and fundraisers, as we have done so effectively before, but we, as parishioners, also need to see much more, that same bright future, the same future Father Spalding saw. We have in our hands a much broader past, much greater than the past the citizens of Alton drew upon in the first decade of the twentieth century. Now our parish owns one hundred and fifty years of heritage, tradition, and values, that have been handed to each generation of our families. Our parish is not the largest, nor is our school, but our hearts can ensure the tradition and legacy of this parish, school, and our children will never end, and that our community will know the cornerstone of Father Spalding is strong and will not fail to the efforts of time.

Patrick Mallory