Leading the Way at Saint Patrick School
When students arrive each morning at Saint Patrick School, they are virtually assured of being greeted by a familiar face. Fr. Mark Peacock, the pastor providing the leadership of Saint Patrick Parish, makes a point to be there each morning greeting students at the door.
“It’s the best part of my day,” said Fr. Peacock, “and I think it’s important for our kids to have someone by the door saying, welcome back – we’re glad you’re here.”
In his first pastoral assignment since being ordained a Catholic priest, Fr. Peacock has embraced his role in the rural school. In addition to making regular visits to the classrooms, he has guided the 120+ year old school through a number of changes and upgrades in the three years since he arrived at Saint Patrick.
Under this leadership, equipment in the computer lab saw an overhaul and technology such as SmartBoards have been integrated into the 1st-8th grade classrooms. For a school that struggled with declining enrollment during the recent recession, Saint Patrick School now finds itself in a position of perhaps starting waiting lists for classrooms that are near capacity.
On a recent morning, Fr. Peacock and principal Scott Czarnopys stood outside to meet students being dropped off by parents before moving inside to say hello to those coming off the bus. Among the preschool through 8th grade crowd, the conversation centered on Christmas gifts and speculation about whether there will ever be enough snow on the playground to go sledding.
“The kids always seem to have something new to share,” said Fr. Peacock. “Of course, not everyone is a morning person, but we try to make sure they are all smiling by the time they head to their classrooms.”
– Author – Maryalene Laponsie