TAYLORS—Fireworks cast a colorful glow on the happy, upturned faces of more than 700 people who turned out to celebrate Prince of Peace School’s 10th anniversary.
The crowd, some holding young children already sleeping, had been treated to a full night of festivities after Mass on Nov. 10.
They were serenaded by the school choir, surprised by a flash mob, and entertained with inflatables and games, said Michael Pennell, principal.
They were fed at a cookout hosted by the Knights, and educated by a former graduate’s video on school history.
The Piedmont school started with a devoted group of parents who wanted to form pre-school classes for their children. Pennell said pre-K classes were so successful that the idea to create a new school with eight grades was a natural next step.
Msgr. Steven L. Brovey, pastor at the time, supported the concept, and Bishop Robert J. Baker gave it his official approval in 2002.
Pennell, who took the helm in 2005, said there have been many physical milestones over the decade, like the new science lab, but the true highlight of the school is in the people who make it possible.
“Getting a community of people involved to achieve this from scratch … to make it possible for us to give a great Catholic education is the real magic of Prince of Peace,” he said.
As for accomplishments, the best is the students, who have earned countless awards across all aspects of life and have grown to carry their faith into the world.
Tangibly speaking, Pennell said earning diocesan-wide accreditation was the toughest accomplishment.
And although it was a wonderful achievement, for him it is not the most exciting one.
“Being here to watch our school grow, starting with children who were very young and are now in high school, and now they’re making a difference, that’s the best part for me,” he said.
Looking back, the school community said there might be small changes they would make here and there, but overall are happy with the growth and direction of the school.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone recorded a congratulatory message for the school family that was played at the festivities and then posted on YouTube.
“Knowing your enthusiasm for your ministry … I know Prince of Peace has many new, great things awaiting in their future,” he said.
Miscellany photos by Richard Shiro