St. Peter’s School welcomes Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine

St. Peter’s School was honored to welcome Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine to campus on Wednesday afternoon. Mrs. DeWine was at St. Peter’s School to promote the Dolly Parton Ohio Imagination Library.  

While at St. Peter’s, Mrs. DeWine first stopped at the Montessori House to read the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar to 30 eager preschool and kindergarten students. She then proceeded to the high school auditorium to speak to grades first through twelfth. During a 20-minute question and answer session, First Lady DeWine talked about the importance of reading, early childhood literacy, and how the Imagination Library gets books into children’s hands and homes. Mrs. DeWine also provided some great advice to older students as they prepare for life beyond high school.

After the event, every student and staff member was given a copy of the First Lady’s cookbook, which contains favorite recipes of both Dolly Parton and the First Family of Ohio. The book also provides important information on registering children for the Imagination Library. 

A champion of early childhood literacy, Mrs. DeWine is touring the state to encourage more families to enroll in the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which provides a new age-appropriate book to children from birth to age five in Ohio. The books are mailed directly to the child at their home address. You can learn more about the Ohio Imagination Library program online at Currently, nearly 50% of eligible families in Richland County have registered for the program.  

“We were honored that Mrs. DeWine took time out of her busy schedule to talk with us at St. Peter’s School and were delighted to introduce her to our community of grace and culture of excellence,” said Laurie McKeon, St. Peter’s Head of School. “Her presence not only reinforces the importance of lifelong literacy but also reminds our students that key leaders in the state believe in them and in their future.” 

St. Peter’s School has implemented several new programs this fall to close the nationwide learning gaps caused by COVID-19. Dedicated Title I math and reading support is available in both school buildings, and students also have new homework recovery tutoring to ensure they do not fall behind on assignments.

The school is also rolling out a new gifted and talented program and will screen all students to identify gifted learners. Also, new this year, a college-level study skills course is required for all sophomores, while juniors and seniors are taking ACT prep classes.

Finally, St. Peter’s School has committed to weekly professional development, supporting our teachers with the time, resources, and opportunity to meet, plan and implement new curriculum and classroom initiatives. St. Peter’s has also partnered with several other local organizations, including Richland Academy of the Arts, Junior Achievement, Gorman Nature Center, Ohio Bird Sanctuary, CACY, and others, to provide their students with unique experiential learning opportunities, while the teachers receive professional development.