11:26 AM

UST faculty part of landmark Catholic technical high school opening and blessing

Pictured far left at the ribbon cutting, Dr. Debra Haney '22. Holding scissors in the center are St. Peter Catholic High School Principal Dr. Marc Martinez and Cardinal Daniel DiNardoTwo UST-Houston professors and at least one alumna were among the crowd on Feb. 16 when our nation’s second Catholic career and technical high school was blessed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, at the ribbon cutting for the new St. Peter Catholic High School in Houston’s revitalized Third Ward.

During his speech, Cardinal DiNardo shared that one of the first things he discussed with the Catholic Schools superintendent was the need in our Archdiocese for a vocational high school. So, St. Peter Catholic is a dream that has been in the works for over 20 years. 

A First-of-its-kind High School in Texas

Planners designed the first-of-its-kind Catholic trade school for Texas high schoolers to produce graduates who are ready for high-demand, high-paying, entry-level positions when they receive their diplomas. While at St. Peter Catholic, students at the 10-acre campus will choose from curriculum programs where they can earn nationally recognized certifications in four areas: construction, business, education and information technology. In addition to being well-trained for employment, employers will find that these students are well-formed and filled with faith.

UST-Connected Educators Involved from the Beginning

UST Ed.D alumna Dr. Debra Haney ’22 played an incredibly pivotal role in the development of the landmark school. As the Secretariat Director and Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese, she served as everything from visionary to planner to fundraiser and advocate. A countless number of other individuals and organizations contributed their knowledge, skills and gifts to make the dream of St. Peter Catholic High School come true. Included in that group of people were two University of Saint Thomas faculty members from the Kolbe School of Innovation & Professional StudiesDr. Mark Amelang, Chair and Assistant Professor of the General Business program; and Dr. Nicole Walters, Dean of the Kolbe School — who serve on St. Peter’s board of trustees.

Dr. Mark Amelang, St. Peter Catholic High School Board of Trustees member“The blessing of the school and ribbon cutting ceremony last week by Cardinal DiNardo was a moving and momentous occasion,” Dr. Amelang said. “We started as a small group with a vision over four years ago as an advisory committee, which turned into a formal Board of Trustees. The support from the community has been unbelievable, and so many contributed large sums of money and effort to make this school a reality. As the first Catholic high school in the Archdiocese not exclusively focused on college preparatory, we provide a pathway for all students to get a Catholic high school education and a credential to enter the workforce, if desired.”

Dr. Nicole Walters, St. Peter Catholic High School Board of Trustees memberDr. Walters said, ““The vision and execution of St. Peter Catholic is nothing short of us witnessing the Holy Spirit making this happen for our students, families, and the community. This incredible opportunity affords families who want an excellent Catholic education to have a choice for their child(ren)’s pathway either on a college preparatory track, or workforce development track. The innovation and creativity behind the inception of this school has been remarkable.” 

Part of a New Movement in Catholic Education

In a time of significant skilled labor shortages nationwide, St. Peter Catholic High School in Houston offers a professionally focused high school degree emphasizing greatly needed technical skills and faith formation. This Catholic trade school is also an excellent path for students who cannot afford the debt that can result from a traditional four-year college.

St. Peter Catholic aims to be part of a new movement in Catholic education, “educating the whole child no matter what particular career they go into.”