Welcome Letter from Tracey Welch, Principal, McAuley High School & St. Peter’s Middle School

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Dear Parents/Guardians:

Welcome to all of our new St. Peter’s and McAuley families, and welcome back to everyone else!! I am so excited to be “home”, back to the JACSS system.   For those of you who do not know me, I taught fifth grade and was principal at St. Mary’s for 11 years.  I left and worked as an elementary/middle school principal for 11 years in local public schools.  My children all attended JACSS from kindergarten through graduation.  I have felt so welcome as I return to JACSS, and I am very excited that we have so many opportunities for growth, and feel truly blessed that God has brought this blessing back into my life!

We have some new faces in both our schools. Mary Gaarder will be joining us at St. Peter’s to teach sixth grade social studies.   She has many years of experience, most recently as a teacher of gifted students in Joplin schools, and she brings a wealth of talent to our school.   Mike Howard will be teaching full time PE and health at St. Peter’s and McAuley.  Paula Kamler has moved from McAuley to St. Peter’s, and will be teaching Success 101, a class that will focus on computer skills, study skills, and relationship building.  Paula has a strong background in evaluating students’ needs and will be working closely with Joey Callari, our new counselor.  At McAuley, Jim Stuart will be teaching our social studies classes.  He has taught and coached for many years in Neosho and I’ve heard many wonderful things about what a positive, good teacher he is.  Alicia Abruzzo will be teaching our science classes at McAuley.  She has evaluated our lab to see what supplies we have for class and experiments, and she has presented lists of what we need to update.  Audrey Minor and Lauren Beranek will be teaching our religion classes along with Mrs. Ashmore.  Both of our new ladies are experienced religion teachers who bring enthusiasm and a strong commitment to enriching the faith development of our students.  Joey Callari, a McAuley alum, will be our system counselor.  His office will be at St. Peter’s, and he will be working with students and teachers to help assess student needs and how we can best meet these needs.  Drew Fethers, another McAuley alum, will be teaching communication arts and drama at McAuley, and will be here at the end of August when his teaching position in China is finished. At St. Peter’s, Tammy Woods will continue as the assistant in the front office.

Our Open House events will be held on Sunday, Aug. 13. St. Peter’s will begin at 2:00 pm followed by McAuley at 3:45.  We are updating the JACS website with other updates and activities.

Thank you for choosing our schools for your children! Together we can create a smart, caring, compassionate, faith-filled future for our world!  If you ever have any questions, please feel free to call or come by the office.  God bless you!


Tracey Welch

Principal, McAuley High School & St. Peter’s Middle School


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