Letter from the Principal

June 14, 2021

June 13, 2021
Dear Families,

It is hard to believe that we are almost halfway through 2021. Time certainly flies and I hope you all are doing well. My first official day will be July 1st but I wanted to provide an update on what we have been doing this summer.

We have hired three outstanding teachers with diverse backgrounds and levels of experience.

● First, Seth Johnson comes to our family by way of Helena and is a graduate of Montana State University. Mr. Johnson stated, “My deep passion for both of these topics (teaching and faith) will allow me to intertwine my Catholic faith into my classroom.” Mr. Johnson loves the outdoors and the small-town communities of Montana.

● Our second hire, Rachel Schaeffer, is moving to the Flathead Valley from Great Falls and is also a graduate of Montana State University. She has been teaching at the elementary level for the past five years. She is involved in missionary work. Ms. Schaeffer wrote that, “My passion for teaching academics to young children and young adults has become equal to my passion for teaching the Catholic faith to the same group of people.”

● Our last hire to date, Lisa Screeton, comes to St. Matthew’s with 21 years of teaching experience. Most recently she taught upper grades Social Studies in Browning. Ms. Screeton also has a background that includes elementary, music, language, and art education. She stated, “In a world where many things seem out of proportion, it is more important than ever that children be brought up in the faith and taught that servant leadership is essential to a successful life, and that faith is something of which to be proud.”
As you can see, we have brought three stellar teachers into our family and they will be tremendous assets to the school, the church, and the community.

As I work on the scheduling of classes for next year and in the spirit of transparency, I believe we are in a great place. One area that remains to be decided is the 5th grade. There are three scenarios that I am considering:

1. Keep 5th grade as part of the elementary school with one core teacher,
2. Move 5th grade to the middle school with four different core subject teachers, or
3. Utilize two core teachers for 5th grade.

I urge you to send me your thoughts and feedback regarding your preferred scenario if you have a student that will be entering 5th grade. Please know that I will listen and work to make a decision based on what is best for all students while considering instructional and fiscal responsibility.

I sincerely hope that you are as excited about the upcoming school year and the future of St. Matthew’s as I am.

Please reach out to me at peterson@stmattsaints.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for trusting St. Matthew’s with your child(ren)’s faith formation and academic progress. We appreciate each of you!


Dr. Susy Peterson