St Peter Academy – Learning Made Fun with Grade One

When asked why she loves her job, Laura Hesek does not hesitate. “It’s my kids” she says. The first-grade teacher at St. Peter Academy takes great pride in connecting and engaging with students through a variety of creative methods, even while moving instruction online due to the sudden COVID-19 crisis. On any given day, Hesek can be seen greeting children while happily donning her signature teacher’s crown, a recurring feature that changes in theme and color to her students’ delight each calendar month.  The headpiece could be clearly seen through a virtual class this past week. Using ZOOM Conferencing, an internet video platform, the educator guided students through pre-distributed, differentiated work packets that focused on addition and subtraction problems. Giving positive affirmations, and occasional jokes made at her expense, Hesek ensured that her learners were smiling, focused, and actively making progress in their work.

Hesek enjoys the sunshine and “class colors day” with some of her students.

“The small class sizes at St. Peter’s allow me to easily tailor instruction for all of the kids, says Hesek, who is now in her fourth year at the non-profit, community-based school in South Boston. “It’s important to me that they don’t regress in their recent progress or abilities” she notes, in reference the necessary shift toward virtual learning during the ongoing pandemic. “It’s so rewarding to see the kids grow in understanding throughout the year. I’m fortunate to have these online tools that allow me to keep the momentum going.”

Hesek happily poses with three of her first graders at the school’s annual Thanksgiving luncheon.

School Principal, Frank Galligan, agrees. “Laura Hesek is a teacher who really embodies the St. Peter Academy mission of maximizing the potential of every child. She is an avid believer in using data driven instruction to create differentiated independent work, flexible student groupings, and targeted individualized interventions to meet the unique needs of her learners at our school – and their homes – all throughout the year” .

A lifelong educator, Hesek received her Master of Education from Lesley University, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maine at Farmington, and an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from Cazeovia College.

St. Peter Academy in an independent, community-based private school and serves students from ages 15 months through grade 6. SPA is currently accepting applications for the limited spaces available in the year-round toddler program (beginning at age 15 months) and for students in Pre-K, Kindergarten and grades 1-6. Appointments for individual tours can be made at a later date by contacting the Principal, Frank Galligan, at 617-268-0750 or by emailing

Dressed “in character” as a 100 year-old person, Hesek celebrates the 100th day of school with a group of students.