In the fall of 1924, St. Peter High School opened its doors to a class of 14 students. It would have been difficult for them to imagine that the tiny parish school on Clay Street in the small town of St. Charles would one day become a college preparatory school of several hundred students, called Duchesne Catholic High School.
St. Peter became a four-year school in 1929, and, in 1934, with an enrollment approaching 100, was accredited by the State of Missouri. Although most of the students were from the parish grade school, teens from the neighboring St. Charles Borromeo parish, as well as parishes in surrounding communities, also attended St. Peter High School because of its reputation for a quality Catholic education.
By the 1950s, the flourishing St. Charles population pushed St. Peter High School to maximum capacity, and the need for a regional Catholic high school to serve the broader community was evident. In 1956, a new high school was built at our current location, and was named in honor of Blessed Rose Philippine Duchesne. Philippine was a religious of the Society of the Sacred Heart who arrived in the pioneer settlement of St. Charles in 1818, and dedicated herself to the education of the French and Indian children on the American frontier. Philippine opened the first free school west of the Mississippi. Canonized on July 3, 1988, she became St. Philippine, a model of perseverance, humility, patience and devotion to the service of God through the education of the young.
While the school's physical structure of today bears little resemblance to its parent school, the commitment to educational excellence in a faith-filled atmosphere is as strong today as it was when St. Peter High welcomed its first class more than 80 years ago.