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  • Writer's pictureGig Harbor Living Local

Forming Scholars and Saints

A calling to serve students and families through faith-based learning By Jillian Chandler | Photo By In-Gear Media

Forming Scholars and Saints

It was 1997 when a prayer group consisting of parishioners from St. Nicholas in Gig Harbor and St. Gabriel in Port Orchard recognized that there was a great need for a Catholic School on this side of the bridge. From there, Holy Family School was formed. It would later change names to become St. Nicholas Catholic School when it was incorporated as a parish school within the Archdiocese of Seattle.

St. Nicholas Catholic School has been serving students in the Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula area for more than 25 years.

The beautiful school campus can be found just up the hill from downtown Gig Harbor, where children experience a strong and consistent academic education infused within a faith-based curriculum. It is through this Christ-centered environment that makes St. Nicholas Catholic School unique, helping students make a difference in their lives to reach their full potential. The teachers and staff are committed to “Forming Scholars and Saints,” guiding students to become life-giving members of society who are highly skilled, tolerant, loving and just.

St. Nicholas Catholic School provides education from preschool through eighth grade. Both preschool and pre-kindergarten classes offer both half-day and full-day options with an afternoon enrichment program—ideal for working parents. In addition, they offer extended care hours for families both before and after school hours.

Small class sizes allow for a safe space for students to learn. At St. Nicholas, they believe that school should be an extension of home, with a strong emphasis on moral values. Grounded in the belief that a strong family connection contributes to the success of its students, St. Nicholas emphasizes the importance of family involvement at school. In addition to providing a strong academic foundation, the focus is on teaching the whole child—their emotional, social and spiritual health.

This small school structure allows staff to really know their students and their families. Individual needs of students are prioritized in the classroom and on campus. Many of the teachers and staff at St. Nicholas are also parents of current or former St. Nicholas students.

“Teachers and staff have a passion for education, which is apparent in their attitudes and actions each day,” shares Jenny Schaefer, advancement director. “Our staff chooses to work in Catholic education because they feel called to serve families and students.”

All kindergarten through eighth-grade students attend weekly Mass. Spanish enrichment, music and PE are also provided. Students in fifth through eighth grade choose elective classes based on their interests. There are also opportunities for students to participate in activities such as photography, yearbook and ASB. Service projects and acts of kindness are incorporated year-round in the classroom and campus wide.

Families who are interested in learning more about St. Nicholas Catholic School are encouraged to contact the school office for more information. They invite families to come tour the beautiful campus, learn about the school, and even experience a day in the classroom.

St. Nicholas strives to make Catholic education affordable to all families, with several scholarship opportunities available.

For more information, or to schedule a tour, contact Karen Heins, the school’s office manager, at 253.858.7632 or And be sure to check out the video on the website and catch a glimpse into a school day at St. Nicholas!

St. Nicholas Catholic School

3555 Edwards Drive

Gig Harbor, WA 98335

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