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September 1924, St. Peter High, a two-year commercial high school, opened
its doors to a class of 14. It would have been hard for those
students to imagine that the tiny church school on Clay Street, currently First Capitol Drive,
would one day become a college preparatory, regional school of more than
700 students known as Duchesne 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 the majority of St. Peter's students came from the parish grade school, teens from the neighboring St. Charles Borromeo parish, as well as parishes in surrounding communities, also came to St. Peter for a quality Catholic education.
By the 1950s, the flourishing St. Charles population pushed St. Peter High to maximum capacity, and the need for a regional Catholic High School to serve all of the community's parishes was evident. In 1956, a new high school, renamed in honor of St. Philippine Duchesne, was built on the corner of Elm Street and Duchesne Drive.
While the physical structure of Duchesne 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 80 years ago.