“As many changes that I have seen—things stay the same—we have a caring community and we are able to watch young girls and boys grow into productive young women and men.”
- Deb Carpentier
“I always come back to the fact that this is simply my life and I love it.” That is how Mike Carpentier ’00 describes his connection to his alma mater, which is now his home. The Carpentier connection to SSM currently spans three generations with three alums, two current students and Deb “Carp” Carpentier who represents the first generation as a 25-year employee. Deb started working at SSM part-time in 1992 and has held various staff positions including her current role as Student Transportation Coordinator. The three Carpentier boys all graduated from SSM – David ’98, Mike ’00, and Mark ’03.
Mike earned his first W-2 from SSM in 9th grade when he was on the maintenance crew and officially returned to campus in 2005 to live the “triple threat” life of a teacher, coach, and dorm parent. His two step-sons – Isaac Carlson ’18 and Noah Carlson ’21 have been attending SSM since 6th grade. Mike is gratified by what SSM is offering them. “I am extremely proud to see my boys grow into men and be surrounded by kind, thoughtful, and talented people who care about them for the people they are and have the ability to become.” Meanwhile, Mike and his wife Jennifer chase after two young sons - Huck and Frankie - who enjoy the fenced playground just outside The Lodge – their dorm residence on campus.
The Carpentier connection all started with Deb and her early years working at the Middle School. “My very favorite places on campus (besides when I am at Michael’s house and visiting all the boys!) are the Chapel at St. Mary’s and St. Mary’s Hall, which hold a special place in my heart. Jeanne Cleary (a former Middle School Administrative Assistant) was a great mentor to me and I still find campus mail envelopes with her name on them. She is roaming and watching out for all her ‘girls!’”
Through the years, Deb has observed a School on the move. “As many changes that I have seen – things stay the same – we have a caring community and we are able to watch young girls and boys grow into productive young women and men.” With her smile and ready laugh, Deb observes, “I make fun that no one should stay anyplace for as long as I worked at SSM but through the good and bad times I wouldn’t change a thing!”
Mike would not change Tom Silkey’s homemade chicken noodle soup. It’s his favorite dining hall dish. He loves fall, “but Christmas time is really special at our School. I just love the feeling that ripples through the community.” The annual Hands Across Faribault day of service is also a highlight. “I grew up in Faribault, and I love doing anything that can make our lovely town even better. “
However, it’s a simple thing that occurs routinely that Mike says is his favorite part of living the ALL IN life at SSM. “Whenever we are about to drive under the Arch and my two little sons, Huck and Frankie, are in the car, they say ‘we’re home.’
I love that. “