Introduction to Péter András Grammar School and Youth Hostel

Szeghalom is situated to the northern part of Békés County, in the valley of rivers Berettyó and Sebes-Körös. Because of its favourable position the site has probably been inhabited since ancient times, for some artefacts are several thousand years old. The town’s significance is strengthened by the fact that it has developed over centuries into the educational, cultural and health centre of the region.

Landowner András Péter was the founder of the grammar school, his will was to open it, which happened in 1926 under the leadership of headmaster Miklós Nagy. Several thousand students have studied and passed the Matura exam here, as the tableaus on the walls reveal, which preserve the memories of the years spent here. The spirit of great teachers pervade our everyday life, for the names of the classrooms declare that dr. József Pásztor, Imre Fényes, László Jermendy, László Bihari and Géza Boros had been teaching here in the past. The Szigeti couple followed the example of András Péter when they established a technical school in memoriam their only child in 1942. The two schools were joined as one institution between 1999-2015. After some reorganization it now runs with the name Péter András Gimnázium és Kollégium (Péter András Grammar School and Youth Hostel).

There are many colourful traditional programs besides the studies. First-year students are accepted by the headmaster as the students of the school in a little celebration. The most expected event is the Péter András Days in November, when the upper grades inaugurate freshmen in a happy contest, while school graduates hold an exciting election campaign, where the winner is awarded the student headmaster title. Other high-quality programs are the nice traditional prom and banquet. Graduates leave behind not only the alma mater but their siblings as well. Brothers and sisters exchange the school symbols, thus expressing continuity and renewal. Those who have ended their studies here support the institution on the Berettyó river bank through different foundations, and there are alumni reunions every June, when they can recall their experiences. Thanks to the donations of past students we can see the busts of András Péter and former headmasters Miklós Nagy and Jenő Sándor in the statue park.

Language teaching and the practice of foreign language skills is very emphatic in our school. To enhance it, we have partner school relations in the Austrian town of Scheibbs and Evesham in England. In the past years we have participated in COMENIUS and ERASMUS+ projects to help our students travel abroad (e.g. Turkey, Poland, Italy, France etc.) and practise foreign languages.

Year by year more and more students take part in academic competitions, and the medals from national, regional and county contests reflect their hard work and perseverance. You can see the framed photo and achievement of our most successful students on the walls, declaring that we are proud of them. Our institution also organizes competitions. The traditional ones are: Kovács János Secondary School Geography Competition, and the Sinka István Reciting Competition, which is organized in cooperation with Vésztő. There is a language-communicational-literary contest for the 9-10. grades „I am Searching the Yard of my Ancestor”, in the preparation of which our students actively participate every year. Our regional significance is emphasized by the quiz „I Love You, Sárrét”, which was launched a few years ago, and the winner can keep the challenge cup for one year.

Which forms of training do we have? There has been a six-year training since 1996. They are class C, and after the six years almost all of them study in college or university. The number of language classes is high and IT is taught for several years. It raises the chances for acquiring a language exam or passing the language Matura a year earlier. The four-year training also offers several opportunities: they can learn English, German or natural sciences in a raised lesson number. We also educate adults who completed vocational school, and they can prepare for the Matura in full-time, evening or correspondent forms of training.

A youth hostel also belongs to the school. It is in the Kárász Castle, a monument actually, which was renovated a few years ago. The hostel inhabitants can prepare for the everyday work among the ancient walls but in a modern environment, and they have time for sports, cultural and entertaining programs as well, which bring variety to the weekdays.

Past and present cohabit without conflict in our school. We have old buildings, romantic abraded stairs, busts recalling our great personalities and school history memorabilia. At the same time we have modern computers, equipped labs, multimedia classroom. All of these help us meet the challenges of the modern age and the education system. Our aim is to fulfill the dream of Miklós Nagy, the first headmaster of our school: „Let the secondary school be a torch, whose beams light and warm the whole region”.