Posted Date: 01/12/2021
Rebecka Peterson, math teacher at Union High School, has been named the 2020-2021 Union Public Schools District Teacher of the Year. She was honored today at the High School, along with all of the site teachers, during a live-streaming event watched by staff throughout the district.
Peterson shed a few happy tears as she received a standing ovation in the Grand Hall while accepting her honors, including a $500 check from the Union Schools Education Foundation.
“I became a teacher to add value and dignity to students — sometimes for the first time in a long time, sometimes just when they need it most. That said, when I started teaching 11 years ago, I had no idea how much value my students would bring to me. I love teaching because I love who I am when I’m with my kids.”
Teaching is different this year, however.
“There’s a somberness to this year. As adults, we feel the mental exhaustion of not knowing when this is going to end; teenagers are no different. While the mask wearing and the distancing are absolutely necessary to ensure everyone’s safety, the classroom lacks the normal vibrato it typically carries. That said, I am so grateful to have had this face-to-face time with my students, and — whether they’ll admit it or not — I think they are, too.”
Peterson holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of South Dakota.
Being named Teacher of the Year is one of the highest honors a teacher can receive at Union. All of the school site Teachers of the Year will be honored during the winter reception; teachers were selected by their peers earlier this year so they could be recognized during an upcoming football game.
The Site Teachers of the Year are:
Teacher of the Year Program
And the winner is … (Due to technical difficultities, the audio did not record.)