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High School Math Teacher Rebecka Peterson Named Union District Teacher of the Year


Posted Date: 01/12/2021

High School Math Teacher Rebecka Peterson Named Union District Teacher of the Year

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:

  1. Andersen Elementary – Marina Nelson, 3rd Grade
  2. Boevers Elementary – Allison Harvey, Media Specialist
  3. Cedar Ridge Elementary -  Hannah Jimenez, Special Needs ER2
  4. Roy Clark Elementary -  Bethany Deramo, 1st Grade
  5. Darnaby Elementary – Kim Kiker, Art
  6. Grove Elementary -  Clare Williams, 5th Grade
  7. Jarman Elementary -  Emily Mose, 4th Grade
  8. Jefferson Elementary – Liz Jenkins, Kindergarten
  9. McAuliffe Elementary - Carly O’Dell, 5th Grade
  10. Moore Elementary – Sara Nelson, Kindergarten
  11. Ellen Ochoa Elementary – Amanda Gruenberg, Kindergarten
  12. Peters Elementary – Stephanie Harwood, 3rd Grade
  13. Rosa Parks Elementary – Ashley Brown, Language Arts / Reading Specialist
  14. Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center – Ericka VanDeventer
  15. 6th Grade Center – Tina Fridrich, STEM
  16. 7th Grade Center –Kate Heare, Virtual Science 
  17. 8th Grade Center – Jonathon Sutmiller, English
  18. Union High School Freshman Academy – Will Buffington, History
  19. Alternative School – Courtney McCartney, English
  20. High School - Steve Moran, Science
  21. High School – Cathy O’Dell, Math
  22. High School - Rebecka Peterson, Math

 

Teacher of the Year Program

And the winner is … (Due to technical difficultities, the audio did not record.)

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