U-46 Team Member Rebecca Peterson

Rebecca Peterson, Teacher at Larkin High School

Rebecca Peterson

What are some of your daily work responsibilities?
I currently teach OneGoal, Sophomore English, The Theatre Experience, Actor's Workshop, and VPAA Drama.

How long have you worked for U-46?
This is my fifth year. I was an AVID tutor from 2016-18 and have been teaching at LHS since 2018.

What is it like to work for the District where you attended school and from which you graduated and what does it mean to you?
It's nice being an employee of the District you attended because you feel like you have some knowledge of how the District and schools work. You also have some connections within the District with former teachers which is a nice added bonus :)

Which U-46 schools did you attend?
Centennial Elementary, Eastview Middle School, and Bartlett High School

What year did you graduate from high school?

What was your favorite subject and why?
English or theatre. These were two subjects I always enjoyed growing up and I knew they were subjects I wanted to teach someday. Both of these subjects also had amazing teachers that genuinely cared about their students and the material they were teaching.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
There are so many teachers that I appreciated greatly as a student and I now appreciate greatly as colleagues: Reddy Wilson, Denise Dunphy, and Brett Weiss, to name a few, but two I would like to single out are Jackie Batz and Anthony Zoubek. Ms. Batz was my creative writing teacher my senior year and her positivity and attitude towards teaching and her students really inspired me and was something I wanted to reflect in my own teaching. I also kept in touch with her throughout college and it was nice to know she still cared about her students even after they left her classroom. Mr. Zoubek was my Speech Team coach for all four years of high school and he helped me grow immensely as a performer and public speaker. I now coach my own Speech Team at LHS and his coaching has definitely influenced my coaching style with my own students.

Please share a favorite memory from your time as a student in U-46.
In October 2011, I was in the play September's Heroes written by BHS's then-auditorium manager, Jeff Linamen. The play was a re-telling of 9/11 from various perspectives and it was one of the most challenging and emotionally-draining productions I have been a part of to this day. I remember vividly one day we all gathered around in the auditorium during a rehearsal and watched various videos of live footage and recordings from 9/11 and we all were sobbing by the end of the rehearsal. It was such a tough experience, but I know each and every one of us involved in that production felt a sense of pride and honor being able to share these stories around the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.

Please share a favorite memory of working in U-46?
One of my favorite memories comes from my first year teaching and coaching. I was able to take some Speech Team competitors to the State Finals tournament in Peoria. I never went to State as a student so to go for the first time as a coach was so much fun, but it was 100 percent more rewarding seeing my students compete against the best Speech Team competitors in the entire state. We all had worked so hard to get to that point and it was one of the most fulfilling feelings.

Briefly describe your post-secondary college and/or career experience.
I received my B.S. in secondary English education from Concordia University Chicago in 2016. After college, I worked part-time as an AVID tutor at Ellis Middle School, Eastview Middle School, and Bartlett High School while trying to find a teaching job.

What important life or academic lesson did you learn in U-46?
I learned to always do my best and work hard. That sounds cliche, but it's 100 percent true. My teachers had set expectations for each class and they made sure that everyone worked their hardest to meet those expectations.