BRIGHTON — North Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Scott Peterson has been named January’s Teacher of the Month. Officials from the Brighton Chamber of Commerce and the district visited the school on Feb. 12 to surprise Peterson with the award.
Peterson, who has spent all 10 years of his teaching career at North, said the surprise was a bit “overwhelming” but said it feels great to be recognized.
“After I reflected and everybody left, it felt really good,” he said.
Peterson was nominated by literacy coach Carrie DeWaters because of the dedication he shows towards his students and for the impact his teaching has on the school.
“Scott is an educator who works to close the achievement gap,” her nomination read. “His students have struggled in school and he works diligently to help them achieve grade-level academics and then some.”
According to DeWaters, many of his students are two and three levels below grade-level and that he strives to meet the needs of individual students but still keeps classroom expectations and rigor high.
Peterson concurred that closing the achievement gap is important to him, especially at North Elementary School.
“My classroom really involves constantly differentiating ability groups and only giving kids work that they’re capable of completing; capable of producing work at,” he said.
He said that many times he has students in three or four different ability groups at once, and that he’ll have to reach the kids who are a few levels below grade level while making sure that he’s not holding back students who are at grade level.
Peterson is also passionate about teaching and says his favorite thing about being a teacher is seeing that his kids are successful. He said his first students graduated a few years ago and enjoyed receiving graduation announcements and hearing that the kids appreciate him as a teacher.