Union Math Teacher a Finalist for Teacher of the Year
Rebecka Peterson, math teacher at Union High School, has been named one of 12 finalists for Oklahoma’s next Teacher of the Year. Peterson was named Union’s District Teacher of the Year in January.
“These 12 educators represent some of the best teaching talent in Oklahoma,” said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. “These finalists are exceptional examples of the tremendous impact one person can make in the lives of kids. Each one of these teachers demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to the success of each of their students and are highly deserving of this honor.”
Hofmeister was joined by the finalists, including Peterson during a recent announcement at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City.
“Teaching high school was never part of the plan,” Peterson said. “This job found me, not the other way around. However, aside from my family, this job offered me my life’s greatest gift: It revealed my purpose and exposed a passion I cannot deny. I feel alive when I am with my students. I love who I am when I am with them. This job is my calling.”
All finalists were named teachers of the year for their districts or schools and selected after their applications were reviewed by a panel of educators, lawmakers and civic leaders.
The 2022 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year will be named in March. Beginning July 1, the honoree will assume full-time Teacher of the Year duties, which include speaking engagements and serving as Oklahoma’s ambassador for teachers, encouraging others to enter or remain in the profession. The 2021 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, Jessica Eschbach, will continue touring the state until July.
“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,” Peterson said.
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.