Lakewood High math teacher Peter Petto is one of those people who revels in the process as much as the result. In contrast to the black and white of math, Peter recognizes there is no one way to achieve a result in teaching and that each student deserves the instructional approach that works best for him or her. Because of this, and many other qualities, Peter has been selected as our February Staff Spotlight honoree.
Peter’s love of learning and his passion to share it drew him to teaching as a second career after being a jack-of-all trades in the manufacturing industry as well as earning a law degree and an MBA.
“High school seems to be a prime spot for people to be enthusiastic and passionate – there is something joyful and infectious about it and I enjoy being around it,” he said of why he chose to be a high school teacher.
Besides teaching math, Peter serves as an informal tech buddy for LHS and is working with administrators and staff on the AIR assessments, new graduation requirements, Common Core and the new teacher evaluation system. Always eager to learn more, he attends several seminars and workshops a year and shares what he learns regularly with his peers.
The variety and gusto with which Peter approaches his job are one of the reasons why Math Department facilitator Cassie Alanen nominated Peter: “His teaching strategies include a variety of approaches including project based learning, grouping, teacher led, student led, discovery, and others I am sure I don’t get to see. His classes are anything but routine and typical. He keeps his students engaged by varying activities and approaches that will intrigue all learners in his classes. “
Peter is an avid technology learner who is always willing and eager to share with his colleagues and students how a certain tech tool can enhance teaching and learning. He is also known as one of those teachers who is willing to go the extra mile to offer help to students, encouraging them to come in before school, after school or throughout the day. He also serves as a co-adviser to the wildly successful LHS Academic Challenge team, where he shares in the students’ passion for soaking up facts and developing a deeper knowledge base.