(Le Mars) — All of us have had that one special teacher in mind that played a major role in helping us through school, and perhaps even offered guidance to our career choice. This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, with today, Tuesday, specifically noted as “Teacher Appreciation Day.” Both Le
Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic are holding events, such as providing lunches, snack trays with fruit and donuts, and other gestures to show their appreciation to their faculty staff. Glendon Petersen was a Physics and Mathematics teacher with Le Mars Community School District for 36 years, and
many past students of the Le Mars Community School District that attended between 1965 and 2001 speak fondly of Mr. Peterson. Under his guidance, many of Mr. Peterson’s students went on to earn medical degrees, doctorate degrees, and
engineering degrees. KLEM news sat down with Glendon Peterson to visit about his teaching tenure. Peterson grew up on a farm near Swea City and attended what is now referred to as the University of Northern Iowa. It was in 1965 when at that time Le Mars Community principal Dale Johnson recruited Peterson to come to Le Mars to teach. Peterson says over the years, he taught several thousand students at Le Mars Community, and he shares his philosophy on education.
Peterson says he initially thought about farming, but his father informed him that the family farm would not be able to support his efforts, and suggested he look elsewhere. Peterson says he was influenced to take up education as a career by his own math teacher.
Peterson still has a collection of text books used while he was teaching Physics and Mathematics at Le Mars Community School.
The former teacher admits that making the decision to teach at Le Mars Community was his best decision, and he has no regrets. Peterson says he was initially hired to teach junior high students, but after three years, a high school position opened. It was then that school administration officials requested Peterson move up to teach high school.
Peterson says he left teaching to care for his wife who was was stricken with Alzheimer Disease. The math and science teacher says in many instances he would recognize several students that had great potential, and he wanted to challenge himself to exploit that potential.
The former teacher recalls one student who asked him if she should pursue a career in pharmacy. But Peterson advised the student with her energetic personality, a different choice may be better suited for the student.
Peterson says since day one, he has always been impressed with Le Mars and Le Mars Community School District.
Peterson recalls the chosen health care professions of many of his former students.
Peterson continues to talk about former students, and their gratitude for his teachings.
The former educator has been honored by the school district for his many years as a teacher, having been awarded with among other things, the distinction of being named as “Teacher of the Year.” He recalls one humorous story in which a former student had approached him in the grocery store.
During this Teacher Appreciation Week, KLEM radio suggest you take the time to call, or write a small note, and say thank you to your favorite teacher.