Chris Peter, a history and civics teacher at Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA) Middle School, has been named one of Washington Family Magazine’s Teachers of the Year for 2018. The awardees were listed in the September issue of the magazine, released on August 30th.
Peter was nominated by R-MA Director of Communications Celeste Brooks. “When I was at the Middle School, I kept seeing the various projects Mr. Peter was using to get the students truly engaged in history and government. Or I would be in the Innovation Lab and students would come in saying, ‘We need such-and-such for Mr. Peter’s class,’” she said. “Then in the spring, when I was interviewing some students for Teacher Appreciation Week, his name kept coming up as someone who truly cares.”
In addition to what Brooks had witnessed, Peter had been recognized by the Academy earlier in the year as the 2017-18 Coach of the Year, as his colleagues and supervisors were also aware of the care, dedication, and enthusiasm he brought to the soccer field.
“We opened the Middle School Innovation Lab last fall and invited our teachers to use it to broaden students' experience across all courses,” R-MA President Brig Gen David C. Wesley, USAF, Retired, observed. “Chris Peter maximized that opportunity, so his students were excited about and invested in what they were learning. We are pleased that his efforts have been recognized by the editors at Washington Family Magazine, we’re proud of Chris — he gives his best every day to reach every student, to make a difference in their education and in their lives.”
Brooks commented in her nomination that Peter’s “lack of ego” was part of what made him so approachable to his students. That humble personality showed in his response to the award. “I am happy to be working with such a supportive team,” Peter said. “This award should not be given exclusively to me. I think it shows how well the administration and my fellow teachers helped me along in this process. [R-MA Middle School Principal] Tony Ballard and [Vice Principal] Mariola Cuffe gave me feedback about my classes and how to improve my delivery. [R-MA teacher] Stephanie Wagner was instrumental in this positive step by integrating technology into my classroom. [R-MA teacher] Dani Clingerman constantly supplied me with the tools to create projects. The math and P.E. Departments worked on cross-curriculum projects to keep the students engaged in the topic on hand throughout the course of the school day. This was a team effort. I am proud of the award, however, I am more thankful for my team.”
On Monday, October 8th, R-MA will host an open house where families will tour campus, and they may have the opportunity to meet Mr. Peter–if this low-key school celebrity isn’t too immersed in teaching class at the time!
Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA), founded in 1892, is a college-preparatory, coeducational boarding school for students in grades 6 through 12. Students in grades 9-12 gain leadership skills in R-MA’s 91st Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). R-MA is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is located in Front Royal, VA.