As the 2021-22 school year comes to an end, AT wishes farewell to an AT Reading teacher of 29 years, a second generation Blazer, and a woman with endless passion for the Blazer Nation.
Reading teacher Ann Peters began her path to teaching education at Illinois State University, where she majored in elementary education. Afterward, she taught language arts to seventh and eighth grade students in Maywood.
Peters was offered a teaching position at AT in Reading provided she attained the correct certification to do so.
Since then, she has taught all Reading classes, specifically remedial reading and college literacy strategies classes. Peters has also coached girls’ volleyball during the 1993-94 season and girls’ track for over 16 years, where she served as assistant coach and head coach.
“In high school, I played softball, and I also did one year, my senior year, of shotput and discus. When I went to Illinois State, I was a walk-on for a division 1 team,” said Peters.
Peters shares the impact AT has had on her family, and how a teaching position at AT has been a dream come true.
“When I was growing up, my father coached and taught here, so I’m a second-generation Blazer. My dad was one of the teachers who started the school–he was one of the first teaching classes. He taught here and at Willowbrook as the athletic director. Growing up, my dad would coach, and I’d say ‘Dad, can I come with you?’ And it was such a cool memory of being here at Addison Trail,” said Peters.
She describes her deep love for AT that has persisted since she was young. “When I was 10, I knew the Blazer fight song. I had a deep love for Addison Trail, even though I was so young. I really wanted to go to Addison Trail, but we lived in Elmhurst, so I had to go to York. I was so disappointed to not be able to go to Addison Trail for high school. Getting a teaching job here was like a dream come true,” said Peters.
In coming years, her grandson will step through the building as a freshman, and all four of her children attended AT.
Now, Peters relays some of the differences she has noticed in the building since now and when she started here. “It was like a family here. We all knew each other, all the different departments. There was a lot of history here. People would take you under their wing and lead you and guide you. We would sit together at lunch and got to know each other as people, and each other’s families. It has changed here since the renovation, and I feel like we don’t know each other as we used to, and to me, that’s a shame.”
She mentions that she would also like to see better connections between teachers and administration.
She describes that she’ll miss her students and the connections she has fostered with them over the years. “I feel like I have a good rapport with students, and I’ll miss that. Mr. Vega, my aide, reached out to some of my old students, and they sent videos telling me how they miss me and what they got out of my class,” said Peters.
Peters shares some of her plans after retirement. She plans to help out a women’s shelter to give back, attend AT football games, remain active in reading organizations in the state, go on trips to places like the US Figure Skating Championships and spring training for the Cubs.