Ridgefield’s Teacher of the Year
In the past few months we have all grown accustomed to the occasional car processions for birthdays and graduations but June 20th marked neither of these milestones for Lori Peck, a Family and Consumer Science teacher at Ridgefield High School.
So, when twenty cars filled her Newtown driveway that Saturday morning Peck was filled with curiosity and awe. In an interview with HamletHub Peck recalls, “I heard big honks, really loud honking and aggressive honking which is very unusual for my sleepy little driveway. I looked at her [Jen DeJulio who helped orchestrate the surprise] and then she kind of got a broad smile and I was like oh there is something going on here.”
In the decked out, noisy cars were Peck’s friends, family, fellow RHS faculty and teachers, and of course the RHS mascot who were all there to award Peck with the Ridgefield Teacher of the Year Award.
Peck has been a teacher for 27 years working across the country in Southern Florida, Cincinnati, Trumbull, and now at Ridgefield High School for the past fourteen years. When asked to recall fond memories of those last fourteen years Peck notes, “After twenty-seven years of teaching, I have a lot of great memories of teaching … but the best part of teaching is the kids … they are fun, and they’re energetic, they’re funny, they have curiosity, and they want to learn.” She continues, "Every day is different and every day I walk in not knowing exactly what will happen, what will I be hit with today that will be that highlight of the day? What will knock that day out of the park? But every day there is something.” Peck’s hopes for these students are numerous and best summed up in her motto “Work hard, have fun, be kind” which she believes “if you do those three things your life will be better.”
The Teacher of the Year Award is chosen through a nomination process. Each of Ridgefield’s schools has a committee of teachers from that particular school who choose the winner for their school’s specific award who is then also entered into the town-wide selection. Reflecting upon this, Peck stated, “The other teachers at my school are so phenomenal that it truly makes me feel honored by them. I don’t have a better way to describe it except for that I really never expected in my career to be chosen as teacher of the year.”
Overall, Peck emphasized her appreciation to the Ridgefield community stating, “I just really want people to know that I am very grateful to be a Ridgefield High School teacher. It is a really great place to work and it has been a really great experience for me.”