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Mrs. Sharon Peterson

My teacher career began in VVSD in 2000 in a second grade classroom at Valley View Elementary which is now the Early Learning Center.  My second year in the district, I moved to Oak View School and for the next four years I taught second grade in Room 5.  In 2005 I took over the position of Library Media Director from Mrs. Holbert, and I have been here ever since.

My career path

I received my Bachelor's Degree in Communication Arts from Loyola University in Chicago in 1982, and worked for two years at a Cable TV company doing marketing. I was also the Community Access Coordinator, teaching the public how to produce videos of local events.  I left that position and became a Substitute Teacher in Chicago working primarily on the southside of Chicago, close to where I grew up.  This lasted for two years, in the meantime I got married to my husband Dan in 1984, and in 1986 we welcomed our daughter Juliette into our lives.  Two and a half years later we had our son Dan, Jr. and it wasn't until he went to first grade that I returned to teaching as a substitute.  

I went back to school at night in 1995, and for the next three years I worked as a substitute in several districts while going to school for my Master's in Education, and while being a wife and mom to two children.  My husband Dan was a big help with the children while I was in school, or studying for tests.  He is a carpenter/builder and currently still working focusing mostly on home remodeling projects.

In 1999 I landed my first full-time teaching position at Culbertson School in Joliet teaching 1st grade.  The next year I transferred to Valley View School and I earned my Master's in Education for the University of St. Francis.  I graduated with Academic Distinction earning a 4.0 GPA.

When I accepted the position as Library Media Director at Oak View in 2005, I had to fullfil the requirement of getting an 18 hour endorsement in Library Sciences.  I decided to exceed that and enrolled at Northern Illinois University in their Master's of Instructional Technology Program.  I completed the program in only 2 years and graduated in 2007 again with Academic Distinction with a 3.8 GPA.

Some of the iniatives I have been instrumental in bring into Oak View have been AR-Accelerated Reading, Raz-kids, and most recently STORIA.  All of these are computer based reading incentive programs.  

I have also written and received grants from Wal-mart, Target, Lowe's,  Valley View Educational Enrichment Foundation, and First Book Market Place.  These grants have been used to fund technology, reading, and most recently our Maker Space.  Sometimes I authored the grants by myself, and othertimes I was the lead and co-author of the grants.

The Future of Oak View's LMC:

There have been big changes to the Library Media Center in the 12 years I have been in this position.  We have all new furniture, the two pit areas have been filled in and carpeted, new LED lighting in my teaching area, and much more.  Beyond the physical changes, library time has made a shift from literature appreciation to also including technology instruction, internet safety instruction and our most recent addition of a STEAM Maker Space.

I am excited to continue on in this position and to be a change maker at my school.  I look forward to the challenges in the future, and to continue to bring innovative learning opportunities to all of the children of Oak View Elementary School.