- Community Schools
Hello students and parents!
My name is Dale Peterson, and I am excited to be working with your family this year! I am a third-generation Coloradan from the city of Durango in the southwest corner of the state. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado College in Colorado Springs. It was there I met my incredible wife, Jennifer, to whom I have been married for 25 years. I earned my masters degree in public affairs from the LBJ School at the University of Texas at Austin. After completing graduate school, I was hired by the City of Longmont as an intern in the city manager's office. However, I had worked with children every summer during college as a recreation leader and drama teacher, and while working for the City of Longmont, I realized that what I REALLY wanted to do was work with children full time. So, after my internship ended, I headed to college for the third time, this time to the University of Northern Colorado where I received my teacher licensure.
In 1996, a friend encouraged me to student teach with two wonderful Kindergarten teachers at Niwot Elementary. I am so glad I did! Not only did I learn so much from my supervising teachers and principal, but I was hired to teach at Niwot the following year. Many years have passed since then, and they have been fabulous! Niwot has become my home. I love the children here, their families, the dedicated staff, and the cooperative environment. I have taught both first and second grade here at Niwot.
Over a decade ago, I developed a friendship with some staff members at Mwebaza Infant Primary School in Uganda, and began a pen pal relationship between my class and the African schoolchildren. This relationship eventually blossomed into the formation of a non-profit organization, called the Mwebaza Foundation, that fosters mutually-beneficial, cross-cultural relationships between African and Colorado schools. Through this organization, the children of Niwot Elementary and two other Colorado partner schools have learned about African cultures while working together to benefit their underprivileged pen pals. I was privileged to visit the African partner schools in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 and witness the improvements that are taking place there.
Over time, my work with the Mwebaza Foundation has turned into a second, full-time job. I have discovered that I cannot sustain both teaching and managing the affairs of the non-profit without sacrificing my family and sanity in the process. In the spring of 2011, I secured funding from a private source that allows me to teach half time, and devote the other half of my work day to African development work through the Mwebaza Foundation. I feel very privileged to be able to use both my Public Affairs degree and teacher licensure to do two things I love - teach the amazing children of Niwot and work to improve conditions at African schools. I pledge to do my best to ensure that the quality of education that your child receives is in no way compromised by having two teachers, but is rather, enhanced! I look forward to a eighth year co-teaching with Melissa Calkins! She is a dynamic, dedicated teacher!
During my teaching tenure, my wife and I have had three children of our own - two boys and a girl. We live in Longmont. I enjoy watching the Colorado Rockies play baseball, cooking, writing music, playing the piano, dancing with my wife, and hanging out with my kids!