Santiago High School's Student News Site

Shark Attack

Santiago High School's Student News Site

Shark Attack

Santiago High School's Student News Site

Shark Attack

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Teacher of The Year: Peter Toomey

Teacher+of+The+Year%3A+Peter+Toomey

Achieving the Teacher of the Year award is a difficult accomplishment. The race to stand out from other teachers who alone do such revolutionary help to the school is difficult. This year’s recipient is Peter Toomey, a physical education and health teacher.

When Asked Questions Mr. Toomey Answered With:

How do you feel being this year’s Teacher of the year?

“I’m shocked this campus is filled with awesome teachers…to be recognized as the teacher of the year first surprised me and then second, of course, that I get to represent Santiago.”

What do you think led you to become it?

“The main thing is my involvement with Be A Shark. It put me out in front of the faculty a bit more; they get messages and emails from me, I speak at a lot of the faculty meetings… the Be A Shark team, which is a group of about fourteen teachers who have been working on school climate and culture and I think that the impact that the team has had and with me being the faculty lead got me the most recognition…and I think our culture has taken a step forward this year.” 

“…the teachers that I was nominated with are all just awesome…they represent Santiago so well…”

— Mr. Toomey

What is the process of becoming Teacher of the Year?

“You had to have eight years of experience…and then the ballet went out to the whole staff, and then you had to be nominated by the staff, so we had about eight teachers nominated…the school sends out a list of the eight teachers and with a little bio describing…why they were nominated and every teacher gets the little ballet…the teachers that  I was nominated with are all just awesome…they represent Santiago so well…”

What is some of the work you did to accomplish this achievement?

“I think it’s an accumulation of a long career I taught PE and classroom health and online health… it’s not just a show-up in the morning and[ leave in the afternoon. I have a couple of different online certifications teaching online classes. I help create the online curriculum for health that the whole district uses…I was deeply involved with that…our campus is filled with these people. It doesn’t make me special in any way, but a teacher who does a little bit more than just show up, teach their class, and then go home… might be the advisor for a club…I think some of those things in my long career have led me to this point in being a good teacher.”

How did you become involved in the Be A Shark program?

“Might have been 2016. Ms.Baco was our old assistant principal and sent an email to the whole staff that said, ‘Hey, we’re starting this new committee on campus that’s dedicated to improving school culture’…I showed up, and we started to learn PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support), trying to promote positive behaviors on campus…. At that meeting in 2016, we created this committee and came up with the phrase Be a Shark. We started to look at how we can impact campus culture…I started doing more and more for Be a Shark because I had a little more time to offer for that…it continued to grow and develop, and I backed into the leadership role…and I believe in it…once I got into it, I realized how important and valuable it is, and over the years, I think it’s made a big difference over campus.”

What is some advice you would share?

” My advice to other teachers…is to get more involved. It makes going to work much more fun every day. I’m excited to go to work… it’s easy to complain… but when you’re involved…it makes it so much more fun every day…it makes it exciting and rewarding. I feel pretty good about myself. You know we all like to feel good about ourselves, right that we are making a difference. I feel like my time with Be A Shark has increased my impact…now I’m impacting more students outside of the classroom and all over campus, so that’s my advice: go ahead and get involved and keep trying to get better… try something new and getting involved with new things and meeting new people and being involved with more students has made me a better teacher and has made teaching much more fun for me.”

What made you choose to be a physical health teacher?

“That’s easy…I went to college and tried a couple of different things. I tried computer science…and figured that wasn’t for me. Sitting inside and working on a computer all day wasn’t my style…I dropped out of school, and I dropped back in, and I was coaching at the time, and I dropped back in some time, and I took some classes in PE, and I was like, this is what I love. I’m a former athlete. I used to race triathlons and play college basketball, and I love the human body, so I started learning about it and went, “No way, that applies to me. Everything about physical education is me…’ and then I took all my classes for my health credential… I was a personal trainer… and then when I became a teacher… it was a perfect fit, and I could share my knowledge of health and fitness and nutrition and stress relief, everything that impacted me so much…I could share that with my students…like I said, it’s an easy question. When I was younger, I kinda bounced around trying to find something that I liked, and it always came back to being physical and coaching…”

What is something students don’t know about you?

” I was a college basketball player… and the security guard Big Mike… and I went to high school together and played basketball…the two of us forty years ago…went to high school together, and  now we work together with the girl basketball team.”

Mr.Toomey is now moving on to the district competition and hopefully making it through to the county and state competition. Let’s wish Mr.Toomey the best of luck and congratulate him for all his amazing work on Santiago’s campus. 

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Mia Mercado, OP/ED Editor
Mia Mercado (10) is a current Sophomore at Santiago High School. She plans to continue her academic education with all four years of high school taking honor and AP classes. After high school, she plans to go to a four-year college. Mia’s passion for writing began when she started to write her own stories during elementary school. This passion led her to have a better understanding when it came to her writing. Soon enough Mia got better at writing and eventually, she wrote out so many essays and stories for school. Eventually, her passion for writing grew and it became no problem for her writings to turn out great. One of Mia’s many hobbies is cooking. It's always been a passion that helps her to relax and concentrate. Volleyball is also a part of her hobbies and tries to use it to destress her problems. Traveling has been one of the things that made her the happiest, especially in new places. Music is one of her significant interests when it comes to anything. She also really enjoys watching tv in her free time when she has the chance. In the future after graduating from her 4 years of college, Mia in the future hopes to consider some sort of career with an aspect of writing that journalism may affect her. She mostly aspires to pursue a career in journalism in the hope. You may reach her at [email protected]
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