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Mary Gage Peterson Elementary School

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Mary G Peterson Elementary School
5510 North Christiana Avenue


School typePublic, Elementary
School boardChicago Public Schools
School number5410
PrincipalKate Kane
Faculty43 (on FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment920 (as of 2015-2016)[2]
MascotPeterson Panther

Mary G Peterson Elementary School, known both as Peterson School and Peterson Elementary, is a public elementary school in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is part of Chicago Public Schools and was established in 1926.

As of the 2012-2013 school year, the school had an enrollment of 858 students[2] and 43 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis)[1]


The school was founded in 1926 in honor of Mary Gage Peterson. The Peterson family owned a lot of land in North Park where the school is located. Mary Gage Peterson donated the land for the expressed purpose of public education. She was an avid conservationist and wrote Nature Lover's Creed in 1908.[3]

In 2004, Peterson Elementary was one of only three schools in Illinois to receive a 2004 Technology for Teaching grant from Hewlett Packard.[4] That same year, the Illinois Conservation Foundation awarded Peterson Elementary a grant to fund the school's "Classroom in a Garden" project, an effort that focused on an outdoor garden curriculum for approximately 300 first through third grades students.[5]

In 2012, Paul Chapman of Iverness Associates and author of "Greening America's Schools: The Environmental Sustainability Movement in K-12 Education recognized Peterson Elementary as one of a handful of Chicago Public Schools committed to incorporating sustainable "green practices" into everyday school activities and the curriculum.[6]

In 2014, Peterson Elementary installed an array of solar panels on the school's green roof and connected them to the Internet so that students and staff can see exactly how much "green" energy is being produced for their school. Peterson student recyclers were also recognized for the work maintaining recycling programs in all classrooms, and Peterson's compost team were congratulated for their work turning cafeteria leftovers into nourishment for the Peterson school garden. As of 2014, the Peterson garden has been maintained for more than a decade, giving students the chance to witness and participate in the entire food cycle.[7][8]

Notable faculty[edit]

In 2005, Peterson Elementary grades 4/5 teacher and educator Mary E. Carney was a finalist for the Golden Apple Award.[9] In 2010, Peterson Elementary social studies and civics educator Dr. Mark Brady was recognized by Pearson with an Independence Award for his achievements in social studies education.[10] In 2011, Peterson Elementary 6/7 grades mathematics educator Robert Reynolds was selected for the Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching and spent one year in Finland researching mathematics instruction before returning to Peterson in 2012.[11] In 2012, vice principal Kate Kane received the Roberts Award for School Innovation and used the funds to establish a Summer Curriculum Development Institute for teachers to explore incorporating Common Core standards and mapping targeted interventions for at-risk students.[12] In 2013, Peterson Elementary Principal Adam Parrott-Sheffer was named "Most Valuable Principal" by Playworks.[13] In 2014, music teacher and band director, Anand Sukamaran, received a Golden Apple award for excellence in teaching.[14][15]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Susan Stamberg - NPR correspondent[16]
  • Lynn Sweet - Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief, Chicago Sun-Times[17]
  • Charlene Barshefsky - United States Trade Representative (1997–2001), Deputy U. S. Trade Representative (1993–1996)[18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Peterson Elementary School, National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 [1], Chicago Public Schools
  3. "About Us - Peterson School". Peterson School. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  4. Business Wire (May 11, 2004 ) HP Awards $10 Million in Technology Grants to 193 Schools Nationwide
  5. Jackson, Mike. (September 16, 2004) Daily Herald ICF grants reward outdoors leadership. Page 6.
  6. Chapman, Paul. "Chicago's Green Schools". Iverness Associates. Retrieved 06-03-2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. Wetli, Patty (2014-04-23). "Peterson Elementary Soaks Up the Sun; Solar Panels Unveiled on Earth Day". DNAInfo. Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  8. "Earth Day Inspires A "Solarbration"". CPS.edu. Chicago Public Schools. Retrieved 06-03-2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  9. PR Newswire (January 31, 2005) 32 Outstanding Teachers Named Finalists for Golden Apple Awards. Archived October 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. Pearson Ed News Release(May 3, 2010) "Chicagoland's Best and Brightest Social Studies Teachers Honored With 'Independence Awards' From Pearson"
  11. (November 2011) "Robert Reynolds To Participate in the Fulbright Program in Finland Archived 2012-09-20 at the Wayback Machine"
  12. "2012 Roberts Award Winners". newleaders.org. New Leaders. Retrieved 06-03-2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  13. Playworks(June 2013)"Chicago's Adam Parrott-Sheffer named 2013 Most Valuable Principal by Playworks" Retrieved June 30, 2013
  14. "Golden Apple Award Recipients Surprised Throughout Chicagoland". www.goldenapple.org. Golden Apple Foundation. Retrieved 06-03-2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  15. "2014 Golden Apple Surprise Visit". NBC News Chicago. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 06-03-2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  16. Stamberg, Susan (2001-06-02). "Learning To Read". Weekend Edition. National Public Radio. Retrieved 2006-06-01.
  17. Sweet, Lynn (2013-09-08). "Sweet Voices". Chicago Sun-Times blog. Chicago Sun Times. Archived from the original on 2013-09-08. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
  18. Barshefsky, Charlene (2000-11-01). "CONGRATULATIONS AND GRATITUDE EXTENDED TO MS. CHARLENE BARSHEFSKY FOR DEDICATED SERVICE AS UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE" (PDF). Chicago City Council Reports of Committees. Chicago City Clerk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-07-14.

External links[edit]

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