The Presidential Award honors the excellence and efforts not only of the awardee but also of his or her colleagues and mentors. Good teaching does not happen in a vacuum, and I am grateful for the many teachers who have been kind enough to provide me with advice and support. Having worked with previous Presidential Award recipients, I also believe that the honor brings with it a greater responsibility for the awardee to be a source of that support, to see and nurture the excellence in others.
For 23 years, Peter DeCraene has taught mathematics and computer science to middle and high school students. He has taught for 15 years at Evanston Township High School, and for the last 5 years has been an Instructional Coach at the school, teaching three or four classes daily and coaching other teachers. He is currently the Department Chair, supervising 30 teachers and providing leadership in the school-wide induction program for new teachers.
Students in Peter's classes appreciate his enthusiasm for his subjects and his patient tenacity in helping them learn difficult concepts. His students most often find themselves in small group conversations and activities in his classroom, helping each other answer challenging questions.
Peter has coached speech and debate and directed student productions. He supervised student teachers and chaired the Textbook Selection and Curriculum Development committees. He has presented at local and state conferences and is a textbook author.
Peter has a B.A. in mathematics and an M.S. in computer science from DePaul University as well as a Certificate of Advanced Study in educational leadership from National Louis University. He is certified in grades 6-12 mathematics and school administration and has earned National Board Certification in secondary mathematics.