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The Spartan Speaks

The Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

From Student to Teacher: A Glimpse Into the Life of Peter Sherman

Lily Munsch
Mr. Sherman as an Orono soccer player (2004) and Mr. Sherman as an English teacher (2024)

Peter Sherman has been a part of the Orono Schools community for over 30 years. From his days on the varsity soccer team to the red-and-blue cap he wore at graduation, he fully embraced his time as a Spartan. Last year, he returned to the district to serve as an English teacher and advisor for the Spartan Speaks.. While it is only his second year teaching at Orono, students and staff alike recognize the positive impact he has made at OHS thus far.

Sherman’s Early Years
Sherman began attending Orono in second grade after his family moved into the school district. He reflects back on his years at Schumann Elementary fondly and notes that he is still friends today with those he met in grade school.

Aside from his time at Schumann, Sherman enjoyed the much broader experience at Orono as well.

“I look back on my experience at Orono positively. I enjoyed being at school, I enjoyed learning things, and I had teachers that made learning fun,” Sherman said.

A prominent aspect of Sherman’s career at OHS was his position on the soccer team. He defines it as the best part of his time at OHS and a source of memories he will reminisce about for the rest of his life.

College, Young Adulthood, and Finding His Way Back to OHS
After graduating from Orono, Sherman attended the University of Utah to pursue a degree in English. Aside from schoolwork, he enjoyed skiing, although he reports “I had to put my skis away my senior year so that I could focus on studying.”

After receiving his Bachelor’s, he began working as a paraprofessional at a charter school in St. Paul. At the same time, he took classes through Augsburg University to receive a Master’s degree in Education. He graduated from Augsburg during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former OHS English teacher and Newspaper Club advisor Kyle-Ann Herring retired after the 2021-2022 school year. When her position opened up, Sherman jumped at the opportunity to return to Orono, but this time as a teacher. He currently teaches American Literature and Journalism I and II and is the advisor of the Spartan Speaks, OHS’s student-run newspaper.

“I was the Newspaper advisor at my previous school, and so I knew some things about how to run student journalism. It just kind of fit,” Sherman said.

A Laid-Back Guy With a Passion to Guide His Students
As advisor of the Newspaper Club, Sherman guides students as they generate ideas, interview sources, and write articles. He envisions the Spartan Speaks as a place where students can go to get the information they need to have a satisfying and enjoyable experience at OHS.

He sees the benefit in teaching students about the importance of journalism as well.

“Journalism makes students go out and ask questions about the world around them. They tell stories about what they see,” Sherman said.

Sherman describes his teaching style as laid-back. He educates students by equipping them with the skills they need early on so they have the resources to be successful on their own.

“The better I can teach students how to write essays, how to cite sources, and how to do all of the things needed for an English class, the less they need me,” Sherman said.

Many students of Sherman appreciate his approach to teaching. He gives students ample opportunities to exercise their personal responsibility and the ability to work at their own pace, especially in classes that require significant reading and writing.

“Mr. Sherman is laid-back and easygoing. He wants his students to do well and genuinely cares about them,” Journalism student Natalie Widen said.

A Class Act Among His Colleagues
In addition to being a source of support and guidance for his students, Sherman is respected among his colleagues and known for being exceptionally reliable and kind.

Former American Literature teacher Larry Williams served as a mentor for Sherman in his first year of teaching at Orono. Through regularly-scheduled meetings, the two educators were able to brainstorm ideas, collaborate with one another, and discuss matters regarding course curriculum.

According to Mr. Williams, another critical aspect of these meetings was to help Mr. Sherman understand the unique culture at OHS.

“Being an alum, he had a rich understanding of what Orono was like as compared to others. These are the kinds of things that mentors are most important for: unwritten rules, guidelines, and culture,” Mr. Williams said.

As a colleague, Sherman is open to receiving feedback and working with fellow staff to improve himself as an educator. As his supervisor, Principal Amy Steiner observes him two-to-three times throughout the school year.

“After we observe teachers, we have a conversation with them. I always enjoy talking to Mr. Sherman because he’s really reflective and has ideas for improving his teaching and classroom,” Steiner said.

A Busy, But Rewarding Life
Today, Sherman lives with his wife, one-year-old son Teddy, and puppy Honey. Since both he and his wife have large families, he enjoys spending time with his siblings and cousins. His other hobbies include watching soccer, hiking, kayaking, and camping.

“As a husband, father, dog owner, and homeowner, I don’t have a lot of free time, but when I do have it, I like to be outside,” Sherman said.

No matter what’s going on in his life at any moment, you know that he is sure to be making a positive impact.

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About the Contributor
Lily Munsch, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Lily Munsch, and this is my first year writing for the Spartan Speaks. I am on the Orono Dance Team, and in my free time I enjoy going out on the lake and hanging out with friends. I am excited to report on events happening around OHS this year!

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