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Karen Peale, Teacher Education Scholarship Winner,
Fall II, 2010

Dominican University, in partnership with Bisk Education, Inc., proudly recognizes Karen Peale – a Family and Consumer Science teacher at Glassboro Intermediate School in Glassboro, NJ – as one of two winners of the Bisk Foundation Teacher Education Scholarship for the Fall II, 2010 session. The teacher education scholarship supports teachers who are making a difference in the lives of their students as they pursue their own professional development.

Dedicated to creating excellence both in and outside the classroom, Peale is known by her peers to do whatever it takes to make a real impact on her students. Her continuous efforts in preparing kids for the real world go far beyond curriculum – as shown by her participation in the school’s mentoring program.

Peale, who is enrolled in Dominican University’s online Master of Arts in Education program with a concentration in Reading, recently shared a story about a young student she came to know through the mentoring program. “I volunteered to mentor a quiet young man who never caused trouble with anyone. You could count on him to get the job done,” she said. “But it was a struggle to get him to talk. I noticed he was always drawing football players, so I used my interest and knowledge in football to get him to open up.”

As time went by, Peale was successful in learning more about the boy’s home life, where he was responsible for the care of five younger siblings. His mother could not read, and the boy’s own skills were not where they should be. His grades had improved during a period in foster care, but fell again when he returned home. Still, he took his responsibility for his siblings’ care very seriously.

“Everything this young man did in life was done quietly and humbly,” Peale said. Similarly, Peale is humble when it comes to talking about her mentoring efforts. “It isn’t what I do for the school; it’s what the children do for me. He taught me so much that year. I don’t look at my accomplishments as anything spectacular. If anything, I wish I had the time and financial resources to do more for our school.” She continued, “I’ll never forget this young man and how much he touched my heart.”

While Peale may not tout her own accomplishments, it is clear that she is completely immersed in the life of Glassboro Intermediate School. As the Family and Consumer Science teacher, she uses a variety of creative methods to teach skills needed for successful living. She provides healthy recipes to her seventh- and eighth-grade students so they can use their new cooking skills to prepare meals for their families. She also offers household and nutrition tips that the kids might not be learning at home.

“I look forward to learning skills as a professional that will benefit my students,” said Peale. “The Bisk Foundation Teacher Education Scholarship will allow me to bring new skills to students who need a little more assistance.”

The dedicated faculty, staff and administration of Glassboro Intermediate School are privileged to provide a positive and productive learning and social experience to each student. Peale exemplifies these aspects of the school’s mission, says one colleague. “I have been continually impressed with her driving commitment to excellence. She has been very active in our school since her arrival in September 2000 – from advising the National Junior Honor Society and Cooking Club, to facilitating teacher workshops and mentoring students. She even wrote a grant proposal to promote low-cost nutritional meals for economically deprived children.”

Together with Dominican University, Bisk Education is proud to salute Karen Peale – a true everyday hero who is making a difference through the gift of education!