QCA elementary teacher selected to a nationally recognized program

Peterson is the only teacher from Illinois to be selected.
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 6:54 PM CDT
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GALESBURG, Ill. (KWQC) - Angel Peterson, a third-grade teacher at Silas Willard Elementary School, has been waiting for the last three years to apply for a very select program that travels abroad and focuses on understanding different foreign cultures. Now, she has that chance.

“I have this aspiration to kind of take the education world on a larger scale,” Peterson said.

That ambition led Peterson to the Fulbright-Hayes Program.

“The Fulbright-Hayes Program is an opportunity for educators to go to a different country and experience that culture and do some curriculum research, and create a unit based on that country,” Peterson said.

The five-week program will take place in the Philippines. Peterson is one of only 16 teachers selected for the program and the only teacher from Illinois.

“It’ll be an adventure, and I thrive in adventure and new opportunities to learn,” Peterson said.

A goal of the program is to promote inclusive, multicultural classrooms.

“Inclusivity is always at the top of my priority for anyone who steps foot inside my classroom, from students to student teachers to high school helpers,” Peterson said. “I want to make everyone feel like they belong in my classroom.”

“It’s an example for kids that, you know, there are lots of different people, but they can belong in the same school, and be a part of the same school,” said Jonathan Bradburn, Silas Willard Elementary School’s principal. “It’s a real honor for her and the school.”

On a scale of one to 10, Peterson said her excitement level is an 11.

“I love teaching, I love being in the classroom, but I think there is something more in me that can contribute to education on a larger scale,” Peterson said. “Having this experience, curriculum development, I think will be a great stepping stone to experiencing other facets of education.”

Peterson will tour historical sites and visit educational institutions in the Philippines. The program runs from July 11 to August 13.

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