For Thornton High School, Brad Peer, real life experience is the best teacher.
Peer, the marketing teacher at Thornton High School, is the Colorado Marketing Education Association’s Teacher of the Year for 2017.
Friends and colleagues said his ability to use every opportunity to teach students about real-world experiences won him the award.
“I can honestly say that I have met very few people in my career with Brad’s work ethic and motivation,” said Dan Sheeks, a marketing teacher at Cherry Creek High School. “Most impressive, however, is his ability to work so hard and make it all look so easy.”
Sheeks was the 2016 Teacher of the Year. Peer was nominated by fellow teachers.
A Brighton High School graduate, Peer received his degree in business and marketing from Colorado State University. But not long into his career, he realized he didn’t enjoy the work. He went back to school to get his teaching certificate.
“There’re so many unique personalities with kids,” Peer said. “They are just really fun to work with and I love watching them become successful.”
Peer began his teaching career at Thornton High in 2001. As director of the school’s business and marketing club DECA, he’s sent numerous students to state, district and national conferences annually.
Peer also assumed responsibility for running the school cafeteria and used that experience to teach his students about real-world business techniques. He and his adult managers and students order all meals, then prepare and serve nearly 1,700 students daily.
The student-run Thornton High Coffee Shop, which serves snacks, coffee and drinks to students daily, is another of Peer’s concepts that allows him to teach students about finance, marketing and management in general.
“No other teacher, nay, no other person has left such a lasting influence on me and the students they teach as Peer,” said former student Vladimir Munoz.
Peer also is department chair for the school’s Business and Marketing Department and teaches the high-level marketing curriculum that is part of the school’s International Baccalaureate program.
“Brad sets incredibly high standards for himself and he inspires everyone around him to do the same,” said Principal Jennifer Skrobela. “THS serves students predominantly from working class families. As such many of our students have fairly limited experiences outside of the community. Brad uses DECA as a means to prepare our students for the larger world and life in general.”