The Student News Site of Carl Sandburg High School



Feature Teacher: Mr. Peronto

Mr. Fred Peronto – Courtesy of

Q: How long have you been working here at Sandburg?

A: This is my 35th year.


Q: Why did you decide to be a teacher?

A: So, I liked high school. That’s part of the reason; [like] I enjoyed being in school. My mom was a teacher, my grandma was a teacher, but I loved the idea of learning. I like learning, so it’s an opportunity for me to continue to learn new things. I had good teachers coming up through school, so it’s kind of a way also of providing the same, kind of giving back, and making sure that other people have an education. And one of my sons is a high school teacher now, too. 


Q: How does it feel to know that this will be your last year here?

A: It’s bittersweet. It’s been an awesome experience. I love Sandburg, and I’m really glad that I stayed here my entire time. But, the bitter part is missing all the people around here, some of whom I’ve become really good friends with and things like that. But [it’s] time for another chapter, and somebody else will come into this class and do a great job, I’m sure.


Q: What’s your favorite memory that you’ve made here at Sandburg?

A: That’s a tough one. I don’t know if I have one favorite like moment or anything like that, just the piles of like good relationships that I have developed [over] the years with all sorts of teachers, students, things like that… that I will cherish and remember forever and ever and I will truly miss. 


Q: How else are you involved here, in clubs and activities, and why? What is your goal in guiding those sorts of things? 

A: In the classroom, I teach US History and AP Macroeconomics. I sponsor student council with Mrs. Doe, and I sponsor the Investment Club. In the past, I have coached boys basketball, girls basketball, girls softball, and boys baseball, and I don’t coach anymore. So one of the cool things about activities is getting to see kids in a different setting, and you’re not grading them. And they’re there because they want to be there, which is not always the case in your classes. So, it’s just a different way to teach them, and you’re not teaching content, you’re teaching more like life skills and leadership – that’s equally important, but just different than what you’re doing during the day.


Q: What’s something you could talk about for hours, and what specifically is a fun fact that you have about it?

A: I love music; that would be my thing. So, fun fact: I have gone to, over the last four years, I think I’ve been to almost 60 concerts. I would love talking music with anybody for hours.


Q: What is your favorite thing to do?

A: I like reading. I like, actually, I love, just learning stuff. Whether it’s reading books, or online, or stuff like that. I like going and being outdoors. I like hiking. I’ve gone on a bunch of overnight hikes, backpacking trips, and stuff like that. [I] like playing golf, and hanging out with my family. I would say [that’s] up there, too.


Q: What’s the most impactful experience you’ve had in your years of teaching here?

A: I don’t know if I can say it was like “this moment,” or anything like that. I have learned a lot about people, and I have learned a lot about how everyone’s stories are different. I used to see things more black and white when I started, like “your homework’s due this day, it’s due this day, period,” but now I think I have a better idea of being empathetic to students and understanding that everyone’s coming with their own story, and just being more open to that. 


Q: What’s the impact that you hope that you’ve made on this school and your students?

A: I hope a couple things.  I hope when students walk away they say, “Okay, I liked that subject more than I thought I did coming in, and I see why it’s important to know that subject,” whether it’s US History or Economics. I hope they walk away saying, “I had a good experience in that class,” and down the road in life, I hope they look back and think, “I’m glad I experienced that class because I can see how it adds real value to me.”


Q: What’s a piece of advice that has helped you and you think that would help other people?

A: I would say, be kind, be empathetic, and, by default, try to like everybody that you come across. Try to find like the good in everybody that you come across. [In] this job, it’s easy to find the bad if you really want to look for it, and it’s easy to focus on the bad. But I think one of the things that helps you persevere through all these years of teaching is [that] there’s always good. Like, everyday something good happens, and every person I meet there’s something good in there. So just try to find the good in them.

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