The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Keenan Schember

Mark Peterson, Science

Knight Errant: Where were you before you came to BSM?
Mark Peterson: I am originally from Mason City, Iowa. I went to college in Sioux City, Iowa, and I went to Briar Cliff College, which is now Briar Cliff University. I graduated with a degree in Biology and Chemistry and I went to University of Iowa of Medicine Department of Anatomy, where I studied body parts. My job down there was to be a T.A., a research assistant, so I taught in medical school for two years.

KE: What is your teaching background?
MP: My teaching background is High School. I taught at Benilde-St. Margaret’s from 1985-1994, where I taught Biology and Chemistry and Ecology. I think the only thing I didn’t teach was Physics. From there, I left BSM and went and taught Middle School Science for a few years and I’ve been teaching High School science for the past 6-7 years.

KE: What specific classes will you teach this year?
MP: I’ll be teaching two sections of Physical Science for Freshmen, and then three sections of Biology.

KE: Why do you enjoy teaching?
MP: I guess it starts with who my first teacher was, and I consider my dad to be my first teacher. He was a farmer-naturalist-banker. So, my dad for his career was a banker, but he was also a naturalist who spent a lot of time outdoors, talking about this and that and just sharing his vast wealth of knowledge and the understanding of the way things work together, systems in particular. He was just a wise guy. So, there’s the explaining part of teaching, which is not such a big deal anymore because you can ask your cellphone any question and it can tell you; you don’t need me to tell you that stuff as much anymore. It’s now more about relationships and helping people understand individually the way the world works. I really like building relationships with students.

KE: How will you contribute to the BSM community?
MP: I’m crazy about technology, and I use it really well to leverage my relationships with students. I hope I can bring that to the science department and just offer a different model of teaching. I’m sure that the teachers establish great relationships here but I just hope that I can add another tool to their toolbox.

KE: What do you look forward to in the new year?
MP: This will be the first time I’ve taught Physical Science, and I’ve taught Biology forever, so I guess I just really look forward to getting into Physical Science and learning the ins and outs of BSM again. I look forward to being a part of a faithful community; I really missed that in my teaching.

KE: What is your favorite TV show?
MP: I don’t really watch TV. Does it have to be a TV show? My favorite YouTube channel is Smarter Every Day because when you watch it, you just get smarter. Plus the creator does really cool stuff with high speed photography. Check it out. It’s such a wide variety of stuff.

KE: Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, or Beyoncé?
MP: I’ve got to say Beyoncé.

KE: Cats or Dogs?
MP: Dogs. Cats are… cats should be dissected. And I’ve dissected a lot of them. Dogs are loyal to a fault. I love dogs. I have a dog. His name is George.

KE: Favorite childhood memory?
MP: Jeez, I was a child a long time ago. Probably fishing in Canada with my parents.

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