Bismarck's Sheila Peterson named north Dakota Teacher of the Year

Image by Sheila Peterson
Image by Sheila Peterson

(Bismarck, ND) -- Sheila Peterson, a physical education teacher and athletics coach at Wachter Middle School in Bismarck, has been named as North Dakota’s 2024 Teacher of the Year.

State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler and Lieutenant Governor Tammy Miller made the announcement Thursday.

Peterson will succeed Ivona Todorovic in January as North Dakota’s Teacher of the Year. 

Todorovic is an English Language teacher at Red River High School in Grand Forks.

Thursday’s announcement in the state Capitol’s Memorial Hall came at a ceremony held to celebrate Peterson and the three other finalists for the honor: Andee Mattson, a music teacher and choir director at Rugby’s Ely Elementary School; Trisha Schaefer, a sixth-grade math teacher at Ramstad Middle School in Minot; and Megan Wasness, an English teacher at Devils Lake’s Central Middle School.

“Sheila Peterson follows the philosophy that leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others,” Baesler said. “She wants to help instill confidence and courage in her students and help them to become kind and confident young people. She makes people feel important, acknowledges them, and finds ways to make them feel seen, heard, and validated.”

Peterson has been a physical education teacher, athletics coach and reading strategies educator at Wachter since 2010. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Dakota State University in Madison, S.D., and a master’s degree in technology for education and training from the University of South Dakota.