Get to know the individuals that make Peterson Elementary great!

Brian Bochenek - 5th-8th Diverse Learner Reading Teacher - Joliet, IL -

Northeastern Illinois University - Bachelor of Arts in Education - Summa Cum Laude

I grew up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, where I played in garage bands, read comic books, and "learned to love" the outdoors.  Prior to my career as a teacher at Peterson Elementary, I worked as a graphic designer for a short time and as a paralegal.  However, none of my "prior-lives" come close to the enjoyment I get from being a part of the Peterson community.

"The greatest privilege to working at Peterson is getting to know families and individuals from a multitude of cultures. As an avid traveler, removing myself from my comfort zone and celebrating the uniqueness of others is something I now get to enjoy on a daily basis. I consider myself fortunate to have had incredible some experiences and to have met some amazing people in my time her sat Peterson and look forward to many more years of being a part of this diverse learning community."

Outside of Peterson, I enjoy running with my wife, playing guitar and singing in several bands, reading comic books, playing video games, and traveling to different countries throughout the world.   

Emily Gandolfi - 5th to 8th Grade Reading Intervention Teacher - 2019 - Michigan -

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University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts
University of Notre Dame, Master's in Medieval Studies
Dominican University, Master's in Teaching, Reading Specialist
Roosevelt University, ESL Endorsement

Before coming to Peterson, I spent several years as a student of medieval history at the University of Notre Dame, where I discovered my passion for teaching while serving as a graduate student instructor for a variety of history and writing courses. This led me to becoming a middle school literacy teacher on the south side of Chicago, where I have been for the past six years before coming to Peterson. I enjoy watching students' love of reading grow as they are able to use more tools to understand their reading.

“My favorite thing about Peterson is the amazing community between the students, teachers, parents, and community members. Everyone in the building has the opportunity to connect with other people, whether this is during the school day, in after school programs, during community meetings, or while participating in the many out-of-school programs that are offered through Peterson. These connections make Peterson feel like a vibrant and diverse family of which I am delighted to be a part.”

When I'm not teaching, I love to watch television and movies, knit classical and traditional patterns, and read tons of books.

Peggy Chang - 5th-8th Diverse Learner Specialist Teacher - 2018 - Chicago, IL -

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Naperville North

The reputation of the school and neighborhood. The diversity of the community. The staff.

“All of the different languages spoken here. The positive vibe of the staff and students.”

Being with my animals and gardening.

Casey Jedrzejczak - 3rd-6th Grade Diverse Learner Specialist Teacher - 2016 - Munster, IN -


"I love feeling the positive energy here from staff to students!"

St. Thomas More Elementary School
Munster High School
Illinois Wesleyan University

I previously taught 3rd and 4th grade resource for several years before finding Peterson.

I play the piano, read, garden and play with my two dogs!

Jenna Brandon - Case Manager and ESL Coach - 2016 - Arlington Heights, IL -


Forest View Elementary School
Holmes Junior High School, Rolling Meadows High School
Illinois State University
Roosevelt University

I wanted to be challenged and surrounded by people who care about students!

Outside of Peterson, I like to cook, read, and take dance classes.

"Everyone who works and goes to school at Peterson! The students are great and the staff is amazing."

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