By ARIANA R. CHERRY
Andrew Peralta, the newly hired principal at Arthur Grade School, stated that Arthur had always been a community that intrigued him since he was young. “My grandparents lived in Tuscola and we took many trips to Yoders and to the Pumpkin Patch. Those memories are something that I hope I can pass on to my children,” he stated.
Peralta graduated from EIU for both his undergraduate in Elementary Education in 2004 and then again in 2010 for his Masters in Educational Leadership. He attended grade school and high school in Mahomet-Seymour.
Prior to accepting the position at Arthur Grade School, Peralta was the assistant principal at Barkstall Elementary in Champaign for the last three school years. Before that position, he was the assistant principal of Jefferson Middle School in Champaign.
While Peralta had some prior experience as assistant principal, there were a few other reasons that led to his decision to apply for the position at Arthur Elementary Grade School.
“Along with knowing this would be a wonderful move for my family, it was a professional aspiration of mine to lead a building, especially one that is K-8, and allows time to build relationships with students and their families. The professional support provided by Mr. Cheek and the CUSD #305 administrative team was also vital in my decision to accept this role,” he informed.
Peralta has some new ideas and goals as he begins his principalship at AGS. “While my initial hope is to help our students regain a sense of normalcy following such an unusual year, there are a number of initiatives that I hope that we can move towards together. One area that I would like for us to examine is project-based learning. Project-based learning allows students to explore their own areas of interest. These projects push our students to collaborate, communicate, synthesize information, research, and produce a product. It would be my hope that these projects would push students to explore and find additional purpose in the lessons taught daily,” he said.
“Through my initial examination of systems, communication with staff and community, there are so many good things going on within our school. We have an invested faculty, engaged community, and supportive district leaders. My first goal is to run a school that this community looks to with pride. Another goal of ours at AGS would be to continue to improve our relationship with our stakeholders. A Parent-Teacher Organization can play an important role in promoting activities,” Peralta added.
While Peralta certainly had some ideas and goals he would like to implement at AGS, there are some of the simple things he is looking forward to as well. “I look forward to getting to know the students. Next, I am excited for the opportunity to serve as the instructional leader of the building. The community of Arthur is privileged to have such a great group of teachers to instruct our students and it will be my pleasure to engage them in examination of our practices and look to push our kids to the highest level possible,” he said.
Peralta has enjoyed coming to the community of Arthur and it has welcomed him with open arms. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Arthur and the kindness so many have offered. Many members of the Arthur community have reached out with introductions and offered support, including receiving assistance from Coach Jefferson and members of the ALAH football team. My family and I are incredibly blessed to become part of such a great community.
Last of all, Peralta would like to express his thanks to the prior principal, Sage Hale. “She has been amazingly supportive in the transition to this position and has really supported my success and that of the school for a clean start,” he said.