A Summary Listing of Faculty Activities at Colleges Around the Nation
Next year will be a special one for Gordon Peeks. It will mark the 50th year that he has taught industrial education in Nebraska. The milestone is one he’s proud of. It’s also one that makes him chuckle. That’s because when Peeks first started thinking about careers, teaching wasn’t even a consideration. “When I graduated in 1964, I knew two things: I didn’t want to go to Vietnam, and I didn’t want to be a teacher,” said Peeks. “I’d had so many rotten teachers in high school.” Peeks enrolled late in what was then Kearney State College and studied math and chemistry instead. However, he didn’t find enough fulfillment in those areas to make them into a profession.
His delayed registration ended up being a blessing in disguise. Few advisors were left by that time, and the one he was assigned to was in the industrial education department. “He encouraged me to take a couple of drawing and architecture classes as fillers, and before I knew it, I was hooked,” said Peeks. The fact that he was living on-campus made Peeks the perfect candidate for a new opening at the college. “They were short an instructor,” said Peeks. “I was contacted and told that I was going to be the lab aide. At that point, I still didn’t want anything to do with education. It took them three meetings to convince me.” Peeks felt like a fish out of water the first semester.
“I was no longer with my peers,” Peeks said. “I was teaching a lot of guys who had just come back from Vietnam. I was in my early 20s, and they were in their 30s. Not only were they older than me, they also had more experience. A lot of them had been officers.” His ability to adapt and gain the admiration of his students is ultimately what convinced him to pursue a career in education. Peeks began teaching while he was still at Kearney. In 1971, he and his wife moved to North Platte.
Taylor Hart, who teaches at Encore High School in downtown Riverside, will play the lovable plus-size teen, Tracy Turnblad, in Performance Riverside’s production of “Hairspray, the Broadway Musical” at Riverside Community College (Calif.). Performance Riverside is the Inland Empire’s nationally recognized musical theater. For years, Performance Riverside has been delivering first-class stage productions to the Inland Empire. “Hairspray, the Broadway Musical”, is based on the Line Cinema film that was written and directed by John Waters. Winner of eight Tony Awards, “Hairspray, the Broadway Musical” is a familyfriendly musical, piled bouffanthigh with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs. Based in Baltimore in 1962, Turnblad has only one desire — to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star. She must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob, Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network, all without denting her “do.”