North Springs is a school that has prides itself on how long it has been a part of the community; fifty-one years today. It has been around for so long, in fact, that one of its most beloved teachers, Mrs.Pekatos, actually graduated from here. Mrs.Pekatos teaches both freshman and sophomore English.
Q: Who was your most memorable teacher and why?
A: My art teacher, head of the art department, Kevin Cole. And he is professionally an artist, he made a living off of it for years before he started teaching. But he was really interesting because he didn’t teach in the sense of sitting down and explaining to us exactly how to do things. But he had really, really high expectations so you just got better because you had to. I always remember him because he was always such a character and he was really intense.
Q: What was one of your favorite things you did with your friends?
A: Does it make me less cool if I say I had a limited number of friends freshman year? My home school was Centennial, so I didn’t know that many people. And I remember in March, specifically, this girl Stephanie invited me to her birthday party. It was the first time I’d gotten invited to a party all year from an North Springs kid. I was so excited and we’re still really good friends now actually. I’m going to her wedding in July.
Q: What kind of music did you listen to?
A: Slightly alternative stuff was still very popular so I liked all those punk-not-punk bands that were really pop but thought they were punk. Good Charlotte, and things like that, it’s so embarrassing now. We also thought we were really hippies so were into all the classic rock and wore a lot of tie-dye.
Q: Did you still watch Disney Channel?
A: Um, of course. We had all these silly ones [shows], so instead of things like Hannah Montana and iCarly we just had versions of our own. We had Boy Meets World; obsessed with Boy Meets World and all the really 90s reruns. The pirate movies were really big like the Pirates of the Caribbean. The second one came out and it was so popular at the time that by senior year we made homecoming pirate themed.
Q: What was your favorite subject?
A: English! Of course, always has been always will be.
Q: What was it about this school that made you want to teach here?
A: I think that NS more than other schools in the area appreciates that the students are individuals. So I get excited about that. I think the things that make NS unique compared to other schools in the area still students have really strong interests and passions and I think that we have a lot more options. Students get a lot more choices to be independent learners and pick their own path. And that’s always been NS, we’re like the quirky ones with all these different ideas and arts and sciences.
Q: Do you see any similarities between how you and your friends were and your students?
A: Absolutely! Sometimes I’ll call up my friend and be like, “So I have this student in second period who is exactly like you!” It happens.
Q: Do you think North Springs was better in your generation or our generation?
A: Your Generation I have to say. There’s just so much more. All the programs have expanded and you’ve got more options. I think that NS more than other schools in the area appreciates that the students are individuals. So I get excited about that and I think it makes for happier students and more interested students.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice from something that you learned your freshmen year to your students what would it be?
A: To appreciate, this is going to sound cheesy and I don’t mean it to be cheesy but, appreciate the diversity that’s here. Don’t feel the need to stick to the same people you’ve always known because you don’t have to give up your friends from middle school here as a freshmen being surrounded by all these kids from all these different schools. For me that was the biggest difference I saw between myself and people who didn’t go to a magnet school. I knew a much more interesting variety of people than they did.