I'm District 6 - Jeff and Nicole Petersen
The Petersen family really is District 6, many times over. As Jeff Petersen said, “We live and breathe” District 6 all the time.
Jeff and Nicole Petersen are both principals, and their three children are part of District 6 - two attending school and one that will start kindergarten next year.
The couple met while attending the University of Northern Colorado and started working as teachers at University Schools in 2002.
Nicole Petersen was hired as an assistant principal at Greeley Central High School, where she worked for two years before becoming the principal at Brentwood Middle School six years ago. Jeff Petersen was a math teacher, a District 6 instructional coach, the dean of students at Brentwood, and an assistant principal at Heath Middle School. Four years ago, he was hired as the principal at McAuliffe STEM Academy, helping transition that school from an elementary to a K-8.
Now, the couple are leaders in the same school district that is educating their own children. They don’t even try to keep work out of their dinner conversations.
“It’s what we do 24-7. It’s part of our dinner conversation,” Jeff Petersen said. “We hear about what happens with our kids at school, and they get to hear what happens to us at school.”
For both Jeff and Nicole Petersen, teaching and working in District 6 was an essential part of the plan.
“For me, it was really important to work in the community we live in,” Jeff Petersen said.
“Once I decided to go into administration, I knew I wanted to be in a Greeley school,” Nicole Petersen said. “I love that every, single day I feel like I make a difference in District 6.”
And it has actually been a benefit that their careers have taken parallel paths.
“What has really been cool about our career journey is it’s been the same,” Nicole Petersen said. “We’ve been able to be each other’s listening partner, and learn from each other in a lot of ways. Being a principal can be a lonely job, and we actually understand each other’s roles very deeply.”
“When we are trying new things, we are able to give each other feedback,” Jeff Petersen said. “But what is also important, we are really able to celebrate each other’s success as well.”
Both Jeff and Nicole Petersen are committed to their students, and ensuring they have every opportunity to succeed. And that’s what makes it easy to get up in the morning and head off in opposite directions to the jobs they love.
“My time here at Brentwood, I have been working with fabulous people and we have made a truly amazing positive school climate and culture,” Nicole Petersen said. “That has had so many great benefits for students academically. I love coming to work every day.I believe our staff members do to. And that makes our students love coming to school every day.”