A Conversation Worth Having


NBHSSC classes welcomed guest speaker Michael Peterson from New Britain High School for a brief heart to heart last week.

Dean of Students at New Britain High, Mr. Peterson is a motivational individual, stellar artist, and poet laureate of New Britain. Mr. Peterson was invited to speak with the students in my JAG class and in Mr. Kerrigan’s classes. His remarks were focused on motivating students and sharing his own story.


Stemming from a difficult background, Mr. Peterson brings invaluable insight into the classroom  as an individual growing up in a challenged home environment. The majority of his work was performed in spoken verse, but the students were most captivated by his poems detailing the life he hopes to give to his son and daughter. Coming from mixed racial backgrounds, Mr. Peterson and his family share many commonalities with the students of the SCA, and as such a feeling of mutual experience was established from initiation.

In line with our recent JAG Curriculum module, Mr. Peterson’s presentation focused heavily on the concept of value. Economically and socially, JAG imparts a sense of integrity in its students by emphasizing the urgency of prioritizing one’s values. These competencies dealing with the acquisition and orientation of one’s values serve to direct a student’s learning in such a way as to focus their attention on what they themselves value and how that could affect their future career choices.


The students, initially curious as to what the purpose of the talk would be, quickly turned what could have been a one way presentation into a conversation between like-minded individuals. Mr. Peterson left the room with a final sentiment: It’s not your responsibility to ensure the happiness of others; only yourself. Greet everyone as you would wish to be greeted.

We at the SCA were honored to have his presence and look forward to reconnecting with him for future classes.

Leave a Reply