Teacher’s impact on HEHS to last beyond retirement

There may be a new teacher that takes his spot, but Mr. Peak is irreplaceable.

Makiyha Blackwell, sophomore, with Peak after placing 13th in the shot put at State.

Makiyha Blackwell, sophomore, with Peak after placing 13th in the shot put at State.

Makiyha Blackwell, sophomore, with Peak after placing 13th in the shot put at State.

Bella Alansari, Staff Writer

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Keith Peak, better known as Mr. Peak, has been a math teacher and Girls’ Track and Field throwing coach at Hoffman Estates High School since 1988 and is planning to retire after this year. In his time here, he has positively influenced many people, made unforgettable relationships, and has earned respect from everyone at HEHS.

Peak and his wife are both teachers. He explained that after they found out they could not have children, they began teaching so that they could still be with young people.

Peak explained how working with young people is rejuvenating and he enjoys watching people grow and seeing their progress.

“My time at Hoffman has given me an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Peak.

Peak has made a difference and helped so many people during his time here at HEHS.

“Mr. Peak single-handedly altered the trajectory of my life. I am a teacher and coach because of him. Without his guidance I may not have gone to the college I did, become a teacher, or have even met my future husband,” said Samantha Serrano, a teacher and Girls’ Track and Field coach at Conant High School that Peak taught at coached.

Serrano is just one of the example of people Peak has influenced in his time at Hoffman. He has not only positively impacted students but also teachers that he has worked with over time.

“I feel like I have been blessed to be his desk partner every day,” said Azra Haq, math teacher “Every day there is always a memory, there is always an unforgettable moment that is formed.”

Azra Haq, math teacher at HEHS, has been Peak’s desk partner for the last 14 years. She expressed how much of a positive influence Peak has had on her.

“He’s changed the way I approach things,” said Haq. “He always has such a positive, calm approach on things and has taught me how to do the same.”

Well respected, genuine, and kindhearted are some of the other words Haq used to describe Peak. “His actions have earned all the respect he has gained,” she said.

Haq also explained how she has never heard a complaint or anything negative about Peak from a student.

“Mr. Peak is the most selfless, positive, and supportive individual that I know,” said Serrano. She explained how he was and still is her life mentor.

“He is incredibly philosophical about all aspects of life and the words that he’s given to me helped me through some of my most important life decisions,” said Serrano.

“He took his own time and made time for me and my issues,” said Haq.

Peak is someone you can always count on. He is completely selfless and supportive towards anybody. He has helped and influenced many people with his positive attitude and meaningful words. He is also extremely funny, lighthearted and sarcastic.

“A joke…” laughed Haq. “[that is how] our first encounter began; on my first day it was a joke. He’s very funny and has a great sense of humor.”

Haq explained that on her first day of work Peak had asked her where she went to school and she said NIU. He said he also went there and asked where she lived. She told him the name of the hall and then finished with, “but I don’t know if they had that while you were there.” He laughed and asked, “what’s that, supposed to mean?”

That happened 14 years ago and they still laugh about it today. It started their fun, lighthearted relationship.

They both expressed how funny the other is and how they love to make jokes and be very sarcastic around each other.

Others have also explained how Peak’s lightheartedness and sarcasm has helped cheer them up.

As the time to say goodbye to Peak nears it has left many time to reflect and appreciate on all their time with him. He will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.

“My time with him has been unforgettable, and I will never take it for granted,” said Haq, also a math teacher at HEHS that has been Peak’s desk partner for the past 14 years.

“Coaching track and field won’t ever be the same without him, “said Serrano.



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Teacher’s impact on HEHS to last beyond retirement