Faculty Spotlight: Rich Peccie

Teacher - Upper School English
Department and Program Affiliations:
Upper School; English

Head Coach, Girls’ Varsity Soccer

Academic background:
B.A., English, UNC-Chapel Hill;
M.Ed., Old Dominion University
How long have you been at Norfolk Academy?
I have been at Norfolk Academy for 26 years.

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator:  
The positive influence of many great teachers I had in high school made me wonder if I, too, could help young people learn and grow in a similar manner. I chose a humanities major in college not to become a teacher necessarily, but because I felt confident that I would have many career options from which to choose with such a degree. After contemplating law school or graduate school during my senior year, I realized that I did not want to remain in school for several more years, so on an advisor’s counsel, I applied to teach at independent schools since I was not an education major (which would limit my ability to teach in public schools). Of course, even though I did not want to stay in school as a student, I have been working in schools for over thirty years—I never left!

What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy?
The many talented colleagues that surround me inspire me every day with their insight and innovative teaching and coaching. The students also inspire me with their perspective, talent, and dreams for what they can become. Just about every day I learn something new and have a laugh (or at least a smile).

Norfolk Academy is unique because…
...of the autonomy that teachers have in their own classrooms allows for a learning environment that can be rigorous and stimulating but also flexible and fluid as teachers and students alike strive for excellence in the learning process. Teachers have an incredible support system here, from facilities, technology, supplies, and staff.

Last book read:  
The Best American Short Stories 2016 by Junot Diaz

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working?
Spend time with my family, ride bikes, read

Favorite food:  
Pizza, seafood, sausage or meatballs, and peppers

A movie is being made about your life. Who would they cast to play you?
My daughter thinks James Spader looks like me.
Fun fact your students might not know about you/might find surprising:
I taught myself how to juggle after reading Robert Silverberg’s Lord Valentine’s Castle in which the main character, a prince, has amnesia and thinks he’s a circus performer so he has to learn to juggle.

“When I grow up, I want to be…”   
...that is a good question. I still don’t know - I thought I would have had it all figured out by now...