Top Teacher 2024: Somerset Middle School's Ms. Dawn Peer honored

Happy tears were flowing in Somerset, Wisconsin Friday afternoon as FOX 9 staff presented our second Top Teacher award of the year.

"This wasn’t supposed to be me," said Ms. Dawn Peer, an 8th grade math teacher at Somerset Middle School.

Peer has been teaching at Somerset Middle School for 20 years. In addition to teaching 8th grade math, she leads the student council, coaches any sport she is asked to coach, the drama club, and volunteers for everything.

"Anything that helps the kids that we do here, she’s one of the drivers behind it," says Principal Sara Eichten.

Here’s part of the FOX 9 Top Teacher nomination entry from Parent Nominator, Susan Lindstrom:

"Everyone knows "Peer", or Princess Peer (but you better say it with kindness!) This woman does more in one day than most people can do in a month. Often times I wonder if she has a secret cot at the school, because her car is one of the last to leave and one of the first to arrive at crazy hours. Dawn is a teacher in our middle school and also coaches 1-2 team sports each season and works with the Middle School Drama program. This last year she noticed that girls in all grade levels in the middle school were struggling with positive attitudes and decided to start a Tuesday BEFORE school book club, encouraging parents and kids to read the same book and then the kids meet before school to discuss. She provides the girls a safe all-inclusive space to visit - oh and she makes them breakfast! Everyone knows her and I'd be shocked if she's not nominated more than once on this platform. She knows all the kids in most of the grades (I've witnessed it when she volunteers at the home HS football games). I've been told that she is always willing to help past students in their math studies, because she will always take the time for all students. She spearheads the 'blanket program'; during our Charity Week, making fleece tie blankets for years. Let's not forget that she has 4 kids and if she's not helping coach their teams, she's cheering!

She's the best and if you need help with anything, you can call her! She'd even help filter through your nominations. She'll be there and bring a smile! She does cross guard duty too, so she can also help keep traffic flowing! Princess Peer for the win!"

Peer was very shocked Friday afternoon when the students were gathered for a surprise assembly. Under false pretenses, she led the students in a couple of dances, before FOX 9 weekend anchor Leah Beno presented her with the award.

"20 years and I love everything about it," said Peer. "My staff is amazing. It’s everybody who agrees to my crazy ideas and things that I do.  And the kids who get drug along with it and my family who is here all the time."

FOX 9 has been presenting Top Teacher Awards for 19 years. This year, hundreds of educators were nominated and 10 were chosen as Top Teachers. As a FOX 9 Top Teacher Peer received $1,000 from Royal Credit Union for classroom supplies, a pizza party from Papa Murphy’s and a Top Teacher Award to proudly display on her desk.