POULSBO — John Peiguss lives 12 miles from North Kitsap High School. If he leaves his house at 6:30 a.m. and travels at an average speed of 43 miles per hour, what time will he arrive at school?
Most people would struggle figuring out the answer to that question, but the Kingstonite could likely solve the story problem within minutes.
Since 2004, Peiguss has been a fixture at NKHS. From 7:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday he shares his knowledge and love of mathematics with eager students. Peiguss never misses a scheduled day, displaying a mathematical consistency that scores points with not only faculty members, but students as well.
He wouldn’t want it any other way.
“I consider it a payback for all of the educational opportunities I received during my life,” Peiguss said. “I enjoy helping kids with their schoolwork.”
Peiguss has a bachelor of science from Purdue University in electrical engineering and master of science from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif.
NKHS math teacher Jon Nelson has seen firsthand the positive effects of the work Peiguss puts forth in the classroom.
“Students respond well to him. He gives them respect and they give him back respect,” Nelson said. “He’s here on such a consistent basis that the students get to know him really well. John is able to connect with them.”
When Peiguss moved to Kingston about four years ago, he knew he wanted to make a difference in the community.
“I got into contact with Jon Nelson, and we have been together in the classroom ever since,” Peiguss said.
Nelson said he is thoroughly impressed with the commitment Peiguss has made to the school and its students during the past four years.
“He comes in here three days week. He comes early in the morning and leaves at 3 p.m.,” Nelson said. “It’s phenomenal.”
NKHS junior Cory Miller echoed this sentiment, noting that he is thrilled to see Peiguss stroll into his math analysis class on a regular basis.
“He’s incredibly helpful. Having another teacher in the classroom like him is awesome,” Miller said. “He’s really patient and always has the time to help you through a problem if you’re having difficulty solving it.”
In today’s global economy, educational attainment is of the upmost importance.
“One of the things I try to do is to convince kids not to close that door when they see math on the other side of it,” Peiguss said. “Education is so important and it’s not only important in math, but in all subjects. From my experience the more education a person has, the more doors it will open for them in the future.”
Even so, the door of mathematics is often a difficult on for students to unlock.
“Being successful in math isn’t unlike being successful in sports. Athletes have to learn the rules of the game and practice them, and practice them,” Peiguss said. “It’s the same thing in math. Life is a series of challenges and math education is one of those.”
“Seeing that light bulb go on is a great feeling,” he added.