Peter W. Tragos
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, New Trier High School D203, Winnetka, IL
Peter W. Tragos is a 26-year veteran educator who began his teaching career at Kenwood Academy in Chicago before coming to New Trier High School as a social studies teacher. He holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication studies from Drake University, a master’s degree in secondary education from DePaul University, and is currently a doctoral candidate at National College of Education, National Louis University.
As a teacher at New Trier, Mr. Tragos has taught a variety of social studies courses, from AP U.S. History to American Studies to Pop Culture. In his time as a faculty member, he committed his energies to curriculum development, innovative teaching methods, coordinator of New Trier’s Archives, and faculty association leadership. As a teacher of history, Mr. Tragos was committed to developing students’ historical literacy, helping them draw a line through history to the present so they could better understand others, themselves, and the world as it is and also imagine how they might shape a better future. A self-proclaimed “Lincoln-phile,” he is the author of several papers and presentations on topics as diverse as “National Rebirth in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address” to “Teaching American Studies with a Curated Reader on Hope” to the “Semiotics of Gender in Popular Culture.”
As an assistant superintendent at New Trier High School, Mr. Tragos is responsible for providing leadership in curriculum and instruction and professional development. He leads several key initiatives related to the district’s strategic plan. Most recently, he facilitated the development of the “Characteristics of a New Trier Graduate,” which articulates the skills and dispositions students develop over the course of their four-year experience, and also the development and implementation of New Trier’s “Civil Discourse and Critical Thinking” statement. The new statement expresses a fundamental concept essential to fostering a culture of inquiry and developing critical thinkers who can navigate a complex and dynamic world. He believes creating civil civic spaces in schools, where students can interrogate ideas and practice democracy, may be the best antidote to the current state of national discourse. He strives to be a steward of New Trier’s history of excellence while leading innovations and driving organizational change to prepare students and New Trier for the world of the 21st century.