Feature Teacher Friday: English Teacher Pete DeFilippo

Rock Canyon gained many new teachers this year and we are taking the time to get to know them. We asked a few simple and abstract questions to help you get to know the staff who is dedicated to helping you learn. This week's Feature Teacher is english teacher Pete DeFilippo.


photo by Emily Wilson

English teacher Pete DeFilippo gives student Owen Kraber '23 direction on an assignment during access in room 3000A Sept. 4.

by Emily Wilson, Editor

What subject(s) do you teach and why did you decide that subject?

“I teach one section of ninth grade english, two sections of honors ten, and two sections of College Prep Reading and Writing which is an eleventh-grade class.”

What is your favorite part of being a teacher? 

“My favorite part about being a teacher is being able to nerd out about books with my students and just talk about literature. It’s just my favorite thing to talk about, so the fact that I get to do that at my job is pretty awesome. I also really love working with kids. I have worked with kids for most of my life and I find it to be really rewarding and really fun. Every day is different and exciting.”

Favorite memory from teaching?

“I don’t think I have any one particular moment, there are lots of little moments that I think keep me coming back and reminding me of why I love this job. Any time I have a lesson that goes really well, or a student comes to a realization about a novel, or sort of really sees their own growth, that’s always really powerful to me. It’s sort of those everyday moments that I think are powerful.”

How do you feel about putting pineapple on pizza?

I am firmly against it. I am originally from Connecticut and I am Italian-American so I am very much a pizza purist and I don’t believe that any sort of fruit belongs on pizza. Some veggies are okay and some meats are okay but no pineapple.”

What is your favorite pizza topping? 

“I am a big fan of bacon on my pizza, but my favorite pizza topping, this is a weird one, it’s a regional delicacy in New Haven, Connecticut which is near where I grew up, and they have a white clam pizza. That’s something that I usually say that here and people are like clam pizza? That sounds kind of gross, but it is actually really good.”

If you could be any age what would you pick and why?

“I think about this sometimes, how cool it would be if I woke up and I was a freshman in high school again but I had all of the same knowledge that I had. I feel like being a teacher, and more of an adult and understanding more about the world, if I went back to high school, I could crush it no problem. So, I think it would be really cool to go back in time, and be a teenager and relive that again.” 

If a movie was made about you, who would play your character? 

“I think Emile Hirsch. He hasn’t been in a bunch of movies lately, but he was in Into the Wild and a movie called Speed Racer that I really love. Growing up, my brother and I would always hear that we look like him and he’s a good actor, so I would choose him.”

What abstract animal would you want as a pet? 

“I have two cats and I love cats so if I could have a tiger like Raja from Aladdin as a pet, I think that’s what I would go for.”

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

“I’m not sure I would want to. I really like my name. I don’t think I would, I would stick with my name. I’ve always really liked my name. I think that Peter is a classic name and it’s not weird or anything, so I think I would stick with it.” 

Can you tell me what all of the movie posters on your wall are about?

“The Lord of the Rings is my favorite movie ever. Well, it’s close. I also love a movie called The Departed that I really like, but I really love anything geeky and nerdy, so I’ve got Lord of the Rings, Guardians of the Galaxy, Game of Thrones, there’s Harry Potter. I think it’s cool to have posters like that because it kind of shows students more of my personality. I think sometimes students think that their teachers are just like robots that just plus themselves into the wall at the end of the day and don’t have real lives, but I’ve always loved movies. The nerdier the better.”