An Interview with New MS History Teacher, Mr. Pestonik


Charlize Rust, Contributor, '24

The middle school is getting a new addition in the fall, Mr. Pestotnik. A current 4th grade teacher here at Country Day, Mr. Pestotnik grew up on the east side of Cleveland in Highland Heights Ohio and attended highschool at Gilmour Academy, where he found his love for teaching. Each summer he worked as a summer camp junior counselor where he realized how much he enjoyed helping children. “This experience allowed me to realize how much I enjoyed helping young people,” he explains.  Before moving to Cincinnati, Mr. Pestonik lived on the East Coast in Greenwich Connecticut, Manhattan NY, and Brooklyn NY for little over a decade. He attended Dennison University in Ohio and furthered his education at Columbia University, where he attended Columbia’s Teachers College.  While at Denison, he began tutoring elementary students in reading in local school districts. “It was when I was tutoring these children that I realized I would pursue a career in education”, he adds. He began his teaching career at Greenwich Country Day, where he taught 3rd and 4th grade for nine years, also coaching soccer, basketball, and baseball to 6th-8th grade student athletes. After teaching at Greenwitch Country Day, Mr. Pestonik began teaching middle school social studies at Bay Ridge Preparatory School in Brooklyn NY. He was also the head coach for the boys’ varsity soccer team Mr. Pestotnik is thrilled to be joining the middle school here next year where he will get to teach history and coach again. Mr. Pestotnik very much enjoyed his time in the lower school but is ready to return to a middle school classroom and help the upcoming 8th graders prepare for high school in the subject that he is most passionate about- history. When asked about the upcoming year he says, “while I have enjoyed teaching in the lower school, I am looking forward to returning to a middle school classroom.” Other than teaching and history Mr. Pestonik loves music! He enjoys discovering new music, attending concerts, adding to his record collection, and playing the guitar and piano. Mr. Pestonik loves watching sports and is a fan of the Cleveland sports teams. In his free time, Mr. Pestonik really enjoys going on hikes with his wife and daughter. “I am eager to meet all of my new students and their families, and I’m excited to collaborate with the talented middle school faculty.” he says. We are just as excited to welcome him to a new part of the CCDS community!