Fascinating facts about Stephanie ‘Millie’ Peterson


Jacqueline Barba

Peterson sits with her students at the beginning of class.

The 2019 school year brought a new face to the world languages department at DGS- Stephanie Peterson. Affectionately called “Millie” among her students, Peterson teaches French I and French III but her fluency in French is only one of many interesting things about her. From a soap-making business to summers spent in a French monastery, discover the top ten most fascinating facts about the nouvelle professeur.

10. She Lived in a French Monastery
For two consecutive summers, Peterson was a long-term volunteer at a monastic community in Bourgogne, France. Besides prayer three times a day and biweekly bible study, Peterson helped make life possible for visitors to the community. Everything from laundry to cleaning bathrooms to managing the activities of the weekly visitors fell under her responsibilities.

9. She Bred Siamese Fighting Fish in College
Seeking companionship during her college days, Peterson decided to take up fish breeding. Finding the simultaneously vicious and gorgeous Siamese fighting fish fascinating, she went through the meticulous process of breeding them. The process required acclimating pairs of fish to each other by placing the female in a hurricane glass inside of the aquarium with the male and then waiting to find the perfect time to allow the female to swim free with the male– talk about dedication.

8. The Possibility of Being a Cheesemonger
Peterson entertained the idea of becoming a part-time cheesemonger– basically an expert in cheese, how it’s made and how to pair it with other foods. After attending the American Cheese Society’s Cheese Festival and trying over 100 different types of cheese in one night, she discovered she was mildly lactose intolerant effectively ending her dreams of becoming a cheesemonger.

7. Soap-Making Entrepreneur
Looking for a new hobby at the start of 2019, Peterson became interested in the creation of soap. Wearing what looks like a hazmat suit, she spends her free time making soaps and hopes to eventually turn her hobby into a side business. Her favorite scents include cleansing Tea Tree Charcoal, tropical Coconut, and masculine Tobacco Vanilla– lookout Bath and Body Works, you’ve got competition.

6. (Accidental) Hamster Murderer
As a child, Peterson had a pet hamster named Max. Once, while playing with Max in her basement, she accidentally fell on him, fatally landing right on Max. To this day she is still haunted by the crunching noise she heard as she fell on him.

5. Creative Plant Names
Recently, Peterson has decided to work on improving her green thumb, bringing 40 to 50 houseplants into her home. She has named all of them and has also purchased name tags for each of them that detail both their species and name. Names include things like Krispy Kevin, two majesty palms named Regina and Reginald, a black calla lily named Jezebel and a Chinese dragon tree named Mushu.

4. She taught English in China
In 2010, Peterson spent a summer teaching English to young Chinese students in a small town of 100,000 people. Every day included five hours of teaching English to five separate classes at different fluency levels. She discovered that many of her students had English names with some being named after celebrities like Beyonce or Kobe and others after random English nouns such as Lightning, Poison or Smile.

3. Amateur Travel Photographer
Throughout her 20s Peterson spent all of her energy and money on travel and digital photography. She’s been to many places such as the United States, Canada, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and China. After 16 visits to France, she has taken many photographs of the most popular sites, some of which are now posters featured on her classroom wall.

2. A Passion for Baking
Peterson loves to bake, making everything from cookies to cakes to pies, oftentimes without a recipe. For about a year, she had a travel/baking blog called ‘Wanderlust and Waffles’ where she posted recipes and stories of her travels. Many of the foods were recreations of what she had eaten on her travels.

1. Many Languages Studied
Though Peterson is only fluent in French and English, she has studied a multitude of other languages. These include Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Dutch, High Valyrian, Swedish and German. She began with French as a freshman in high school and studied the rest at varying points after that.