In the last 20 years, when we could get to Cleveland, Ohio, on July 4th, and run in the Bay Days 5-miler, I/we would often run into each other and catch up with our lives after the race. (They have kids the same exact ages as mine). But what struck me is that Sue has always been upbeat and positive and truly loves life and all its adventure(s)!
Sue, and her twin brother, Mark, were born in 1962 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Norman (deceased) and Anthonette Baciak. Her dad was a pharmacist and had his own business until he sold it and then worked at Deaconess Hospital until he retired. Two more siblings added to the Baciak family with the birth of Norma and Jeff, and their parents enjoyed over 50 years of wedded bliss! Today Mark is married and lives in a Columbus, Ohio, suburb; Norma is married to another Rhodes graduate, Scott Artbauer, and they have one child; and Jeff is married and has three children - all living in Northeast, Ohio. Incidentally, Sue exclaimed that three out of four siblings all got married in the same year, 1989, and within nine months of each other! That was definitely a busy year for the Baciak family!
Since Sue and her siblings lived a little ways outside of Old Brooklyn, they attended different elementary and junior high schools. But since they were all super smart, and Rhodes had the honors program that their slated high school did not have at that time, they all went and graduated from Rhodes...with honors I might add. Also at that time, high schools went from 10th - 12th so one goes in as a sophomore. To make "fast friends" that turned into lifelong friends, Sue tried out and made the pom-pom squad, endearingly called the Rhodes Ramettes. They practiced with the marching bands and did their routines at football and basketball games much to the crowds delight.
Sue loved being a Ramette all three years of high school and was one of the captains her senior year. By her junior year, she met the love of her life, Glenn Peterson (Rhodes Class of 1979) and who ran cross-country and track), and they dated all through Rhodes, in college, and married on June 10, 1989.
After graduation, with Glenn already at Kent State University, Sue also went to Kent, graduating with a double degree in Special Education and Elementary Education in December of 1984. Glenn graduated at the same time because he got called up for a slot for the Ohio State Highway Patrol academy and took the class (he went back afterwards to finish his degree in Criminal Justice).
By the following January/February Sue began teaching in the Berea, Ohio, School District, staying about 5 years. When she and Glenn married, they moved to Huron, Ohio, since that is the station Glenn was assigned to, and I believe, his entire career with the State Highway Patrol.
As they began settling into their home in Huron, Sue started working for the Erie County Education Service Center which morphed into a huge program that is now called Northpoint Education Service Center (takes care of 27 different school districts in the State of Ohio). It was here that Sue honed her good nature skills in dealing with behaviorally challenged students, and students with a whole host of other disabilities that most schools could not accommodate. Sue admitted that this was a terrific career path for her, it suited her personality to a tee! She also stated that while enjoying her job, she decided to go back to get her Masters in Administration and Principalship (at Cleveland State University) which eventually led her to become a Principal and supervisor of the ever growing behavior and special needs programs throughout the Northern part of the state.
By the time Sue retired in January of 2015, she was driving all over Northeast and Northwest Ohio to a tune of over 500 miles a week, but still loved every minute of her job! That is some dedication, right? Sue says she was very fortunate that her education degrees allowed her to work 30 years in one profession, a blessing for sure!
Sue, who claims she doesn't have a favorite color, continued working while she and Glenn started their family. Their daughter, Katelyn (now an Athletic Trainer in Cincinnati) was born in July of 1992; and their son, Mitchell (working in Sports Administration), was born in August of 1994. Sue mentioned she was extremely lucky to have found a wonderful woman and friend who had in-home daycare right across the street (they had moved to Vermillion, Ohio, by then).
When I asked Sue what makes her tick, without missing a beat, she said, "travel." You see, Sue and Glenn have been adventure seeking even from their earliest days of dating, beginning with camping. They have traveled all over the USA, most recently (in 2019 for their 30th Anniversary) with a Teardrop camper and visiting as many National Park they could get in in two months. Her favorite: Big Bend National Park in the Texas tip. She felt like she was sitting on the end of the earth there. Her favorite place internationally is Chicaterra, Italy (been twice).
And for "giggles and grins" and with another adventure seeking couple they met on their travels, they did an awesome one month "budget" backpack trip from Paris, France to Italy to Greece, and back to Paris. Both Sue and Glenn love to immerse themselves in the local food, drink and cultures of wherever they go in the world which is really the spirit of their adventures. I'll drink to that!
In addition to their fun travels, they are also HUGE Cleveland Sport Team Fans as well as Kent State University Athletic Supporters. Sue added that she and Glenn are on the KSU Greater Cleveland Alumni Board that plan various events throughout the year for alumni. How cool is that? They travel the midwest taking in football, basketball and baseball games whenever they can support their beloved Golden Flashes.
In wrapping up I asked Sue what her favorite gift ever received was, and not missing a beat here either, said her sewing machine (Sears Kenmore) she received from her parents for high school graduation. I about fell off my chair, because I found another "sewist." Sue expressed her love to peruse Pinterest and then figure out the pattern and make something for her house or camper, and also likes to make things to give away, whether a sewed item or something cooked or baked (she also loves to cook).
It was so fun catching up with Sue who is thoroughly enjoying her retirement and hanging with her family and friends when time permits. She and Glenn have more travel plans because they love their Teardrop camper and hitting the road to big blue skies and smooth highways and byways seeking fun and adventure along the way!
BSoleille! The bright side of #CelebratingOthers with Sue Peterson!
Photos below from Sue:
|Sue looking over the Badlands, SD|
|Mitchell; Sue, Katelyn and Glenn|