About Waters Ecology

Mr. Pete Leki former Ecology Program Director

Multi-disciplinary BA from North Eastern Illinois University in Ecology,     Education and Community Studies (1995).

Board Member of Friends of the Park, 2021.

Served as the President of the Waters Local School Council from 1991 until 1996.

Worked with community to create the gardens and ecology program at Waters School where he has served as Director of Ecology since 1994.  He has also been a co-steward at Sauganash Prairie Grove, a restoration site in the Cook County Forest Preserve since 1995.

He worked as a water works professional for the City of Evanston (1988-1995, EPA Class A Water Plant Operator) and as an Associate with the Center for City Schools, National Louis University from 1995 to 2001.

He taught field ecology and arts integration at the Walloon Institute, a world-renowned summer teacher institute, from 1994 to 2006.

He is one of the lead organizers for the Riverbank Neighbors, group that restored and  manages a four-block section of the Chicago Riverbank near the school.

He was one of the founding members of the Chicago Conservation Clubs, a collaboration between the City of Chicago Department of Environment, and city schools.

For five years he directed the SCALE (Supporting Community Arts Learning Experiences) after-school program at Waters, exploring issues in ecology through the arts.  SCALE included the work of Julie Peterson, who was, in years past, manager of the garden and director of the Waters’ Media Lab in the production of many video documentaries that are available to view at https://vimeo.com/user90582095

He is  the founder of the Bullfrog Community Choir, father of three adult children, and grandfather of two beautiful children that attend Waters Elementary.

He has recently published an all ages picture book called The Fight Between Noise and Quiet. He has written or contributed chapters and essays to the following publications, and is currently working on a book length narrative description of the Waters School ecology program:

History Comes Home, Family Stories Across the Curriculum

Pat Bearden, Yolanda Simmons, Pete Leki, and Steve Zemelman; Stenhouse, 2000

In and Out of School

Jim Vopat and Pete Leki; Stenhouse, 2000

More than Bake Sales – The Resource Guide for Family Involvement in Education

James Vopat; Stenhouse, 1998

Methods That Matter

Harvey Daniels and Marilyn Bizar; Stenhouse, 1998

Teaching the Best Practice Way

Daniels and Bizar; Stenhouse, 2005

School Leadership in Times of Urban Reform

Marilyn Bizar and Rebecca Barr; Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, 2001

Field and Street, The Chicago Reader  (12 columns) 1995

Mr. Leki’s new picture book: “The Fight Between Quiet and Noise” is available online at   https://www.sipipublishing.com/  

and is also available from Mr. Leki for $10. A portion of the proceeds will go toward the ecology program.