Peyton Reese Cutout Image

Peyton Reese

Community Is My Ambrosian Value

B.A. in Elementary Education, Class of 2023

"When I visited campus, everyone was super nice and welcoming. I knew this was a place where people would build me up and support me along the way. I am in good hands here."

Peyton plans to be a teacher who guides, supports, and encourages lifelong learning. It's no wonder that she appreciates the way St. Ambrose University approaches its Teacher Education Program: with strong academics and life-changing experiences, we challenge students to reach their greatest potential – and they thrive.
Photo of Peyton Reese and family

Hometown: Eldridge, Iowa

Peyton grew up just outside the Quad Cities, and her dad is a high school music teacher. "I have been singing for as long as I can remember," she says. Her annual stage performances began with a musical in 5th grade and progressed to include community theatre, choir, and show choir. When she won the Iowa High School Musical Theatre Triple Threat Award, SAU Music Professor Nathan Windt, PhD, invited Peyton to campus to see the student ensembles as well as all of the opportunities she would have as an SAU student.

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Why SAU?

Immersive Experiences

Peyton thought she wanted to be a nurse. "Everyone told me if I planned to go into a health field I had to look at SAU," Peyton said. So she did. Impressed with the program and the resources we provide nursing students, she enrolled. And, knowing she wanted to be active on campus and music, she auditioned for and was awarded a vocal scholarship. At SAU, any student with any major can participate in our vocal ensembles. Peyton joined Chamber Singers, University Choral, and performed in the 2019 SAU theatre production of "Big Fish."


Why did you change your major?

"I work at the SAU Children's Campus, and I like forming one-on-one relationships with children and being part of their developmental process. While I can experience some of that in the field of nursing, I realized teaching better suits me and in the long run, it will fulfill me more," Peyton says. We want all students to achieve their dreams, so when she decided to switch her major, we made it an easy transition. Peyton already is working with her teacher education faculty adviser and looking forward to getting into local classrooms next semester.

Education, Elementary

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Are you challenged academically?

"Yes, but it's nothing I can't work through. It's good to be pushed," she says. Her professors are great at giving feedback and elevating her confidence, and if Peyton has questions, they are quick to respond, she says. "I’ve always been a person who likes to be challenged academically, and with the help of my professors and a lot of studying, I do very well in classes."

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What are you looking forward to most at SAU?

Moving forward together

"I am really excited to continue my education and make wonderful relationships here at SAU. My first semester has gone very well and is a great look at how the next four years are going to go,"{ Peyton said. "I love feeling like I belong to something much bigger than myself. At St. Ambrose I have a large community of people who help me with anything I need."

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So, what's next?

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