Life as a Laker

Mr. Pete Hartman’s experience with the Prior Lake Lakers


Beginning in 2008 at Twin Oaks Middle School and eventually joining the staff at PLHS as a social studies teacher and varsity coach, a big chunk of Peter Hartman’s life revolves around Prior Lake High School. 

Hartman has many unique experiences as he is really the “Renaissance” man of Prior Lake High School. From coaching multiple sports, such as football and track & field, teaching multiple subjects, and also being a fan favorite by the students, Hartman has gained knowledge from each experience he has been a part of.

“It gets super busy, but the fun thing is teaching in the building where I coach. It’s good to get that connection with the kids in school where you also coach,” Hartman said. 

While there are challenges, he loves having the opportunity to see his players on the field and in the classroom.

It goes deeper than winning and losing for Hartman. He is appreciative of all the little things sports have brought to him. 

“It’s the moments you make, good and bad. Also, it’s the years down the road when a kid emails or sends you a text. That’s when you realize you connected with them and is really like a reward.”

When it comes to coaching, Hartman sees a big difference between football and track & field. 

“Football is very rigid. We’re on a clock. It’s a team sport vs an individual sport, so the approach is very different,” he said.

While there may be a difference between the two sports, Hartman does not see a difference between coaching and teaching. In fact, he said the preparation is very similar. 

“You have to go into every class just like you go into every practice,” he said.

It’s evident that his coaching skills translate to the classroom, as many of Hartman’s students see him as an outstanding teacher. 

Gavin Pierce, one of Hartman’s students, said, “He’s a great teacher, and a great guy. I love his energy.” 

Pierce also said that his willingness to help students learn is what separates Hartman from the average teacher. He takes pride in really getting to know his students and really connecting with all of them.

“They don’t hear how much you know, until they know how much you care,” Hartman said.

 Hartman knows how important relationships with people are, and he also thinks that to build a great football team, the team must be connected with each other on and off the field. 

“Most kids won’t even play collegiately. It’s more about being a part of a team, becoming a better person, and doing something with a purpose,” he said.

Hartman is always on good terms with his players and students, but he has more respect for those who are coachable. 

“Coachable applies in the classroom and applies on the field or any competition area,” he said.

Along with being coachable athletes and students, there are a few kids who rise above the rest because they are the best type of teammates, adding positivity and enthusiasm to the team.

“There is something powerful for the kids who just care about doing their best and being a good teammate for the buddies they grew up with,” Hartman said.

Mr. Hartman has had a great career at Prior Lake and plans to continue it for years to come. So far, Hartman has loved his experience. 

“I’ve met incredible people–students, parents, and colleagues. I really enjoy the people who I teach and coach with. In our community, there are generally really good and supportive people.”