The Council of Chief State School Officers named a high school English teacher from Texas the 2015 National Teacher of the Year today.
Shanna Peeples from Amarillo, Texas, will be honored in a ceremony at the White House on April 29. She teaches English at Palo Duro High School, where she also serves as a mentor, coaching her colleagues.
Ms Peeples had the following reaction to the announcement:
“I choose to think that, as National Teacher of the Year, I represent the people who love what they do—who are willing to do whatever it takes to help kids, who stay after school for hours, who steal time from their own families to help our kids, who may be the only person that shows up at games for a kid, or at plays, at concerts,” she said. “And so to me, the title of Teacher of the Year is a way for me to always talk about what teachers do for our kids. And I am exceedingly proud of the honor of representing men and women who pour themselves into this, the most important job there is.”
Ms Peeples’s students come from diverse backgrounds, as Amarillo is one of several cities in the country that helps refugees find new paths in life and gain access to critical resources. As a result, Ms Peeples works with many students who speak English as a second language or have recently entered the US.
“The Council of Chief State School Officers is proud to honor the great work of teachers across the country through the National Teacher of the Year Program. Over the next year, Shanna Peeples will serve as an outstanding ambassador for her profession,” said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO, who added that it was clear why Ms Peeples had been selected as the 2015 National Teacher of the Year.
“Shanna’s dedication to teaching is all-encompassing, from the countless hours she devotes to helping every child in her classroom to the time she spends mentoring colleagues in her school district,” he said. “I look forward to seeing Shanna engage people across the country in a conversation about how to improve education as she shares her vision of supporting all students and teachers.”
The finalists for 2015 National Teacher of the Year were Ann Marie Corgill (Alabama), Catherine Caine (Hawaii) and Kathy Nimmer (Indiana). Sean McComb of Baltimore County, Md., was the 2014 National Teacher of the Year.
The CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five US extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues.