January, 10, 2016 at 8pm Central
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Teacher Leadership: What Is It? Do We Need It?
Shanna Peeples, the 2015 USA National Teacher of the Year, believes in public education.
“Public schools,” she says, “are a stabilizing force in society and a fierce promoter and protector of our democracy. They have given so many of us a vision of ourselves and what we might become. They help us to find the most treasured thing any of us have: personal meaning and our contribution to the common good.”
Shanna is an English teacher at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo, Texas where she teaches Advanced Placement students, English Language Learners who speak a total of 27 languages, and struggling students in both day school and the school’s evening credit recovery program. Viet Tran, one of her former students, said of his teacher, “[Ms. Peeples] seems to have an innate ability to understand where her students come from, their personal stories and cultural history, and makes that a part of how she advocates for them.”
For half her school day she is an instructional coach for literacy strategies. After regular school hours, she teaches English and Speech in PDHS’s FLEX night school. Peeples’ principal, Sandy Whitlow, says of Shanna: “She does not shy away from challenges; she embraces them as an opportunity to grow and learn as a teacher, illustrating that a great teacher is first and foremost a learner.”
A former reporter for the Amarillo Globe-News, Shanna won awards for reporting on health issues, schools, and music criticism. She continues to write professionally as a blogger for the Huffington Post, and as a contributor to education publications, as well as on her website www.shannapeeples.com .
She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from West Texas A&M University and earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a 2016 National Education Association Global Learning Fellow, a member of the Global Teacher Prize Academy, recipient of the Texas A&M University Outstanding Educator Award, and the Texas State Teachers Association’s Instructional Advocacy Award.