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UT-Arlington alumna is named 2015 National Teacher of the Year

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Davy Knapp picture of Shanna PeeplesPhoto courtesy of Davy Knapp

A University of Texas at Arlington alumna has been named the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, America’s oldest and most prestigious honor of its kind. The award is given by the Council of Chief State School Officers and is a first for UT Arlington.

Shanna Peeples teaches high school English in Amarillo. In 2013, she earned a master of education degree in curriculum and instruction from the UT Arlington College of Education.

Jeanne Gerlach, Dean of the College of Education, applauded Peeples, who enrolled at UT Arlington through the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program.

 “Research indicates that more than anything else in a student's school day life, good teaching matters most,” Gerlach said. “Shanna's recognition as the 2015 National Teacher of the Year exemplifies good teaching at its best.”

Peeples said: “UT Arlington's program helped me to do what I didn't think was possible for me: earn my master’s degree while staying in the classroom. I'm proud of UT Arlington's commitment to create more teacher leaders in Texas and the U.S.  And I'm proud to be a UT Arlington alumna."

Peeples is the first Texas teacher to win the National Teacher of the Year award since 1957. She was selected among hundreds of thousands nominated for the honor. Candidates inspire their students and play an active role in the community. They also earn respect and admiration of student, parents and colleagues in and out of the classroom.

Peeples works at Palo Duro High, where about 85 percent of students live below the poverty line and where more refugee children are enrolled than in any other high school district in the 31,000-student district.

President Barack Obama will recognize Peeples in a ceremony at the White House on Wednesday. Read more at

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