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UT Arlington alumna is named 2015 National Teacher of the Year

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

News Topics: alumni, awards, education, Internet

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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.

Courtesy Davy Knapp

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 online 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

About the UT Arlington College of Education

The UT Arlington College of Education is fully accredited through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and in 2006 became the first College of Education within the UT System to receive accreditation through the prestigious National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The college currently offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees through Departments of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Visit to learn more.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of nearly 49,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit to learn more, and find UT Arlington rankings and recognition at


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.