Public school teachers — especially the good ones — need our appreciation and an expression of thanks for all they do to help our children find their way into the world.
One of them today received a high honor, indeed, from her peers. She happens to teach English right here in Amarillo. Many of her students are refugees, whose families have fled repression and deprivation.
Take a bow, Shanna Peeples.
The Council of Chief State School Officers today named Peeples — who teaches at Palo Duro High School — its National Teacher of the Year. She was one of four finalists competing for the job. She’s the first Texan so honored since the late 1950s.
Shanna is a former colleague of mine who’s gone on to enrich many lives along the way. It’s an amazing story, when you consider that becoming an educator was not her first choice of professions. She’s done a lot of things in her life — and working as a journalist was one of them.
She gave up that career several years ago to pursue her real calling, which is to make a serious difference in young people’s lives.
Shanna was asked this morning why she loves teaching and she replied because teaching gives her the chance to “write the last chapter” in young people’s stories.
Public school teachers receive criticism all the time. Too little effort is made to offer high praise to the great work that many teachers do in our communities.
One of them stands as a symbol of educational excellence. She has brought great honor to her state and to her profession.
We’re all proud of Shanna Peeples.