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Teacher of the Year to Speak at First TAMIU Presidential Lecture Series Saturday Posted: 9/01/16

Teacher of the Year to Speak at First TAMIU Presidential Lecture Series Saturday


Shanna Peeples
Shanna Peeples will share her insight Sept. 10 at TAMIU  

The first installment of the new Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Presidential Lecture Series will feature the 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples and her presentation, “Thinking Like Socrates: Creating an Inquiry Culture,” Saturday, Sept. 10 from 9:30 a.m. – noon in the TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts (CFPA) Theatre. The Series is coordinated by University College.

Admission is free and open to the public. A light breakfast will be served from 8:30 – 9:15 a.m. in the CFPA foyer.

Audiences are encouraged to take a tablet or laptop computer to the lecture.

Peoples, English Language Arts curriculum specialist, has taught middle and high school English in low-income schools in Amarillo for 14 years. As ELA curriculum specialist, Peoples designs professional development experiences and co-creates curriculum with more than 200 secondary English Language Arts teachers.

Because Amarillo is a resettlement area for refugees, students as diverse as the Karen people of Myanmar to the Bantu people of Somalia make up classes in her former assignment at Palo Duro High School where students speak 27 languages and dialects.

“My students, survivors of deep and debilitating trauma, have shaped the kind of teacher I am,” she says, “They have taught me to never make a promise I can’t keep because so many of them already have learned to view the world through suspicious eyes. To be the best teacher to them, I have to remember this and honor their background. I remember so I can gain their trust because I want them to read and write their way out of where they are.”

A former reporter for the Amarillo Globe-News, Peoples won awards for reporting on health issues, schools, and music criticism. She co-authored the book “Best Lesson Series - Literature: 15 Master Teachers Share What Works.” She continues to write professionally as a blogger for The Huffington Post, and as a contributor to education publications.

Peoples is a 2016 National Education Association Global Learning Fellow, a member of the Global Teacher Prize Academy, recipient of Texas A&M University’s Outstanding Educator Award, and the Texas State Teachers Association’s Instructional Advocacy Award.

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.

For more information, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email , click on, or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.