Congratulations Shanna Peeples – 2015 National Teacher of the Year!

During a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House today, President of the United States Barack Obama presented the CCSSO 2015 National Teacher of the Year award to Amarillo teacher Shanna Peeples (Palo Duro High School). Shanna will soon embark on his full-time, one-year term as the national education ambassador. SMART is honored to attend this ceremony each year and be in the presence of these outstanding educators as they are recognized in this storied setting. President Obama applauded teachers for “selling hope, sparking imaginations and opening up minds.”  “They are not just teaching formulas or phonetics,” he added.

About Shanna Peeples, National Teacher of the Year

Shanna did not go directly from learning to teaching – her past careers include disc jockey, medical assistant, pet sitter and journalist. She currently teaches AP English and serves as the English department chair as well as an instructional coach for other teachers.

“My students, survivors of deep and debilitating trauma, have shaped the kind of teacher I am. They have taught me to never make a promise I can’t keep because so many already have learned to see 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.” –CCSSO website

Congratulations to all the finalists

Also honored at the event were the three other National Teacher of the Year finalists – Ann Marie Corgill (Alabama), Catherine Caine (Hawaii) and Kathy Nimmer (Indiana). All State Teachers of the Year were recognized from each of the 50 states, the Department of Defense Education Activity, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands. We were thrilled to host 2015 TOYs for professional development this week.


SMART congratulates Shanna Peeples and all those who work so hard to impart the inspiration, knowledge and soft skills required to succeed in tomorrow’s work force.

The story behind SMART’s involvement with National Teacher of the Year

In 1998, SMART Technologies donated a SMART Board interactive whiteboard and floor stand to the Missouri Teacher of the Year program. Program organizers recognized the value of SMART solutions to increase class participation and improve student learning outcomes. Realizing the immense benefits of this donation to recipients and students, SMART continues to offer support to U.S. State Teacher of the Year programs by donating key education technology products to recognized Teachers of the Year.

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