Shanna Peeples, the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, took the road less traveled on the way to her classroom. She worked as a disc jockey, medical assistant, and journalist before teaching, as she says, chose her.
Shanna taught middle and high school English in low-income schools in Amarillo, Texas for 14 years. 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.
Currently, Shanna is a doctoral candidate in Education Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education. She most recently served as the ELA curriculum specialist for her district where she designed professional development experiences and co-created curriculum with more than 200 secondary English Language Arts teachers.
A former reporter for the Amarillo Globe-News, Shanna won awards for reporting on health issues, schools, and music criticism.
Shanna is a board member of the Longview Foundation, a 2016 National Education Association Global Learning Fellow, and a member of the Global Teacher Prize Academy.