CCSSO Welcomes Student-Centered Learning Fellow

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Washington, D.C. (June 17, 2019) –– The Council of Chief States School Officers (CCSSO) today announced that Shanna Peeples, the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, has joined the Council as a Fellow focused on supporting states in student-centered learning and conditions for learning.

Peeples has more than 14 years of experience as a classroom teacher and is now working to complete her doctorate in Education Leadership at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

In her role as a fellow, Peeples will support the Council’s work with states to advance education systems that place students and equity at the center. CCSSO offers this support through a student-centered learning approach as well as work to improve conditions for learning for all students, with a specific focus on mental health, physical health and wellness, food security, and homelessness. CCSSO Board President Pedro Rivera has made improving conditions for learning the cornerstone of his presidential platform this year.

“To be successful, we recognize students must have safe, supportive learning environments, and are committed to making sure all states are creating the best conditions for students to succeed. We are thrilled to have 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples join our team in this effort. Her expertise as a classroom teacher and national leader will improve the level of support we can offer to states across the country,” said Carissa Moffat Miller, CCSSO executive director.

During her fellowship, Peeples will coordinate the development and dissemination of tools, resources, and learning opportunities both internally and externally to support states as they design and implement policies, practices, and structures to advance this work. She will play a key role in planning and facilitating meetings with national partners and coordinating efforts across multiple audiences, particularly classroom teachers. Additionally, she will assist CCSSO in providing direct support to a group of states focused on increasing access to student-centered learning for students who have been historically marginalized. 

Peeples taught middle and high school English in low-income schools in Amarillo, Texas, for 14 years and prior to that worked as a disc jockey, medical assistant and journalist. As part of her doctoral program, she was a Teaching Fellow for Harvard College students interested in education. With colleagues from her doctoral cohort, she is part of a team working on an education startup that connects award-winning mathematics and science teachers to students in underserved areas. Additionally, she is working with another team at Harvard which works with school districts on how to lead and implement culturally-responsive teaching. Her book, Think Like Socrates: Invite Wonder and Empathy Into the Classroom, was recently chosen by the National Education Association Foundation and PDK International as a book choice for their membership.


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, the Bureau of Indian Education and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.

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