Dr. Shanna Peeples

Shanna L Peeples, Ed.L.D.

Assistant Professor of Education

The Dr. John G. O’Brien Distinguished Chair in Education

Director Route 66 Writing Project

Office: Old Main 439 & Harrington Academic Hall 316M
Calendly Scheduler:
Phone: 806-651-2607 or 806-651-8209

Professional Profile

Dr. Peeples joined the College of Education and Social Sciences in 2020. She received her B.A. in English in 1997 from WTAMU, her M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in literacy in 2013 from the University of Texas at Arlington, and her doctorate in educational leadership in 2020 from Harvard University. Prior to her arrival at WT, Dr. Peeples’s career includes more than twenty years in exclusively Title I Texas public schools serving a range of students that comprised students as diverse as those in gifted and talented/advanced placement, refugees and immigrants, and students transitioning out of incarceration. Her public school tenure includes six years in middle school as an English Language Arts teacher, eight years as a high school English teacher, and one year in district administration as a director of secondary ELA curriculum and instruction. In 2015, Dr. Peeples was selected as the Region 16, Texas, and U.S. National Teacher of the Year. She is a Global Learning Fellow of the National Education Association Foundation, and was the inaugural Educator in Residence for TED-ED in New York, and the first Robert Kegan Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is featured as an expert panelist in all episodes of the PBS Series “The Great American Read.”

Teaching and Related Service

Dr. Peeples teaches doctoral-level courses in the Educational Leadership program. As the Dr. John G. O’Brien Distinguished Chair, she facilitates scholarly research by WT faculty members and doctoral candidates designed to produce regionally responsive, research-based solutions to the challenges facing rural schools and communities. With Dr. Brad Johnson, she oversees the Rural Community Leaders Fellowship, a one-year appointment for acknowledging proven rural leaders to connect them with the WT Educational Leadership program in ways that further the effectiveness of future rural leaders through research, education and practice

Dr. Peeples has presented her research and is a keynote speaker at local, regional, state, national, and international conferences, events, and workshops. She was a member of Scholastic’s National Advisory Panel, the Aspen Institute’s roundtable on teacher recruitment and retention, a juror for the Global Teacher Prize, and a judge for the educational technology Launch Competition at South By Southwest EDU. She is a professional development facilitator and advisor to annual cohorts of state Teachers of the Year at the Council of Chief School Officers.

At WT, Dr. Peeples is the director of the Route 66 Writing Project, a local site of a national network of teacher-leaders, K-University level, who collaborate to improve the teaching of writing and learning in schools and communities across the country, a member of two committees focused on increasing a

sense of belonging for marginalized students, and a member of Buff Allies, the university’s group of staff, faculty, and students who are committed to creating a safe campus for LGBTQ+ folks.

Dr. Peeples is vice-chair for the Longview Foundation, a member of the SXSW EDU and Panhandle PBS advisory boards, and a member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, the Amarillo NAACP, Los Barrios de Amarillo, and the League of Women Voters.

Research and Creative Activity 

Dr. Peeples is the author of the book, Think Like Socrates: Using Questions to Invite Wonder & Empathy Into the Classroom (Corwin, 2018), and numerous publications, including those for the Journal of Family Strengths, the Albert Shanker Institute, Literacy Today, Chalkbeat, the Washington Post, the Observer (New York), and Medium. She also is the project lead on the Route 66 Wayfinders team in collaboration with National Geographic Education, which looks at the southwestern leg of the famous highway through past, present, and future lenses of mobility, race, economics, and climate.

Dr. Peeples’ research focuses primarily on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion, sense of belonging, adaptive leadership, and adult development as they relate to public school, higher education, and nonprofit leadership.

Dr. Peeples is a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the National Rural Education Association, the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Texas Folklore Society.