Mississippi College

MC Alum, Peggy Carlisle, named Mississippi Teacher of the Year

October 24, 2007

Honors just keep coming for Mississippi College alumna Peggy Carlisle. This week, she was named Teacher of the Year in Mississippi.

Carlisle received the award Tuesday at the 12th annual Wal-Mart and Sam's Club Teacher of the Year program. The surprise announcement came at her classroom at Pecan Park Elementary. The Jackson school picked up a $10,000 grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation as part of the award.

A 27-year teaching veteran and 1975 MC graduate, Carlisle has taught at the 580-student school on Claiborne Avenue for five years. Carlisle Principal Wanda Quon and Travis Malone, general manager of the Sam's Club on Ridgewood Court Drive in Jackson, joined her for the happy occasion.

"This award is to recognize those teachers who go the extra mile for their students and instill a love of learning long after graduation," Malone said.

"Mrs. Carlisle has brought science to life in the classroom," Quon stated in the principal's letter to the selection committee.

Wal-Mart's Teacher of the Year program is one of the largest teacher recognition initiatives in the nation. The company has honored 30,000 teachers nationwide since 1995 and donated more than $22 million to local schools.

As part of Homecoming events at MC days earlier, Carlisle was recognized at an awards brunch Saturday as the distinguished alumna in the field of teacher education.

On the job with Jackson Public Schools, the elementary school teacher has been challenged to reach underprivileged students. Presently, Carlisle serves as the Open Doors/EXCEL teacher for gifted students in grades two through five at Pecan Park Elementary.

"This has been a most exciting week," Carlisle said Wednesday. "I'm honored by recognition through Mississippi College...It is overwhelming also to be selected as the Wal-Mart State Teacher of the Year," added the Flowood native.

Honors for her are nothing new.

In 1999, President Bill Clinton presented Peggy with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. In 2002, she was selected for the All-USA Today Teacher First Team.

In 2006, she became the first Mississippi teacher inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Carlisle has received more than $91,000 in grants to provide hands-on learning tools for her students.

"She's just the very best elementary teacher in Mississippi," said Tom Williams, chairman of the MC Department of Teacher Education and Leadership. "I've never seen anyone quite as enthusiastic. She's done it at inner-city schools. She's very successful at it."

PHOTO: Peggy Carlisle working with her students at Pecan Park Elementary School.

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