Peden, who graduated from Terrell High School in 2003, says she felt a calling to become a classroom teacher for several years, and finally took a leap of faith when she left her previous job in October 2017. She soon landed a position as a Special Education Aide at Gilbert Willie Sr. Elementary, and was recruited to the TISD SOAR Academy, a program designed to help teacher assistants earn their certification and gain the opportunity to lead student achievement in their own classrooms.
“The SOAR Academy has been a game changer,” shared Dr. Larry Polk, Assistant Superintendent for Terrell ISD. “I believe it will continue to grow and help us retain members of our team and community.”
Although earning your teaching certificate can be a lengthy process, Peden managed to obtain her credentials within six months, while simultaneously balancing a full-time job and raising two young children.
“There were nights I would come home from the classroom and have to study for tests or complete online courses,” Peden said. “My husband has been extremely supportive, and my kids at home and students in the classroom are my motivation to keep going. In the end, it is all for them.”
As Peden’s school year comes to a close, she finds herself eager to welcome a new generation of Terrell Tigers, and give back to the community that she has called home for many years.
“Terrell is my hometown. It is where I was born and raised, and it is where I choose to raise my children,” says Peden. “I have seen Terrell ISD come a long way in the four years my son has attended school, and I am glad to be a part of this town and school district.”
Congratulations on this incredible accomplishment, Mrs. Peden. Welcome back to the Tiger Family!