Starkville High School physics teacher Dane Peagler accepts the award for Teacher of the Year from Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District board president John Brown, right, and Superintendent Eddie Peasant, left, at the Greensboro Center Tuesday night. SOCSD employees were recognized during the 2019 Employee Awards of Excellence program. Photo by: Mary Pollitz/Dispatch Staff
May 15, 2019 10:35:50 AM
For Starkville High School physics teacher Dane Peagler, building relationships with his students is his favorite part of any given day.
Peagler's rapport with students in his classroom was recognized Tuesday at Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Employee Awards of Excellence ceremony, as he was named the district's Teacher of the Year for 2018-19.
He was one of 16 teachers nominated in the district for the award.
Peagler has taught physics for the past six years, including four years with SHS. His fellow faculty at SHS nominated him for Teacher of the Year.
"I was really surprised," Peagler said. "It was such a great group of teachers up there and I felt honored to win among them."
Peagler is known for transforming an SHS hallway into a Rube Goldberg experiment for his physics class. Rube Goldberg machines are named for the American cartoonist and sculptor who, in the 1940s, drew cartoons depicting a series of coordinated gadgets completing simple tasks. Each year, Peagler's physics class pairs up in groups, builds a complicated simple-machine and competes for first place.
"(Rube Goldberg) is probably my favorite event," Peagler said. "But I really enjoy the day to day and getting to know the kids. I find enjoyment in spending time with them. I'm just thankful for my wife and everyone who has helped me get to this point and taught how to be a good teacher. My students have made this possible."
Although Peagler said he was surprised when he was named Teacher of the Year, SHS Principal Sean McDonnall said he is happy to see Peagler recognized for his efforts in the classroom.
"I'm not surprised, he's just very deserving," McDonnall said. "He does an excellent job in the classroom. His dedication to his students and profession is unmatched. Every student in his classroom shows growth. He's very deserving of the award and we're very fortunate to have him in our district and on our staff."
Others to receive year-end awards include:
■ Julie Fancher, Henderson Ward Steward Elementary principal, Administrator of the Year;
■ Tammie Tubbs, Millsaps Career and Technology Center, Outstanding New Teacher;
■ Vickie Chatman, Overstreet Elementary School, Certified Personnel of the Year;
■ Shay Jackson, Overstreet Elementary, Non-Certified Personnel of the Year;
■ Meaghan Johnson, Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary, Larry Box Grant Award;
■ Nikki Mulrooney, Overstreet Elementary, Innovative Educator Award; and
■ Carmen Rodgers, Outstanding Parent of the Year.
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