Heritage High School- 2012 Winner
Sarah Peddie experienced hardship growing up. Her parents divorced when she was young. She moved around a lot, and ended up attending 14 different schools. In the eighth grade, she was on the verge of being expelled because she had exceeded the number of days she could be suspended in a single year. But one teacher had faith in her and took the time to understand and encourage her. She decided to go into teaching to make that kind of difference in the lives of her students. And she has succeeded in that goal.
Ms. Peddie teaches biology and biotechnology at Heritage High School in Brentwood. She has been a teacher since 1998. She has a gift for inspiring her students’ interest in a scientific subject that they may have thought they thought had no relevance to their lives.
Ms. Peddie has been repeatedly recognized for excellence. She has been Heritage High’s nominee for county teacher of the year on five occasions. In 2007, she was a nominee for the Presidential Award for Math and Science Teaching. In 2011, she received the Stanford University Award for Excellence in Teaching.
She prides herself on her ability to, as she puts it, “meet students where they are.” To that end, she sometimes struts like a bird around the classroom and introduces songs like the “Glycolysis Rap” to her students. She also lets her students know that they can overcome adverse circumstances in their lives – as she did. Above all, she tries to be a teacher who makes a difference for any student who walks into her classroom.