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Barbara Peppers pours passion into PCES

By Bernie Moussad

“She was definitely a master teacher who loved her students. She also instilled in them that with hard work, they could accomplish anything.”

These are the words of Phil Campbell Elementary Principal Jackie Ergle describing the PCES Teacher of the Year, Barbara Peppers.

Peppers was a graduate of Phil Campbell High School. She then attended Northwest-Shoals Community College (then Northwest Jr. College) to earn her associate’s degree. Afterward, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of North Alabama.

“My teaching career began in 1991. I was very blessed with the opportunity to teach the children of my community for 25 years,” Peppers said. “I taught third grade for 19 years and was a resource teacher for six years.”

She’s seen many changes in the classroom over the course of her career. One such example was the emphasis placed on technology used in the classroom. This past year, her students had access to “Nooks and Chromebooks, which they used daily to research the topics that we were studying.”

As the school year progressed, Peppers saw her students begin to “take more ownership in their own learning.” She was excited to see her students express such “enthusiasm in their learning day after day.”

When she received the Teacher of the Year award, Peppers was “filled with joy.” “The outstanding teachers and staff recognized me with this honor. My students gave me their high-fives as they expressed their excitement for me.” She wanted to thank her family for their support in her journey to teach young children. “I would like to extend my gratitude to Judge John Jolly and There’s A Way, Inc. for supporting the teachers of Franklin County.”

Because Peppers was retiring, her class decided to write messages to her in a retirement book. “The words love and laughter appeared over and over in the written comments,” said Ergle. “She will truly be missed at PCES.”

As Peppers looks forward to her retirement, she said she wants the students at PCES to know that she encourages all of them to “set high goals and to work hard to achieve those goals.”

She wished all of the teachers, staff and students a very happy and successful school year.