Excellence in Teaching

Peggy Squires

It is my pleasure to nominate Peggy Squires for the Excellence in Teaching Award. Peggy has been an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at Napa Valley Adult Education for 12 years. As an ESL teacher, she has taught English Literacy Civics (EL Civics), ESL for the Workplace Training Institute (WTI) program, and the Community-Based English Tutoring (CBET) program. Peggy has also taught High School English for credit recovery during our summer session. In each of these programs, Peggy teaches students with a range of abilities, skills and backgrounds and does so with caring, dedication, and boundless energy and enthusiasm. As a result, Peggy quickly became an instructional leader at Napa Valley Adult Education by serving as an instructional mentor, a lead teacher, a school-wide leader for Project-Based Learning (PBL) and a coordinator for ESL. She has excelled in all of these roles, is consistently professional and is a consummate teacher in every sense, but she is most enthusiastic about direct contact with students as her true expertise and passion lies in teaching. She demonstrates high integrity, stands up for important causes and advocates for student success and program improvement. She makes technology accessible to all her students and maintains high standards for their learning. She teaches students to use computers and technology, research websites, access community resources, work in teams, and present their findings to their peers. Peggy is always willing to take on a challenge and she encourages her students to do the same. For these reasons, Peggy won the Napa Valley Adult Education Teacher of the Year Award in 2013. It is an honor to nominate her for the Excellence in Teaching Award through CCAE.

Peggy is one of our most enthusiastic, passionate and inspiring teachers. She immediately creates a warm and friendly classroom environment and quickly develops a comfortable and mutually respectful rapport with her students. Peggy uses up-to-date instructional strategies and methods and integrates technology effortlessly, but thoughtfully into instruction. She teaches students how to access the internet, create PowerPoint presentations, use the document camera, and conduct research, among other things. She responds to students’ questions and needs, striving to help them to be productive and engaged members of the community. 

Peggy truly cares about her students and their ability to learn English in order to become involved members of the community. For example, Peggy’s students learned 21st Century skills and Project-Based Learning (PBL) when they researched the voting process and various propositions. She adhered to standards, designed rubrics, and utilized technology. She helped students divide into teams, research the propositions, synthesize and analyze information, and document their findings. Students created poster boards and PowerPoints and presented their information to other students, staff, and district administrators. Most recently, Peggy designed and employed an "E" (employment) card to help track student employment status, in order to gather more accurate data. She organized her class in order to have individual time with each student to collect student information and to review CASAS scores in order to better understand her students, and where they need more support. Peggy is “a natural” at making such procedures meaningful, engaging, interactive and instructive to students and their academic success. She has since shared this process with other teachers, stressing the importance of knowing our students in order to help them meet their learning goals. Peggy is consistently proactive, innovative and responsive in her support of students, the school and the community. 

Peggy is one of Napa Valley Adult Education’s most beloved and respected teachers and a highly valued member of our staff. In her spare time, Peggy is a member of the Northern California Irish Wolfhound Club and a proud wolfhound owner. Her cherished wolfhound, Castle is a Grand Champion! Peggy regularly attends Castle’s dog shows and special events with other wolfhounds and their owners. 

Peggy has been an active member of CCAE since 2011 and is a real asset to our school and our chapter. Her expertise, professionalism, caring and dedication make her the perfect candidate for CCAE’s Excellence in Teaching Award.