Walden Middle School teacher Tiffany Peeler was honored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and Sporting KC as a Blue KC Sporting Samaritan on Saturday at Children's Mercy Park.
“Tiffany Peeler is making a wonderful difference in the lives of her students and the community as a whole,” said Christina Lively, Department Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Blue KC. “Through her efforts to educate students on the importance of taking care of the environment, she is turning them into fantastic citizens."
Since becoming a teacher 14 years ago, Peeler has made an impact on her students, first in the West Platte School District as a middle school teacher, then in the Park Hill School District. At each stop, she has helped her students gain academic skills while also helping them develop a love and concern for the environment.
Fueled by her personal passion for environmental and animal activism, Peeler founded a school club called the Green Team, which helps students understand the purpose of protecting the earth and the life on it.
Among the group’s many activities, the Green Team has taken care of school recycling responsibilities, learned survival skills, asked local businesses to make eco-friendly changes and encouraged all students to bring a “wasteless” lunch every Wednesday that leaves no trash behind when the meal is completed. Green Team members—which have amounted to roughly one out of every 10 students in the school—who attend more than half of their groups’ meeting dates are then invited to a campfire where they get to roast hot dogs and marshmallows with Kansas City firefighters.
During its 14-year lifespan, the Green Team has been recognized publicly, winning awards from both the Missouri Environmental Education Association and Heartland Utilities for Energy Efficiency.
“I believe students must have fun to learn,” said Peeler, who taught for six years at PHSD’s Plaza Middle School before transferring to Walden Middle School—the District’s new middle school—for the upcoming year. “Students are developing a love for their earth and sharing their pride of keeping it healthy. This then passes to their friends and family members. Just picking up a small piece of litter in front of someone else presents a strong message.”
Peeler was nominated for the Blue KC Sporting Samaritan honor by fellow Park Hill School District teacher Michael Goorsky, who observed her efforts when both were teaching at Plaza Middle School.
“Mrs. Peeler involved all of the students who applied to the Green Team,” said Goorsky. “She spent a lot of her time applying for grants, scheduling guest speakers and planning events all the while accepting as many students who wanted to participate. She was always so positive with the students as she shared her passion for helping our planet.”
With Blue KC Sporting Samaritans being honored monthly at Children’s Mercy Park during Sporting home games, fans are encouraged to nominate students and teachers like Peeler who are making a positive impact on their schools and in their communities. To nominate, visit https://www.sportingkc.com/bluekc.