Mrs. Cindy Peavy

Phone: 205-871-8191

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

M.S. Ed, Elementary Education, Samford; M.A. English, UAB; B.S. Natural Sciences and Mathematics (Biology/Chemistry), UAB

Mrs. Cindy Peavy

About Me

   I didn’t set out to become a teacher. But my life has zigzagged inevitably toward that destination. It started with a passion for learning and an insatiable curiosity.

   As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the beauty and intricacies of creation—how light forms a rainbow, how tadpoles become frogs, how cells cooperate to form organisms. This interest in nature led me into science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where I earned a B.S. in natural sciences and mathematics, graduating summa cum laude. I seemed to be heading for a career in science, even working stints as a naturalist at Ruffner Mountain Nature Center and a water analyst for an engineering firm.

   Along the way, though, I had fulfilled every elective with writing and literature courses, unintentionally earning more than a minor in English. While many of the science and math courses I’d taken were not by choice—biochemistry and Calculus II come immediately to mind!—I realized that I’d taken every English class because I’d wanted to be there. So when I decided to go to graduate school, I went on to earn a Master of Arts in English and afterwards taught freshman composition and sophomore literature at UAB and Samford University for several years.

   As I taught writing, I fine-tuned my own skills and began to pursue a career as a writer. For the next fifteen years, I worked as a freelance writer, writing pretty much anything somebody would pay me to write—from radio spots and video scripts, to corporate brochures, magazine articles, and advertisements. I wrote for a broad range of local and national clients, including Dow Chemical, Little Debbie, SunTrust Bank, GameTime Playground Equipment, BellSouth, American Cyanamid, and Tucker Wayne. One of the best parts of my job was the opportunity to tour facilities in order to write more competently about them. I’ll never forget seeing molten iron formed into pipes at ACIPCO, cotton woven into denim at Avondale Mills, or the inside of a cloister with Mother Angelica.

   Having a son, however, began to change the direction of my path once again. Nothing I had ever done compared to the joy of teaching Marcus to read and write, the excitement of watching him learn something new. So when he entered third grade, I returned to graduate school to pursue a career in teaching.

   After earning a Master of Science in elementary education at Samford, I taught for two years at Valley Intermediate in Pelham before joining Highlands School where Marcus attended. During my eight years at Highlands, I taught fourth and fifth grade language arts, as well as after-school and summer creative writing classes.

   Because of my love of learning, I’ve worked to grow as a teacher. For two summers, I participated in the Red Mountain Writing Project (the local affiliate of the National Writing Project), one year as a fellow and the second as a mentor. Currently, I work with the Project on the leadership team, focusing on the on-going training of teachers of writing, along with developing the middle school summer writing camp at UAB. I’ve also attended and presented at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual conferences, as well as local and regional conferences, and in April 2009, I worked at the Center for Teaching and Learning in Maine as an intern with Nancie Atwell, considered by many to be the nation’s leading teacher of writing before she retired. 

   Obviously, I am passionate about writing and teaching, and I feel like the zig-zags in my life have made me the writer and the teacher I am today. But teaching isn’t the only thing in my life. I've been married for more than thirty years to Mark Peavy, who attended Mountain Brook Elementary for his first four years of school. Our son Marcus, now in his twenties, is an artist, poet, and singer-songwriter who lives in San Francisco. Together, the three of us have enjoyed many adventures over the years, spending most summers on road trips, camping across the U.S. and Canada. These have included thirty-seven nights in a tent across sixteen states and two Canadian provinces and, most recently, forty-one nights across New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and California.
 
   To help us through our new stage of life as empty nesters, Mark and I added a new member to our family: Mazzy, a golden retriever born in March 2009. She loves the river as much as I do, and most weekends we manage to work in a swim and a walk through the woods, where nature continues to fascinate and inspire me. Some things never change.

   Some things do. However, I’ve learned to appreciate the indirect route that led me into teaching. Every zig, every zag has shaped me and made me more. So it’s with anticipation that I begin a new year at Mountain Brook Elementary, eager to see what direction this new year will take me.

  • M.S.Ed, Elementary Education K-8, Samford UniversityM.A.,
    English, UABB.S. Natural Science and Mathematics (Biology and Chemistry concentration),
    UAB