M.S.A., Western Carolina University
Peggy Daniels is the Associate Head of School and the Upper School Principal. She began working at ACDS during the 1985-86 school year, teaching Spanish and language arts, and most recently has served as the Middle School Principal, leading the Middle School to adopt a successful program that incorporated single-gender instruction in grades six and seven.
Peggy has an MS degree in school administration and is a Certified Master Trainer with The Gurian Institute, leading workshops and making presentations across the U.S. to train teachers and share information with professionals and parents on brain-based learning and gender differences. She co-authored the book Successful Single-Sex Classrooms with Michael Gurian and Kathy Stevens.
Since her time at Carolina Day, she has received the CDS Headmaster’s Award; the Melissa Ogden Memorial Award; the Betty Lou Davis Teacher Recognition Award; and Western Carolina University awarded her the Don Chalker Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership in 2003.
Peggy and her husband, Rick, have two children who attended Carolina Day, a daughter, Rachel Daniels Garrison (1997) and a son, Sam Daniels (2001)
What do you like most about your job at CDS? “The opportunity to work for the benefit of students in a warm and exciting community, valuing education that is meaningful, skills-based and developmentally appropriate.
In your opinion, how does the CDS community inspire students to be courageous and curious, wonder about things that they don’t understand, try new things, and develop individual passions? “CDS celebrates the passion, dedication, and efforts of all who participate in this community. With that as a foundation, students quickly realize that they can be themselves and explore what they love. They are open to learning and to trying new things and their teachers use this to great advantage.”
What books and authors inspire you and your work at CDS? “One book that I have particularly enjoyed is Michael Gurian’s Nurture the Nature. The book reminds me of the unique nature that exists within each child and how important it is for us as parents and educators to help our students develop a sense of purpose in life--their purpose. The book reminds us of the importance of accepting of our children for who they are, not who we want them to be.”
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning? “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings...warmth is a vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of a child.” - Carl Jung
How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less? “Focused on meaningful learning and excited by growth and change.”
What personal passion brings balance to your life? “My family and spending quality time with them.”
How is CDS different from what you experienced as a child in school? “CDS encourages growth and everyone works together for the benefit of children. Teachers here are highly dedicated and give more of themselves than in any other school I have ever known. Coming to Carolina Day made a real difference for me professionally and enriched the lives of my children. Carolina Day inspires students, guides them to pursue their passions and become the best they can be, and encourages them to value relationships and make a difference.”