Peggy Cottey, a long-time Shirley High School English teacher, was honored on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, by Shirley School, the city of Shirley and Channel 4 news in Little Rock.

Shirley School District hosted a retirement breakfast for the 35-year teacher in the high school rotunda. Over 150 of her former and current students, colleagues, and community members were there to honor her.

Mayor Johnny Sowell and the city of Shirley proclaimed Jan. 27, 2014, as Peggy Cottey Appreciation Day in the city.

Natalie Walters, a Channel 4 meteorologist, was in attendance to surprise Cottey with a 2014 Channel 4 Outstanding Teacher award. Cottey was nominated by 42 of her current and past students, colleagues and parents of students.

In e-mails to Ali Brown, producer at the Channel 4 morning show, students described Cottey as spunky, while teachers looked up to her as a mentor and a leader at the school. Parents wrote that Cottey cared about all of her students and treated them as young adults. Many wrote that Cottey taught more than grammar and literature; she taught about


Members of Cottey’s family that were in attendance for the celebration included Jim Cottey, husband; Jamie Cottey Wood, daughter; Jenifer Cauley, niece; Vivianne Cauley-Alonzo, great-niece; and Terry Cauley, sister.