McFee Educator Earns National Geographic Fellowship

Cypress, TX (March 31, 2016) McFee Elementary School art teacher Jeanna Peña has been selected as one of the 2016 Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellows in recognition of her commitment to geographic education.

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Every year, K-12 educators are encouraged to apply for this professional development opportunity that allows them to bring immersive geographic learning experiences back to their classrooms and communities. Peña is one of 35 highly respected educators from the United States and Canada to receive this honor.

Later this year, Peña will embark on a 12-day Lindblad voyage aboard the National Geographic Explorer to Antarctica for a one-of-a-kind field experience, accompanied by Lindblad-National Geographic expedition experts. The expedition will provide Peña with new and exciting knowledge to bring back to Cypress Fairbanks ISD and the community.

Before the voyage, she will travel to National Geographic Society’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in hands-on workshops covering photography and outreach, and will have the opportunity to meet Lindblad Expeditions’ naturalists and to network with previous years’ Fellows.

Peña has a diverse background in international studies, curriculum integration, multicultural, bilingual and Montessori education, and is adamant about showing students possibilities beyond their current circumstances. She is passionate about travel and promoting global understanding through the arts. She has studied abroad in Mexico and Central America (completing “La Ruta Maya”) and has most recently served as a delegate to Cuba for the National Art Education Association.

“Being chosen as a Grosvenor Fellow with National Geographic has been nothing less than a dream realized, a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for which I am overwhelmingly grateful,” Peña said. “When I was little, whenever anyone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always had two things on my list. First, I wanted to be an artist. As I got a little older and discovered National Geographic and photography, I would say, ‘I want to be an artist and travel around the world taking pictures for National Geographic.’ I am beyond thrilled to have this opportunity and to realize this dream. It’s as if two worlds have collided in the most amazing way!”

Courtesy of the District