Peggy Carnahan retires after legendary career at OLLU

Peggy Carnahan, Director of the STEAM Center and a nationally recognized science educator, is retiring today after more than 20 years at OLLU and more than half a century working to improve science education for Texas public school children.

Known for her innovative work and hands-on teaching, Carnahan has influenced a generation of students and educators at OLLU since 1998. As Director of the Center for Math and Science Education (CSME), Carnahan helped more than 600 teachers earn master’s degrees, almost entirely tuition free, through evening, weekend and summer courses. Those teachers, in turn, impacted more than 200,000 students.

“Over the past two decades, we have written grants that have provided tuition and professional development exceeding $7 million of total project costs,” Carnahan wrote in her letter of resignation. “I am proud of the over 600+ alumni who have gotten their master’s degrees from OLLU, many focusing on Integrated Science. This is my legacy.”

A native of Bandera, Texas, Carnahan began her career as a biology and physical science teacher at John Jay High School in San Antonio in 1967. She and her students have earned much acclaim. Ten graduates have received the Outstanding Mentor Award at the Annual Texas Regional Science and Mathematics Summer Conference.  

In 2009, Northside ISD honored her as the namesake for Peggy Carnahan Elementary School. In 1978, she became the first woman to be named a Texas Academy of Science Fellow. In 1980, the Texas Education Agency named her Texas Teacher of the Year, the first time a Northside ISD educator won the award. Carnahan also received the Nita Beth Camp Legacy Award from the Texas Regional Collaborative for a lifetime of dedication and leadership in teaching.