Johnston County native Mark Peeples has received the Ivan D. Livi Aviation Maintenance Educator of the Year award from the Aviation Technician Education Council. He is director of Wayne Community College’s Aviation Systems Technology program.
The annual honor recognizes the outstanding achievement of an aviation maintenance instructor.
This award, Peeples said, is “like the who’s who in our industry. This is the top.”
Peeples has more than 40 years’ experience in aviation. After serving 25 years with the U.S. Navy, he worked for two years at a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility. For the last 15 years, Peeples has worked in academia, teaching at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Fla., and in Louisiana at SOWELA Technical Community College and Baton Rouge Community College, before coming to WCC.
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He graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 2002 with a degree in aeronautics and holds a pilot certificate with instrument rating and an airframe and powerplant mechanics certificate. Peeples is also a Designated Mechanic Examiner appointed by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The move to WCC in 2014 was a homecoming for Peeples, who grew up in Smithfield and Clayton.
Ernie White, director of WCC’s Applied Technologies Division, nominated Peeples for the award. “Professional, committed and driven are just some of the adjectives that describes Mark,” White wrote in his nomination. “Dedicated to student success is the primary mission that keeps the AMT [aviation maintenance technology] Department on task.”
“He consistently places students first in the classroom and is willing to come early or stay late to help students to be successful,” White added. “His strong values serve as a model for students prior to beginning their aviation career.
“There are many A&P instructors, but few continue to pass the rigors of annual inspections like Mark.”
This is Peeples’ second major recognition for his teaching acumen. In 2011, he received the Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. SOWELA Technical Community College nominated him for that award.