Scottsdale Educator Wins National Kudos for Animal-Friendly Classroom

For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Scottsdale, Ariz. – Just in time for Teacher Appreciation Month (May), TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—has announced the results of its national 2022 Teacher Appreciation Contest, and Vista College Prep educator Taytum Beasley has been named a runner-up. By reading books—like Junebug, which teaches that no animal is too small to deserve kindness—to her kindergarten students, discussing her experiences helping dogs, and so much more, Beasley is building on the natural empathy that children have for animals in order to teach them compassion for all sentient beings.

Beasley, who teaches in an area where it’s common to see lonely dogs left chained outside—even in the blistering heat—encourages students and their families to treat dogs as members of the household. She explains why it’s important to adopt and never buy animal companions through discussing her experiences as a volunteer at a local animal shelter. Via her growing social media presence, she also provides other educators with the tools and inspiration they need in order to introduce the topic of animal rights to their students. After learning about the dog-meat trade and going vegan, she persuaded several colleagues to ditch meat and choose compassionate meals instead.

“Whether she’s discussing why dogs belong indoors or why everyone should avoid squishing spiders, Taytum Beasley is modeling kindness to animals to the youngest learners,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is delighted to honor her for inspiring students to champion every animal, whether large or small.”

In addition to a framed certificate, Beasley will receive an animal-friendly gift basket designed especially for teachers.

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—offers free resources, presentations, lessons, and more to help teachers add compassion to their curriculum.

For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind