Not Just a Mathematician


Charlotte Comeaux '24

Dr. Peace’s Honors Analysis class learns about verifying trigonometric functions.

Charlotte Comeaux, Reporter

Do you know how to take home loans out of the bank without falling into a lifetime’s worth of debt? Her students did not until Dr. Peace taught them about home loans in class. Do you know how to pay off credit card debt at the end of each month? They do now. Do you know how to prevent alligators from eating you? They do, thanks to Dr. Peace’s fun facts.

Heather Peace, Upper School Mathematics, teaches Algebra II Part two, Multivariable Calculus, and Honors Analysis and is the tenth grade dean. She has been at Fort Worth Country Day for eight years, but got her own classroom five years ago. For the three years that she did not have a classroom, she taught in what is now Cindy Keller’s room when the other teacher had free periods. She began teaching Multivariable Calculus around six years ago, when the demand for it became large enough. There are only two students in the class this year, and both are seniors. Usually, the class is relatively small because many students graduate before taking the class.

Multivariable Calculus is a “Beyond Advanced Placement” class, so students who have already completed the AB or the BC Calculus—both Advanced Placement—classes will take this type of math. The AP Calculus classes are predominately senior filled classes, so only students who are a year ahead in math or have “doubled-up” on math at some point in their high school career have the option to take Multivariable Calculus. 

Honors Analysis, which is the honors class taken instead of Accelerated Precalculus, is mostly filled by juniors, with a few sophomores in each class.

Peace attended Baylor University in Waco, where she received her undergraduate degree in math. She then earned her masters degree in math at Western Kentucky University and her doctorate degree in Education in the Sciences at Texas Christian University.

Before coming to Country Day, Peace was an adjunct professor at TCU for two years and taught at Weatherford College for seven years.

In Peace’s class, students not only learn math but also learn random fun facts about the world. Facts about animals and how to pay credit card debt are not infrequent.

“She’s very knowledgeable about an array of subjects, and she likes to share that information,” Rhea Alexander ‘24 said. “She has a variety of different perspectives, so one can learn things besides math from her.” 

Peace leads the math program Mu Alpha Theta, which has members who have already completed Honors Algebra II and have a high enough GPA (at least a 90 overall in math) to be inducted into the society. Students in the program tutor other students in math and earn hours of community service to stay in the program. She provides competitions that students can participate in as a team or individually.

“Dr Peace genuinely wants all of the members to keep their membership. Her passion for math is clear with how she sets up competitive and learning opportunities for the members,” Chris Baker ‘23 said.

Peace also leads the competitive math program in which students compete with other schools to solve complex math problems. They meet before school on some days in her room and practice for upcoming tournaments. There is no official name for this group, but each year they choose a name to compete under. One year they were the “Squadrilaterals,” another year they were the “Mathletes,” and another time they were the “Gentlemen.”

Dr. Peace has proven her love for math, and Math Department Head and Upper School Statistics and Calculus teacher David Hoppe agrees.

“Dr. Peace is a ‘renaissance woman’ in that she lives, loves and believes math, and loves to apply math to science,” Hoppe said.

Peace is part of the Universal Book Committee and is always reading a book, whether it be a candidate for the Universal Book Program, a potential award book for math students at the end of the year, or one that she is reading for fun.

Peace started doing yoga in college and continues to do yoga for fun with her kids. She goes for jogs and does yoga with her kids about twice a week, staying active. She also enjoys cooking and cooks with her kids. She also enjoys writing short stories and poetry, and her writing covers an array of topics. Some of her poems explore being a teacher, some allude to her family, and others use literary techniques to convey the (sometimes hidden) meaning of the story.

“I hope to write more this year,” Peace said.

Included below is Dr. Peace’s poem, “A Story in Contronyms”:

After my guests left the solitary woodland cabin, I had enough sugar left for one more batch of cookies.

While I was dusting the cookies with powdered sugar, I saw that the shelf needed dusting.

As I garnished the cookies, I realized I had to stay in because my wages had been garnished.

I put out the fresh batch of cookies before I put out the lights.

I went to close the blinds so I could screen myself in order to privately screen the movie.

When I looked through the transparent glass, it became transparent that someone was watching me.

My sanguine outlook was crushed by a pair of sanguine eyes.

The intruder had overlooked my evening’s progress because I had overlooked his presence.

I tried to bolt to bolt the door against this unknown person but I was too slow.

I tempered my anxiety as I reached for a tempered steal knife.

I knew this variety of predator may use a variety of attacks.

I attempted to refrain from panicking as “survive” became my mind’s refrain.

I bound for escape before being bound in his grip.

I tried to go, but my legs started to go.

I began to trip on my trip down the hall.

My quick wit threw out the idea of tossing an oil lamp at the intruder as I threw out the notion of using

the knife.

I realized to fight with this man meant I needed to fight with fire.

The flames sanctioned his progress as they sanctioned my escape.

The fine dust particles ignited in fine fashion.

I received a first-degree burn but avoided murder in the first degree.

“[A Story in Contronyms] was fun to write,” said Peace, “It’s nice to challenge yourself”.

Dr. Peace is obviously skilled in math as well as leadership and writing, which makes her a well-rounded teacher.