Shannon grew up in Southern California but made her way to Austin, Texas chasing a soccer scholarship to UT Austin and a degree in history. Fast forward many years and Shannon happily resides in Austin with her husband and two daughters. When she isn’t teaching U.S. History to middle school students or driving her family crazy by talking about history, Shannon enjoys running, hiking, and spending her time with family.
She notes that her proudest achievement as an educator was receiving the James Madison Memorial Fellowship and “walking into the classroom every day with the same joy and excitement as I did that very first day I walked into the classroom 17 years ago.”
When asked about her influences, Shannon said she was inspired to teach by her aunt Barbara Alexander, and her high school Spanish teacher Rosie Geck. “Both women not only dedicated their lives to the profession of teaching but did so with a passion for their subject matter and compassion for their students.”
Shannon says he favorite unit to teach is the 19th Century Reform Movements. “Students can have a difficult time connecting to the past, but I find their interest level and ability to connect past to present happens organically with the Reform Movements.”
“When my students leave my classroom I want them to know and understand three things: the way their government (local, state, and national) is set up, their natural rights which are supposed to be protected by the government, and how to work within and outside the system to make change if those rights are not secured. The 19th Century Reform Era serves as an ideal example of people choosing to make a difference for those whose rights were not secure.”