Posts Tagged ‘Shannon Shanning’

Finalist for Teacher of the Year

August 16, 2012

Congratulations to middle school educator Shannon Shanning

Bruce Whittier Middle School is one lucky place for having Shannon Shanning as a teacher. Shannon was recently named as a finalist for the 2013 Maine Teacher of the Year. She joins colleagues Kathy Bousquet, a second and third grade teacher at Central School in South Berwick, and Beth Switzer, fourth-grade teacher at the Coastal Ridge Elementary School. An article in the Sun Journal on Monday provides details. You can access it by clicking here.

When I look at the Core Practices of the Bright Futures Middle Level report there are so many components that are integral to what Shannon does everyday as a middle school educator.

What jumps out? Shannon’s classroom description fits Core Practice 1: Students have access to curriculum that is relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory and is organized and executed to maximize accessibility for all students.

Example: “Shanning embeds learning into real-world experiences and connects students to the school and greater community through such efforts as the “MidKnight Fire-Slayers,” a partnership with the local fire department, according to the Maine Department of Education. She creates an environment of high engagement, challenge and support that inspires students to become more confident, capable and productive learners.”

Core Practice 7: Faculty, administration, and students collaboratively build a safe and caring climate that nurtures the individual while creating a sense of community where everyone is valued. In Shannon’s self-contained special education classroom the relationships that Shannon has with her students is built on her attention to building a safe and caring environment that definitely nurtures individuals as they all care for each other.

Principal Farag-Davis said that “Many of her students have developed a sense of themselves as incapable and helpless as learners,”. Shannon meets each student where they’re at, helps them develop goals, provides the instruction, encouragement “and occasional kick in the pants necessary to help them achieve their goals.”

Congratulations to Shannon as she continues in the process for the 2013 Maine Teacher of the Year!

Maine Teacher of the Year Nominees

April 17, 2012

Two middle school teachers honored

Last week at the Hall of Flags in the State House in Augusta I was fortunate to attend an event where this years nominees for the 2013 Maine Teacher of the Year were honored. Each teacher sets up a display that provides visitors the opporunity to highlight the work they do with students. There are 8 nominees this year and 2 of them teach grades 7 and 8. I happened to sit with Tracy Scully and Shannon Shanning the evening before the event at a supper for the nominees. It was so exciting to hear about the work they do every day with students. Their passion for teaching young adolescents was clear! Below is a description of Tracy and Shannon I can see the connections of how they teach to the Core Practices from the Bright Futures report. In the next few days Tracy and Shannon will learn if they move on to the next level of the process. The Teacher of the Year selection process takes about 9 months and provides the opportunity for teachers to reflect on their teaching. Congratulations to both Tracy and Shanning!

Shannon Shanning is a special educator in a self-contained, integrated learning classroom at Whittier Middle School. She demonstrates a remarkable ability to embed learning into real-world experiences and connect students to the school and greater community through such efforts as the “MidKnight Fire-Slayers,” a partnership with the local fire department. Ms. Shanning provides an environment of high engagement, challenge, and support that inspires students to become more confident, capable, and productive learners.






Tracy Scully has been teaching at Acton Elementary School for the past 18 years. With boundless energy, enthusiasm, and attention to detail, she is a source of strength, support and inspiration to her students, colleagues and community. She continually strives to learn more and meet the challenges of an ever-changing world. Ms. Scully was the first one to seek out the Maine Learning Technology Initiative and became Acton Elementary School’s MLTI lead teacher and continues to serve in that capacity. In addition, she is the team leader for the 7th and 8th grade teachers, athletic director, Best Writing Contest lead coordinator and the teacher liaison to the Parent/Teacher group. Ms. Scully’s nickname is “Squirrel,” because no one can do so much, as efficiently with thoroughness and enthusiasm. She is an example of a teacher who loves what she does and continues to grow and learn, not out of sense of duty, but because learning is exciting. Ms. Scully transfers this to her students and those fortunate enough to work with her.

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