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Mrs. Shannan Castellano


missing-Student ID-2Teacher: High School History
BA from Florida International Univ. – Elem. Ed., 1997
ACSI Certification
State Certification - NC

First let me state, I am the daughter of a singularly gifted teacher. I basically spent my childhood in a variety of her classrooms, her students were my siblings, and my evenings were by and large spent at board meetings, various school functions, and an array of teacher-parent nights. With this as a childhood, I had resolved early to NEVER become a teacher. Quite the opposite, I was interested in pursuing a degree in Broadcasting/Communications with a minor in English Literature. I dreamed of traveling the world and reporting on “Newsworthy Events” that would have a significant impact on the lives of others. However, God had other plans for me. During my second year of college I sustained a severe back injury and needed immediate surgery. I was required to move back home to await and then recover from this procedure. I would not be attending school in the fall, I was devastated and fearful. During the recovery process, I was left with time on my hands, and when asked to help in a back-to-school readiness program for “At-Risk” children I agreed. You see, even though I had no intentions of becoming a teacher; what I did have was an intrinsic interest in education and volunteer work. I enjoyed discussing, listening, and working with people of all ages, social, and culture backgrounds. That summer I spent almost eight hours a day, five days a week, with children from families that could not afford many of the things that I easily took for granted. I spent hours with bright, beautiful children that only wanted me to sit and read, sing, and draw with them. God united both my heart and mind with the need to serve these children: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these…., you did for me” seemed to echo in head. From that point forward, I began volunteer work at the local public schools: running errands for teachers, reading to small groups, and grading papers. I watched amazing women and men actively engage, nurture, and advocate for their students. I watched students become independent and critical thinkers. I finally realized that what I had viewed as my mother’s J-O-B for so many years, was much more. It was her calling, and it had become mine. In the fall of 1992, I finally transitioned from the Department of Communications to the Department of Education. I have never known a moment's regret.

Since those early days, I have worked in Inner City, Charter, and Magnate Public Schools, Homeless Shelters, Private Parochial, and Private Christian Schools. I have taught Pre-K through 12th Grade. I have had the pleasure of deep-sea fishing, cooking, re-enacting and role playing historical events, racing, touring, laughing, encouraging, lecturing, listening, defending, serving, and, at times, crying with hundreds of children each “uniquely and wonderfully made”. Throughout these varied schools, students, and experiences I have learned more than I taught and received more than I gave; and now after twenty years of teaching, I still anxiously await the beginning of each new school year.  And while not exactly “thankful” that I had to have back surgery all those years ago, I am forever grateful that God redirected my path because the blessings of this profession have been innumerable.