Native Spanish-speaker joins faculty

Lillian+Shannon+comes+to+New+Hope+from+the+Dominican+Republic+via+Annunciation+Catholic+School.
Lillian Shannon comes to New Hope from the Dominican Republic via Annunciation Catholic School.

Lillian Shannon comes to New Hope from the Dominican Republic via Annunciation Catholic School.

Hunter Brown

Hunter Brown

Lillian Shannon comes to New Hope from the Dominican Republic via Annunciation Catholic School.

Hunter Brown

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Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Lillian Shannon, one of New Hope’s newest Spanish teachers, brings with her a sense of heritage and pride to her teaching ability.

Raised in the middle-class areas of the Dominican Republic, Mrs. Shannon, at first, always knew she wanted to be an Archaeologist.

“At first, I wanted to be Archaeologist,” she said. “I would go to the library and check out all the Nancy Drew books because I loved the expeditions she would go on.”

But as she grew up, she realized the change she could make as a teacher, especially as she grew up around such passionate teachers in the Dominican Republic.

“I was curious about how someone could explain to a child how to read and understand the passage,” she explained. “I would go to this first grade teacher I knew and ask her how she had the ability to teach kids how to learn.”

Shannon understood how big of a part the teachers played in students’ lives as they grew up, and she knew that that’s something she wanted to be a part of.

Moving from the Dominican Republic to the United States was something that was difficult for her. Leaving her family, friends and ultimately her home, is something that she knew she would have to get used to.

Though she does visit her home country as often as she can, she notices that she has gotten used to the simple things that she has in the states that might not be so common in the Dominican Republic.

“You get spoiled here easily,” she expressed. “My family couldn’t afford having an air conditioner and a lot of people are without water…The people with air conditioners in the Dominican Republic are very wealthy!”

She flashes back to a time when she was visiting the Dominican Republic with her husband this past summer and how she couldn’t take the heat even though she had lived there her whole life. She was accustomed to living with the luxury of something we all take advantage of here in the states.

Before coming to the United States, Mrs. Shannon was a kindergarten teacher in the Dominican Republic for three years straight out of college. She then moved to Starkville from the Dominican Republic with her newlywed husband to start her life in the United States.

She talks about how teaching in the Dominican Republic differs from the United States.

“Back home, I was a teacher in a private school and at the school I was at they did not do observations in class,” she said. “The schools counted on their teachers to know the material and have the ability to teach it to the students.”

Mrs. Shannon has been in love with teaching since a very young age and doesn’t seem like she ever wants to give it up.

“I don’t have any plans on doing anything else,” she replied. “I have always told my husband that even if we had a lot of money, I would continue to be a teacher because this is my life and I love what I do.”

So far, Mrs. Shannon has treasured her time at New Hope and continues to excel at teaching her Spanish classes here were she teaches many different levels, from seniors to sophomores.

“I love my job. I love teaching.”

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