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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

English teacher Shannan Cremeens wins 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year

Smiling+widely%2C+Principal+John+McCabe+congratulates+English+teacher+and+English+Department+head+Shannan+Cremeens+on+winning+the+2023-2024+Teacher+of+the+Year+title.+Sophomore+Cooper+Oswald+was+a+witness+to+the+celebration.+%E2%80%9CWe+were+all+pretty+excited.+We+were+all+clapping+and+standing+up.+We+even+%5Bgot+to%5D+take+a+picture+with+her%2C%E2%80%9D+Oswald+said.
Abbi Vanvalkenburg
Smiling widely, Principal John McCabe congratulates English teacher and English Department head Shannan Cremeens on winning the 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year title. Sophomore Cooper Oswald was a witness to the celebration. “We were all pretty excited. We were all clapping and standing up. We even [got to] take a picture with her,” Oswald said.

On Friday, English teacher and English Department head Shannan Cremeens’ sixth-hour class was interrupted by bright balloons and a fruit basket. Principal John McCabe walked in, announcing that Cremeens had won the 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year title.

Cremeens, who has been teaching for 24 years, was chosen out of six nominees for the title. 

“I am overwhelmed and excited at the same time. I’m extremely humbled by it. This year, I was up against some pretty stiff competition; I am surrounded by greatness. Parkway West has a lot of great teachers. So, to be selected from that list is an honor. Just to be nominated [and] then to actually be selected is above and beyond my expectations completely,” Cremeens said.

Cremeens was in the middle of teaching English 2 when the announcement came. 

“[My students] thought for a minute [that] I was in trouble. They were all like, ‘Wait, what’s going on?’ Then they were all excited. I was like, ‘No way. No way that I won that,’” Cremeens said. 

A member of Cremeens’ class, sophomore Max Moore, was present for the surprise celebration. Moore appreciates Cremeens’ class for her teaching style.

“We were all pretty surprised. It was very emotional. She was very, very happy about it,” Moore said. “She’s just a really laid-back, awesome teacher. She’s very understanding of what everyone needs.”

Another student of Cremeens’, sophomore Gillian Preston, finds English 2 to be a very organized and easy-to-follow class.

“She is very specific about her due dates and the details of her assignments. I almost never have questions. [If] someone asks me what we’re doing [in class], I can always tell them exactly what’s going on. She’s very clear,” Preston said.

Even still, Cremeens didn’t always aspire to be a teacher. She originally planned to go into law, but she quickly found a passion for teaching English.

“My mom was a teacher. I come from a long line of teachers. I thought I was going to be a lawyer like my dad,” Cremeens said. “But as I got into it, I decided that I like to read. I like to teach literature. I just landed here. I’ve been doing this for a while now.”

Cremeens finds a love for teaching in the impact she gets to make. 

“Being a teacher to me is one of those professions that you just never know where it’s going to live. Every day, we teach students things. We have no idea when it’s going to stick, how it’s going to stick or if it’s going to stick right,” Cremeens said. “So, it’s very rewarding when you have students come back and say, ‘I remember when we did X’ or ‘I’m so glad you taught me how to do Y.’ That, to me, is the reason why we teach — it’s awesome.”

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About the Contributor
Emily Early, Editor-in-Chief
Pronouns: she/her Grade: 12 Years on staff: 4 What is your favorite piece of literature? "Turtles all the way down" by John Green. Who is your hero? My parents, always. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Realistically, avocado toast, but I really want to say blueberries.
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  • S

    Samir ShaikDec 14, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    YESSS WELL DESERVED!!! Also great article Emily

    Reply
  • L

    Lauren HolcombDec 14, 2023 at 8:12 am

    I LOVE YOU MRS. CREMEENS !!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • L

    Lauren HolcombDec 14, 2023 at 8:12 am

    DESERVED

    Reply
    • W

      Will GonsiorDec 14, 2023 at 12:12 pm

      100% and the coverage is awesome too.

      Reply