“It has always
been my dream to become a high school English teacher. As humorous as it may be, I even remember insisting to be the teacher whenever I ‘played school’ with my friends as a child,” confesses Shannon Polson, Clayton State University alumnus.
Around the time Polson graduated from Stockbridge High School, her mother was diagnosed with a crippling disease. She states that Clayton State’s local location made it possible for her to care for her mother while attending school. Clayton State’s beautiful campus, remarkable English department, and reasonable price are the other factors that led her to be a part of Laker Nation.
Polson graduated magna cum laude
with a 3.89 GPA from Clayton State in the spring of 2012 with a B.A. in English and a certification to teach English at the secondary level. She professes that she, “would not be where I am today without the support system I had through my professors — especially Dr. McNamara and Dr. Smith, who encouraged me through the toughest times.”
She also expresses that the English and Education departments are “phenomenal.” She is grateful to the supportive faculty for going the extra mile to help students’ dreams be made real.
The outstanding experience that solidified Polson’s decision to become an English teacher was her Literary London study abroad trip. She explains that the most memorable day of the trip involved a visit to the Globe Theater to watch Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
During the trip she remembered a lecture on the Globe Theater given by her ninth grade literature teacher.
“I remember asking my teacher why we had to learn about the theater and she said, ‘because I’m willing to bet some of you guys will either have an opportunity to watch a play at the Globe one day, or have an opportunity to teach this information to your own ninth grade class,’” recalls Polson.
Realizing the extent of her present opportunities, and the breadth of her future ones, Polson made the decision to switch her English concentration from purely literature to education.
Foreshadowing Polson’s future success was her long-term substitute-teaching job in fall 2012 at Eagle’s Landing High School. There she taught 10th and 11th grade English for an entire semester, and she is proud to announce that, during her semester as a sub, her 11th grade students had a 98 percent pass rate on the Georgia High School Writing Test.
As fate would have it, a position became available at Eagle’s Landing in the spring for the following school year, which Polson applied for and was accepted to. She signed her contract with Henry County Schools May 21, and will have her very own classroom this August. She exclaims that she couldn’t be more excited to start this new chapter of her life.
Polson’s college years were filled with many awards and achievements, which include her position as vice president of Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society. She also won the 2012 Debra Durden Award for Excellence in Teaching of English, the 2011 Bill Pasch Award for Outstanding Senior English Major, and an Academic Achievement Award in 2011 and 2012.
Polson grew up in Stockbridge, has a dog, named Roxy, who she spoils like a child, and was recently proposed to at the Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta. Needless to say… she said yes. She loves to read and write in her spare time, and enjoys traveling, photography, and crocheting. While awaiting her position at Eagle’s Landing, she currently works as a store supervisor at the Stockbridge Chick-fil-a Dwarf House.
“The great thing about teaching literature is that there are so any life lessons to be learned through each character’s experiences — there’s something for everyone,” states Polson.