Soccer playing, murder-mystery novel reading junkie, and AP Biology teacher Shannon Votaw is not the average science teacher. After working for five years at Malden High School, Votaw finds the most rewarding part of her job to be, “meeting new teachers at MHS and getting to know students and seeing how they progress overtime.” This is definitely something Votaw enjoys observing. Due to the fact that Votaw has taught Honors Biology, most of the freshman she has taught have then taken AP Biology in their senior year so she can see her students and how they mature and progress. Votaw’s life before becoming a teacher at MHS consisted of attending college at Purdue University where she received her undergraduate degree and then she attended the University of New Hampshire where she received her Master’s degree. During this time, Votaw ended up changing her major four times; first majoring in pre-veterinary then switching to nursing, from here majoring in biology, and finally majoring in sociology. Throughout switching all of her majors at some point in her college career, Votaw came to the conclusion that she has always enjoyed the life sciences which is what essentially motivated her to take some time majoring in nursing. She found the majors she took to be interesting because, “[Votaw] was never a big fan of math.” She also found her majors to be appealing because Votaw likes looking at and studying living organisms. Coming right out of college after receiving her masters degree, Votaw went right to education as she could not see herself, “working in a lab all of the time.” Votaw also found education and teaching in general to be appealing because she has always enjoyed, “interacting with students and sharing [her] own knowledge of different concepts and personal experiences.” Along with this, Votaw enjoys helping students understand the connection between the curriculum and the world as she likes, “relating subjects to real life.” Due to Votaw’s love for teaching and education she teaches a variety of classes as she teaches pathology Honors and CP, AP Biology, and Bunker Hill Intoduction to Biology classes at night. Votaw expressed that the classes are easy to manage because, “ most of the content is similar between the Bunker Hill Biology class and the AP Biology class and the AP material might be more challenging.” Regardless of the class or the level at which is is taught at, Votaw enjoys teaching evolution the best as she finds, “the connection between science and history to be fascinating.”

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