Name of staff member: Shannon Heintz;
Position in USD #435: Biology Teacher;
Years in this position: this will be my 15th year;
Previous teaching experience: none--started in Abilene in 1998;
What inspired you to go into education? My dad taught college biology, microbiology and genetics for 35 years. I always valued the education he gave me and I marveled at how he inspired students to pursue scientific careers. Science is not just a subject I teach, it is my way of life. I immerse myself into the scientific world because it is my passion and I want to share my passion with my students. I am hoping that maybe just a little bit of my love for science rubs off onto my students and that they either remember something cool or fun we did in science or continue their scientific education in college.
What brought you to Abilene? My husband is a farmer and we live 17 miles north of Abilene. So, when I was hunting for a job, the position at Abilene was perfect.
A memorable teaching moment: There are so memorable moments over the past 15 years, it is hard to just narrow it down to one. One of the things I like the best about teaching is the growth you see in students. I teach mainly sophomores in biology and there is such a big difference between how they act their sophomore year compared to their senior year. I love it when former students, both those still at AHS and those that have gone to college or a career e-mail me or come and visit me and tell me how they are doing, what they are studying etc.
I love keeping in contact with students, makes education seem more like a full circle rather than just a one time class.