Teacher of the Year

The 2019-2020 JRHS Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Shannon Castelo!

Shannon is one of the strongest teachers that I have had the opportunity to work with in my seventeen-year career. She holds her students to the highest standard and takes great pride in her craft. She has served as one of the lead AP teachers in the county for a number of years, sponsors the Model UN, co-sponsors the MAC Club, co-sponsors the Speech and Debate Team, and is involved in a number of other activities at JRHS. Shannon is considered one of the top AP Human Geography teachers in Virginia, has led numerous professional development on various topics, and most recently received an REB Award.

Shannon is a force of nature and a powerful champion for her students. Her passion, her attention to detail, her engagement, her creativity — all of these are unsurpassed within the school. She creates fascinating outside-the-box projects and activities for her students. She challenges them to think further and deeper in a time when it seems like students are being asked to push themselves less and less. She insists that students try and encourages them when they do. She took on the enormous challenge of launching our debate team this year — in addition to managing the Model UN club and MAC — and her debaters have gone further than any of us could have dreamed of in the team’s first time having a real presence in years. She has high goals for herself and never stops finding ways to improve and to change things up. I dearly wish that I could just sit in Shannon’s classes and learn from her, both as a teacher and as a student. She is such an inspiring and dedicated teacher and is worthy of this honor in every way. Shannon Castelo is the ultimate example of dedication, persistence, loyalty, professionalism, and standards. This community would not be the same without her constant attention to detail and ability to push others to be their very best. As adults we already know how amazing she is but just listen to some of her students and debaters:

  • “She’s honest and really good at her job. She really knows how to teach- she makes sure we know what we’re supposed to know and be able to use it!”
  • “She is willing to do whatever it takes to get her students to succeed.”
  • “Mrs. Castelo always does stuff for other people. She cares about the well being of her students over herself.”
  • “She goes beyond just the slideshows and bullet points. She dives into the topics and gives real life examples so we can really understand the issue or topic. You can just see how much she cares about her students. She stays after every day to make sure we succeed. Her commitment is obvious through her countless hours.”
  • “She is extremely passionate about what she does and wants the best for all of her students! She is extremely good at what she does and incredibly smart!”
  • Mrs. Castelo finds a way to help every student that she comes in contact with. I am not even her student and she’s given me some of the best advice about life and classes. I feel like I learn something from every conversation.”