G. Peace

G. Peace

Emily Smith, News Writer

Ms. Shearer, the teacher who lost the chinchilla and who hasn’t done math since 2011, was voted by the Heritage High School faculty to be Teacher of the Year for the 2018-2019 school year. Having been at Heritage now for five years, Ms. Shearer has worked wonders with the Agriculture classes and FFA. She jokes about having spare time—“What spare time?”—but she does enjoy “watching Seinfeld and gardening” from time to time, activities she describes as “basically normal things.” That said, Ms. Shearer does devote a large amount of time to her job and to her students. Learning about her experiences over the past several years and listening to her students, it becomes clear why she was voted Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Shearer first felt the calling to become an agricultural teacher when she was “growing up on a farm, being a part of FFA during high school, and seeing that high school teachers have a good time doing their job.” According to Ms. Shearer, her greatest strength while teaching is “remembering that we are just kids and to try to be the person that I needed when I was [their] age.” The most rewarding experience she’s had while teaching would be “having kids want to pursue a life of teaching agriculture.” However, with greatness often comes weirdness.

Throughout her years of teaching agriculture, Ms. Shearer has been faced with strange experiences. She explains: “My weirdest school experience happened a few years ago. I dressed up as the Statue of Liberty, and, being an agriculture teacher, many people believe I am a veterinarian, which led to someone bringing in a pigeon that they wanted me to bring back to life. So I was dressed as the Statue of Liberty while carrying around this bird that someone wanted me to save.” Her weirdest experience in FFA? Definitely “getting lost in Indiana while it was dark outside; we were surrounded by things that I can only describe as Children of the Corn.”

Through all of the drama and the laughable moments, she does want her students to feel welcomed within her classroom. She has stated that “there is a place for everyone in my classroom, whether you are an Honors student, a football player, or just a normal student.” Talking to the wide array of students Ms. Shearer has impacted makes it clear that this is true. Senior and FFA Secretary Liana Greene noted that Ms. Shearer taught her that “it is always good to work hard and to never give up, even when times are tough.” Senior and FFA President Taylor Dyer said, “Ms. Shearer taught me how to be more of a hard worker, and she has pushed me to be better. She cares about all of her students and tries to push them to get the most out of them.” When asked what his favorite thing about Ms. Shearer was, senior Cade Henson said, “Her determination and her sense of humor.” Senior Holden Wheeler, asked what made him choose the Agriculture class in the first place, gave an enigmatic response: “Oh dear Neptune; I’ve enjoyed it.” Ms. Shearer clarified his statement: “Wheeler did not want to be in my class from the beginning, but he has ended up taking all of my classes.”

Ms. Shearer wants her students to use the knowledge they gain by using “everything they have to the best of their abilities to thrive and to reap the benefits of success.” She also encourages her students to stay active in the realm of agriculture by being informed correctly. Mrs. Shearer stated, “There is a lot of misinformation out there for them to come across. I also encourage my students to break the stereotypes, whether it is in agriculture or just in the outside world like I did.”

If you begin to wonder about FFA and joining Mrs. Shearer’s class, just go talk to her yourself about all the benefits you can gain from just taking the class. And if you wonder why she has so many animals in her room at random times: “it’s all part of the job.”


Correction: Ms. Shearer would like it known that she does math daily, despite not being in a math class since 2011.