Student Nomination Story

Not only is Mrs. Shannon Castelo my AP Human Geography teacher, but she is also my mentor, my coach, and my friend. She is the perfect example of what James River High School has to offer - an amazing teacher doing amazing things. In class, she doesn’t just teach what is required to be taught, but also teaches valuable lessons seamlessly interpreted through the text. I am exceedingly grateful for the many lessons she has taught me, and those extend to beyond the classroom. Mrs. Castelo teaches us about history and geography, but more than that, she teaches us about life. You would be amazed just sitting in and watching one of her classes with all the students so incredibly engaged in the learning process. Moreover, Mrs. Castelo is constantly taking time out of her own busy schedule to help other students and I succeed. When I first arrived my freshman year at James River High school, I wandered into Mrs. Castelo’s “AP Human Geography” class without a clue of what I was in for. After a brief introduction, Mrs. Castelo got right to work, no doubt captivating every single one of her fourth-block students along the way. With help from her partner-in-crime Mrs. Sanchez, I was reluctantly convinced to attend a Speech and Debate practice. I felt as if Mrs. Castelo noticed some unrealized potential in the slightly-timid girl sitting in the back of the classroom. Without this wonderful woman who took a chance on me, I wouldn’t be going to the Virginia High School League Debate State Championships my freshman year. I am beyond blessed to have an educator like Mrs. Castelo. She is a remarkable teacher who inspires me daily.

Maddy Boger

To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.