We are delighted to continue our series of posts featuring new teachers at FWSU this year. Don’t miss Part 1.



IMG_0367 - Shannon McCullen

Teaching Assignment:  Middle School Literacy Interventionist

School: BFA Fairfax

Hometown: Essex Junction

Alma Mater: University of Vermont – BA/BS in Political Science and Education Currently attending Purdue University – Masters in Special Education

Teaching Experience: I was a social studies long-term sub in Milton and was a long-term sub for this position last year

Why You Chose Teaching: I interned for Senator Shaheen in college and realized after that I wanted to work with kids more than work in government.

Hobbies/Interests: Boy Scouts, camping, swimming, hiking.

Little Known Fact About You: I am a Boy Scout leader in two units and hold a district position.

Accomplishment you are most proud of (so far!):  I earned my Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards

Wellness Lifestyle Tip: Get enough sleep – no matter how hard it might be.

Fun Summer Memory:  I am the waterfront director at Mt. Norris Scout reservation and while teaching water sports, the motorboat died and had to be paddled back to shore.

Favorite Thing:  Anything Harry Potter

Quotable: “Be prepared” – Boy Scout motto



IMG_0808 - Christina Caswell

Teaching Assignment:  Second Grade

School: BFA Fairfax

Hometown: Fairfax

Alma Mater: Johnson State College Class of 2015 with a BA in Elementary and Special Education. Graduated Magna Cum Laude

Teaching Experience: I did my student teaching and a long-term sub position here at BFA, and then I taught in LNSU for two years in a multi-aged second and third-grade class.

Why You Chose Teaching: I knew I wanted to teach ever since I was little. I always played teacher with my stuffed animals and dolls, which led to babysitting, working at childcare centers, and now teaching in elementary schools.

Hobbies/Interests: Teaching of course! Being with family and hanging out with friends

Little Known Fact About You: I can’t bend my pinky finger due to cutting my tendon when I was younger.

Accomplishment you are most proud of (so far!):  Being given the opportunity to work at a great place like BFA!

Wellness Lifestyle Tip: Sleep!

Fun Summer Memory:  I went to the best concert! I got to see Luke Bryan at Fenway Park!

A Few Favorite Things:  I love anything pasta, bread, or cheese related! I love my pets, country music, and BBQ’s. My favorite show to watch is This is Us – I cry every time!

Quotable: “If it is meant to be, it will be. Everything happens for a reason”



image - Jennifer McConnell

Teaching Assignment:  Music Teacher

School: Fletcher Elementary

Hometown: Sheldon, VT

Alma Mater: Moody Bible Institute – B.A. Church Music; Castleton University – M. Music Ed.

Teaching Experience: 14 years Franklin/Sheldon

Why You Chose Teaching: It fell in my lap when I first moved to Vermont, and I quickly fell in love with teaching. It is my calling, and I love my work!

Hobbies/Interests: Singing, Skiing, Playing Flute

Little Known Fact About You: I love the Patriots! (Not a little-known fact, but good to know this time of year!)

Accomplishment you are most proud of (so far!):  My 4 amazing kids: Sarah, Marcus, Duncan, and Matthias

Wellness Lifestyle Tip: Registering for races keeps me running!

Fun Summer Memory:  Hanging out at Bromont water park in Canada (this summer). Touring Europe with my family last summer.

A Few Favorite Things:  Pizza (so cliche but so true), ice cream, and COFFEE!

Quotable: To my students ALL THE TIME: If you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, we won’t have any problems!



IMG_7499 - Emily Coale

Teaching Assignment:  School Counselor

School: Fletcher Elementary

Hometown: Winooski

Alma Mater: Middlebury College, Bachelor of Arts in Religion, George Mason University, Masters in School Counseling

Teaching Experience: This is my first year as a school counselor. I worked for two years as a kindergarten partner teacher for DC Public Schools.

Why You Chose Teaching: I think as school counselors we have a unique opportunity to be really creative with how we support students and families. I love working with students and their families as well as with teachers, school staff, and community resources to think of and coordinate supports and services to ensure all students have what they need to be successful in school.

Hobbies/Interests: Hiking with my dog Enzo, painting, drawing, and cross-country skiing.

Little Known Fact About You: I grew up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Accomplishment you are most proud of (so far!):  Completing my masters in school counseling!

Wellness Lifestyle Tip: Do what you love!

Fun Summer Memory:  I got married!

A Few Favorite Things:  Chocolate, VT cheese, Mamma Mia, my beautiful baby niece!

Quotable: “No one is you, that is your power.”




Teaching Assignment:  Title I Math Interventionist

School: BFA Fairfax

Hometown: Originally from St. Johnsbury, VT and currently live in Swanton, VT

Alma Mater: McGill University, Montreal PQ Bachelors of Science Anatomy & Cell Biology

Teaching Experience: This is my 16th year of teaching and I have taught at St. Johnsbury Academy, Spaulding High School, and the Lake Champlain Waldorf High School

Why You Chose Teaching: I love working with students and making learning fun.

Hobbies/Interests: Reading and spending time with family and friends.

Little Known Fact About You: I love to make people laugh.

Accomplishment you are most proud of (so far!):  Making a happy and healthy family.

Wellness Lifestyle Tip: Go to sleep at the right time!

Fun Summer Memory: This summer we went to the Jersey Shore and ended up swimming with stingrays.

A Few Favorite Things: I love food that makes me feel healthy and nourished, and I love music of all kinds…but mumble rap needs to go.

Quotable: “I am struck by the fact that the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think that the same is true of human beings. We do not wish to see children precocious, making great strides in their early years like sprouts, producing a soft and perishable timber, but better if they expand slowly at first as if contending with difficulties, and so are solidified and perfected. Such trees continue to expand with nearly equal rapidity to extreme old age.” – Henry David Thoreau

One thought on “THE FWSU STORY: Meet the New Teachers, Part 2

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