Shawn McAteer Awarded Teacher of the Year

As teachers were grading tests, talking to students and explaining problems, a group of administrators crept quietly to the nearby classroom with balloons and flowers.

Shawn McAteer, resource teacher, was awarded Teacher of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year. 

“It’s humbling to be honest,” McAteer said. “The job that I do is not like the traditional job and I feel really strongly that the Teacher of the Year should be someone who has been in the classroom setting and put out a product even when the deck was stacked against them.”

McAteer has worked in the education field for 28 years and created the Individual Academic Center in 1997 to help students academically, socially and emotionally. 

“We have created something and worked hard to meet the needs of our students who are struggling the most,” McAteer said. “This award is recognition for the collective work that I have been a part of to address the needs of our students and to make Marquette a solid academic institution.”

McAteer said every year comes with a unique set of challenges but she is fortunate to have a job she enjoys doing. 

This award is recognition for the collective work that I have been a part of to address the needs of our students and to make Marquette a solid academic institution.”

— Shawn McAteer

“I really enjoy the one-on-one work I do with students and their families to give them hope that there is a path where they can get success even if it looks a little different or takes a little longer,” McAteer said. 

After the news was released, Megan Eshelman, senior, was one of the first people to congratulate McAteer. McAteer was Eshelman’s cross country coach and has impacted her in a number of ways. 

“She’s such a genuine person and you can tell she loves everyone she interacts with,” Eshelman said. “She is so much more than just a teacher or coach.”

Eshelman said McAteer is an “unsung hero” for the work she does behind the scenes and the investment she puts into students’ lives. 

Principal Dr. Steve Hankins said the Teacher of the Year award aims to provide recognition to those who are doing an amazing job and to encourage other staff members. 

“It even makes me feel proud of the profession I’m in and work we are doing for the kids,” Dr. Hankins said. 

The recipient of the award is always someone overly dedicated to their craft and who has done incredible things for their students, and in this case it was McAteer, Dr. Hankins said. 

Dr. Hankins said the Individual Academic Center is a safe haven that is instrumental to students. He said that McAteer has helped many students graduate who otherwise wouldn’t and talked them through issues from the personal and emotional side. 

“She’s very humble but the work she has done to build the program this year and in previous years have truly shown what a great person she is,” Dr. Hankins said.