Ms Shook: Teacher Feature


Jeff Chin

Going into the 2022-23 school year, there has been a shift in our staff arrangements at WHS. With Ms. Batty stepping up to be a vice principal, in her place stands our newest addition to the faculty at Waterford High School, Ms. Shook. She teaches biology, anatomy and physiology, and forensic science in room 325. Before coming to Waterford, she previously worked at schools in California. 

Ms. Shook grew up in the Niantic and East Lyme areas and enjoyed hobbies such as gardening, working with animals, and playing ice hockey. She attended Mount Holyoke, an all-women’s college in Massachusetts with a major in world religions and biology. Along with her major, she was on the pre-med track. During the summer, she worked at the pediatric ER at Yale. It was there that she decided that she wanted to work hands-on with a career in occupational or speech therapy. She enjoyed working with kids at the pediatric hospital and in therapy and teaching ultimately fit right into her interests.  When asked about her motivations for becoming a teacher, she talked about her interest in working in a classroom with kids. She also jokingly stated, “student debt, of course, was also killing me.”

Before working at WHS, she worked at other schools in our area, such as Montville, Norwich, and Groton. She originally worked at schools in California, however, she decided to return because she preferred the environment of Connecticut over the busy area in California where she used to live. She was offered a completely paid graduate school at Sacred Heart University, which also influenced her to return, however, most of all, she wanted to be closer to her family, who were living on the East Coast.

Ms. Shook said that her experience at WHS has been fantastic so far. She loves the variety of class levels, copious amounts of labs, and diversity of clubs, but most of all, she said, “I love having my own classroom. I wasn’t able to have this much space to myself at the previous schools I worked at because I would always have to share a classroom.” Along with working as a teacher, in her free time she works as a veterinary technician working with animals in Niantic and also enjoys hobbies such as gardening and playing kickball and football.

Students who take her class also seem to enjoy her style of teaching. One of her students, senior Peter Colonis, who has her for anatomy and physiology, says he thinks she is a great fit for our school. “I enjoy the hands-on learning that she has in her class and she comes across as very educated and knowledgeable on everything she teaches about.” He also likes how her class consists of lots of labs, which keeps him intrigued with the material that he is learning. Peter recommends looking into any of Ms. Shook’s classes because he thinks that she is a great addition to our school.

Ms. Shook said she has had a warm welcome into WHS in her first couple of days and is looking forward to being part of the Lancers for the upcoming school year. When asked about prospective goals for the year, she said, “I’m excited to be a part of Waterford culture and explore the vast amount of clubs and activities Waterford has to offer.” Specifically, she is looking forward to looking into the gardening club here, but overall she is happy and grateful to be at Waterford this year.