Paige Cameron CFNN Reporter

The Teacher of the Year award isn’t given out to just any teacher. Instead, the award is given to a teacher who is well respected, passionate about her work, caring for others, and a strong leader. 

Cape Fear High School’s staff is built with excellent teachers, but one teacher goes above and beyond each year. This year’s Teacher of the Year award goes to Calculus fanatic, Wolfpack fan and bowling mom, Mrs. Shannon Hancock.

Mrs. Hancock is no stranger to the student body. The courses she teaches, including Pre-Calculus and both AP Calculus courses, allow her to interact with more than half of the school.

Mrs. Hancock is a hit among the students with her enthusiastic demeanor and her various “country” sayings like, “Howdy, y’all!” and “Sorry dog!” With a personality like Mrs. Hancock’s, it’s hard not to love her.

Mrs. Hancock has been teaching for 25 years and has worked at Cape Fear High for 18 of those. Her inspiration to be a teacher came from her sophomore and senior year math teacher, Mr. Phipps. His dedication and fascination for math inspired her to follow in his footsteps.

“I had teachers who were good at math but were not passionate about what they were doing. I saw the difference for myself and how I learned with a teacher that was doing a job and a teacher that was exploring their passion. It just lit a fire in me.” 

Not only was Mr. Phipps an influence in Hancock’s career choice, but her family proved to be big supporters in her decision. She believes God put Mr. Phipps in her path to reveal her calling for teaching. 

“My philosophy of education is that every child is gifted and every child can learn,” Hancock said. “I’m going to try to help all of them achieve the best that they can.” 

Being Teacher of the Year doesn’t come without its own challenges.

“One of the biggest challenges is the student who doesn’t think they can, so they ‘don’t want to try because if they ‘don’t try, they won’t fail,” said Hancock.  

“Motivating that child is always the challenge. Now, I get the students that don’t feel like they are going to need what I’m teaching them. I’m trying to make them realize that you do need all of these things and they do play a role in your future.”

Working 25 years in one career has proven Mrs. Hancock’s dedication and love for teaching. Mrs. Hancock says the best part of her job is the kids. She looks forward to each class as the different students bring new energy that creates an exhilarating atmosphere.  

When announced as teacher of the year, Hancock burst into tears. 

“It meant the world to me that my colleagues thought of me,” said Hancock. “I was honored.” 

Hancock believes her bustling energy and show of passion for teaching sets her apart from other teachers. 

“I’m a huge nerd, and I embrace that, and I try to let kids see how happy I get about this and how cool this is. I think the energy I bring sets me apart,” said Hancock.

Mrs. Hancock tries to find creative ways to boost students’ confidence in themselves. She calls home when a student gets a good grade on a quiz and puts cute stickers on students’ tests, among countless other confidence boosters. “I try to find creative ways to get them excited,” said Hancock 

Hancock is here for the long haul and doesn’t see herself leaving anytime soon. She plans to teach until she doesn’t love it any more, but right now, Mrs. Hancock loves her life and her school.

Cape Fear High School has provided a community that has encouraged Hancock to stay for so long. “We are not a faculty; we are a family. We always love each other and support each other,” she said.

Hancock has proven to be a teacher like no other. She is a teacher that students will never forget after they leave her classroom. 

Although Mrs. Hancock says that the students are the best part of her job, she is the best part of many students’ educational experiences. Her Teacher of the Year title is only an award to show what Cape Fear High School has known for 18 years.