As Shannon Danesi sits in class taking in lectures, completing assignments and finishing the day’s readings, it’s that eventual role reversal she looks forward to in the future.
The University of Houston-Victoria junior has dreams of one day standing before her own students as a high school math teacher.
“My family is full of teachers, which is kind of funny. I never really paid attention to that when I was younger,” she said as she laughed. “But I’ve always known I wanted to teach. I just didn’t know what it was I wanted to teach.”
The inspiration to pursue math – always one of her stronger subjects – came during her senior year of high school, thanks to encouragement from her pre-calculus teacher.
“I’m not the greatest mathematician, but it comes easy to me,” Danesi said. “I decided this was what I wanted to do.”
The Victoria native graduated from St. Joseph High School in 2011 before moving on to UHV, which was close to home and had the added advantage of offering Danesi a soccer scholarship. Today she’s double majoring in education and mathematics.
Class time and homework aren’t the only things keeping Danesi busy. She works at Victoria’s Nazareth Academy and also tutors students, which offers helpful practice for her future career.
A longtime soccer player – she played forward for the Jaguars for a year before opting for a break – Danesi said she takes to the field for a game when she can.
“I’ve been playing since I was about 6,” she said. “I don’t know what it is about soccer, but I love it.”
The 20-year-old said she’s enjoying her time in school and encouraged others to do the same. It can make a difference when students pace themselves.
“Don’t feel like you have to overload yourself,” she said. “I know a lot of people try to take as many hours as they can just to get through with college. I think it’s best to take it slow and enjoy the experience. It’s worth it.”
I am a Jaguar is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, email Paula Cobler, UHV director of marketing and communications, or call her at 361-570-4350.