The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

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Profile: Mrs. Carlson

Shandy Carlson
Meet Mrs. Carlson, a teacher and cheer coach at Cathedral Catholic High School

Meet Mrs. Carlson, an English teacher and cheerleading coach at Cathedral Catholic High School, where passion for literature meets the high-flying energy of cheerleading. Beyond the textbooks and spirited cheers, Mrs. Carlson’s dedication to her students and athletes weaves a narrative of inspiration and growth. 

Mrs. Carlson tells us more about her journey in discovering her passion for literature, “I had an incredible librarian in high school. I always liked to read, but this librarian just seemed to pay attention when I was poking around in the library, and she would pass me different books that she thought I might like like ‘The Yellow Raft on Blue Water’ or ‘The Bean Trees’ by Kingsolver. And I would just devour them, and she would hand me more books. I was just really lucky that my path intersected with hers because she fostered a sense of loving to read,” states Mrs. Carlson. 

Moving more swiftly to Mrs. Carlson’s now day place in the center of our community, how does Mrs. Carlson bring her interest in coaching our very famous cheerleading team and literature, “Well I’ve always been in dance since I was a little girl, and so when I started high school I tried out for cheer and dance, and at our school, you could do both, because it was like a fall sport for cheer. So I did both and I had a ton of fun. I was part of an amazing competitive dance team and I just had an incredible coach. So I think that inspired me to think about going into education. Then I would always work in the summer as a camp counselor and dance camp counselor so I was just always spending my time working with other youth. So then when I went to university, I had originally thought I’d be a communications major and then I just kind of realized that my love for reading could help me go into the schools and allow me to coach as well. So on my resume, that was one of the first things I was willing to do, coach and teach, and sure enough my very first job that’s what I ended up doing because they needed a coach.” 

Mrs. Carlson then gives us her further secret to how she balances out her life between teaching her students and coaching, “Lucky I’ve been teaching high school English since 1999, so for me, that seems very familiar and I know what I’m doing, and it’s a system that’s well built. And with coaching that’s something where whenever I’ve coached I tried to build a system so that they can help me, cause I feel like if the systems aren’t working I can’t achieve my goals, so then I have to make sure that all the systems are working. And it’s a community effort, the captains and all the girls help, and I have lots of other coaches that help too, so yeah it is essentially two full-time jobs, and that means essentially it means a significant sacrifice of time, and people are always saying, ‘Why are you doing this? It’s not worth it. It’s so much work, ’ but if you love something you make it happen.” 

Mrs. Carlson’s most highlighting qualities of all though, would have to be her positive attitude in helping others succeed, so how does she make this happen? “Well I see myself as a coach in the classroom as well, I believe that if I come alongside the students and they feel like they know that I will help them and not just give them a grade based on whatever they produce but they know that I am going to help them achieve their goal like a good coach does, then I feel like students are more successful in my class and they know that it’s a safe place to learn, so I think that’s a perspective I bring into the classroom, I always try to make it fun and be positive as best I can, because it’s a long school day, and I don’t want to do anything that’s not fun and so I like to make my classroom community fun and get to know my students,” states Mrs. Carlson.

Mrs. Carlson is one of the many devoted teachers at Cathedral Catholic High School, inspiring many students not only on the field and gym but also in the everyday classroom environment. As well as for some, being a teacher who inspired them to pursue their dreams, and holding a dear place in the hearts of the class of 2024. 

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About the Contributor
Nicole Nazemnikova
Nicole Nazemnikova, World News Editor
Hi, I’m Nicole Nazemnikova. I am a beat editor of World News and CCHS Sports as well as the photographer for sports on our campus. I write interesting articles for our dear students, staff, and community to enjoy and to be informed. In my free time I play tennis, also do photography, surf, and travel.

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