Shannon Byrne

Class Year



Chicago, Ill.


Elementary Education and Special Education

Becoming a teacher was a no-brainer for Shannon Byrne ’16. Ever since she was in second grade, she knew she wanted to teach, and upon being accepted at Carthage, she hasn’t wasted any time.

Shannon finds time to be active in the community, along with the Education Department, even though it takes a lot of work and dedication. She works at Children’s Behavioral Health Services as a line staff therapist for children with autism and is also a day care teacher at First Step Academy. She is part of Big Brothers Big Sisters and has volunteered for Partnership for After School Success by helping children with their homework after school. Along with her work and volunteer opportunities, Shannon traveled to Puerto Rico with Carthage for J-Term 2015.

In addition to her studies, Shannon hopes that her extracurricular activities will help her in her pursuit of teaching others. “Becoming a teacher is extremely rewarding. Not only are your skill sets improving rapidly, but you are able to watch each child grow. As a teacher, you play a crucial role in students’ lives. You have the power to make a difference and become a role model for young children.”

“I was amazed by how welcoming the students at Carthage were. I loved the positive atmosphere the College offered. Also, I prefer the small class size because students have a stronger connection with their professors and are able to have more one-on-one help in class.”

Shannon Byrne, ’16

Career goal

“I hope to become an elementary or special education teacher in the Chicago Public School District.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“Many professors at Carthage have had an impact on my life. Specifically, Jacqueline Easley has played an important role in my growth in becoming a teacher. She believes in each and every one of her students, and challenges each student to reach his or her full potential. Any student at Carthage would be lucky to have Dr. Easley as a professor.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage was Reading and Language Arts. This class provided me with the necessary tools for teaching elementary reading and language arts classes. Throughout the semester, I was able to teach a reading class at a local elementary school once a week in Kenosha.”

Toughest class

“The toughest class I have taken at Carthage was Physics for Future Presidents. Physics has never been a strong subject of mine, but I ended up doing well in the class.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I have not had any internships, but I work two jobs and participate in the community by doing volunteer work. I work at Children’s Behavioral Health Services as a line staff therapist for children with autism. My second job is as a day care teacher at First Step Academy. I am also part of Big Brothers Big Sisters and have volunteered for Partnership for After School Success in Racine, where I helped children with homework after school.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I went on a J-Term trip to Puerto Rico and filmed and interviewed the citizens of Puerto Rico. I was also able to learn how to edit the films I took.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite Carthage moments and memories are the friendships I have made by coming to Carthage, as well as the knowledge I have retained from each of my professors.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is Einstein’s. It is the perfect spot to eat or do homework between classes.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise so far has been that procrastination is not an option. In order to do well, you must have good time management skills, which I have learned to develop over the years.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“Ever since I was in second grade, I knew I wanted to become a teacher; therefore, my 8-year-old self would be pleased.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“Always put 100 percent into everything you do. Your hard work will pay off in the long run. Also, you must have patience. Don’t give up if things are not going at the pace you desire. Take a deep breath and relax. Everything will work out in the end.”