Teacher Appreciation Week Spotlight: College Guidance’s Shan Slade mentors, motivates, and inspires

By Robert Turner, Staff Writer, Class of 2020

Mr. Shan Slade, the college guidance teacher, has been the teacher that has helped me most at Verbum Dei High School through knowing him for 2+ years.

He has taught me about the college process, about being aware of personal distractions, grades, and at Maxine Waters, which is where I make up my classes from my previous years to graduate.

Mr. Slade has taken me out of class when I felt lost and knew that I was not going to succeed. In my junior year during Kairos, a spiritual three-day retreat, we had a talk about my grades and the path I was going to take if I continued.  He told me to prove him wrong, which is what I have done my senior year grade-wise as well as in the athletic participation in football.

A key moment that has stuck with me are the jokes we would say to each other as well as the times we enjoyed “roasting” each other.  We always had fun after I did my work.  He also taught me if I have applied myself at my job and in my personal life, there would always times for me to be focused as well as well as time to have fun and to create unforgettable moments.

“How are you doing, Rob!”  Mr. Slade would often ask.  This was a check up every fourth period as he was one of the few teachers that checked up on me everyday.

During quarantine, the check-ins have not been left behind. The constant emails he sends were annoying at first, but now that college is months away, I am feeling the pressure of it.  It would be worse if I would have not done what he was telling me in the emails.

Now that I am on the edge of my moving on to college, I realize that he kept the faith and helped me succeed in life.  I pushed myself because of him, and now I am on the road to college. I would not have gotten this far without him, his guidance, and his wake up calls.

I thank Mr. Slade for being my mentor and teacher – not only in my life, but in my peers’ lives as well.  He taught me to never be satisfied with what I can easily obtain; rather, he encouraged me to reach for the “impossible” and to take on challenges.  I learned that it will pay off and will inspire and motivate those around me.

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