Shannon Hale, John Adams Middle School


Shannon Hale is “a product of SMMUSD,” along with her mom, husband and three younger brothers. She attended McKinley Elementary School, John Adams Junior High, SMASH, and Santa Monica High School, and has now been teaching in SMMUSD for 22 years. Her son will also be attending JAMS in a few years. She says, “It is awesome that he will be following in my footsteps through this great school district.”


As early as she can remember, Hale “always wanted to become a teacher…I was always playing school with my dolls and stuffed animals when I was little to later on teaching my 3 younger brothers and little cousins.”


Hale’s student teaching took her to Lincoln Middle School and Santa Monica High School, after which she served as long term substitute at LMS and JAMS. While over half of her teaching career was teaching 6th grade Humanities, she is currently teaching 7th grade World History and AVID.


Hale Speaks


I love working in this community especially when I have students of the people I grew up with or when I have whole families of amazing students. When I first started teaching at JAMS I had the opportunity to work with people that were once my teachers but now they were my colleagues. It was a very interesting experience for all involved. Being able to call them by their first names was very weird at first.


History and teaching history is my passion. I like making the connections to today when talking about medieval history. My goals are to work with my grade level colleagues and make advances in my teaching practices. My students and my JAMS family inspire me every day. One of my colleagues has a poster in his classroom that says “Dreams don’t work unless you do.” Those are words to live by. My former teachers inspire me especially Mr. Paul Kerry, Mrs. Suzanne Peterson and Sra. Carmen Paul were my role models and they made me the teacher I am today.

My students make my job worthwhile. When they thank me at the end of the day that makes me feel appreciated. When students come back and visit and tell me how I helped them that makes my job worthwhile. Kind words from parents go a long way as well.


My JAMS family also make my job worthwhile. I work with some amazing people. It is nice to have a group of friends to share your successes and challenges with that work in the same environment as you do. Not everyone understands the dynamics of working in a middle school.


I want my students to love history and understand why it is so important to learn. I hope to teach at JAMS for the rest of my career.