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Shani Challenor

Class of 2011, Teacher Education - Childhood Education (Grades 1-6)

York College Teacher Education Program changed the trajectory of my life. As a Southside Queens native, I knew of York College but I had no idea of the gem that is located in room AC-1D12. I am so proud to be an alumni of York College Elementary Education (grades 1-6) Class of 2011. During my time in the Teacher Education program, I learned the difference between being a teacher and being an educator. I learned how to take my passion and put it into practice. This department inspired me to advocate for all children and make decisions that will support their academic and socio-emotional growth.

The education program prepares you to be successful in all areas of your career. I was fully prepared for interviews and received many opportunities because of my thought-provoking responses. I knew what to expect in grade-level meetings, faculty meetings, and observations when I graduated. I was taught and shown the importance of asking students higher-order thinking questions and using data to increase academic success. The education program gave me confidence because I was just taught how to teach, and I was exposed to exceptional teaching.

The Teacher Education Program is the heartbeat of my career, my passion, and my purpose. The chair and professors truly cared about my story. They supported me from beginning to end. The education program equipped me with all the tools that I needed to begin and continue my journey as an educator. When I began my master’s program, I was prepared and ready. I knew how to write a lesson plan in depth, and I wasn’t scared of working hard. I fell in love with college because of York’s Teacher Education Program. It made me a life-long learner.

In May 2015, I received my master’s in special education. I am currently an educator who teaches and learns from exceptional students in Nassau County. I am so honored to not only be an alumnus but also a faculty member of the Teacher Education program where I proudly and passionately teach- EDU 285: Intro to Special Education.

York’s motto: On the move has been the soundtrack to my journey as an educator. My cup was filled during my time in the education program and I graduated with the confidence that I would need to accomplish goals that I once thought were impossible.

In April 2022, I proudly defended my dissertation and I stand before you today as Dr. Shani Challenor!

The Teacher Education program at York is like no other. All that I have achieved thus far is because of the knowledge, love, and continued support that I received.

Thank you to our Chair- Dr. Leslie Keiler and Professor Dr.Linda-Michelle Baron for seeing something in me from my first semester and standing by my side ever since.

If you desire to enter the field of education, this is the place for you! You will have our full support and guidance as you evolve into an exceptional educator!!!