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The Student News Site of Cape Coral High School

The Seahawk's Eye

The Student News Site of Cape Coral High School

The Seahawk's Eye

Lori Shaw breaks education’s boundaries

Photo+courtesy+of+Lori+Shaw
Photo courtesy of Lori Shaw

Whether she’s teaching an environmental class, working in the school garden, or selling her school-wide famous brownies, Lori Shaw is always known to be passionate about her work with a smile on her face. Shaw has lived many lives, all of which have been a part of who she is during the 16 years she’s taught at Cape Coral High School.

Lori Shaw teaches a plethora of classes at Cape High, including Marine Biology, Environmental Science, and more. Her interests in the biodiverse systems of the world and environmental justice give her the extra spunk she needs to give effective and indulging lectures.

Although being an Environmental Science teacher now, Shaw has a very colorful background. From being a scuba diver to joining the Army Reserve and the National Guard, Shaw has gone wherever her heart has taken her. 

One of Shaw’s favorite parts of joining the service was her experience in the medical arena.  “I took care of soldiers going overseas and did a variety of different events in Italy and it got me out there traveling the world.”

 “I ended up taking a job as a teacher [after retiring from the service] and found out that I really loved it. I really enjoy high school and yeah, so I found a calling,” explained Shaw.

Those who are close to Shaw have great things to say about her uplifting personality. ESE Intellectual Disabilities Teacher Cathleen Cloonan explained, ”She is exuberant, she’s loving, she’s intelligent, and she loves what she does. She cares about the community. She goes above and beyond all the time.”

Shaw radiates a positive energy wherever she goes, spreading good vibes to those around her. Jodie Godwin explains, “Her energy, her enthusiasm, enthusiasm for science. Her upbeat personality. Fun, smart, energetic. Those would be the things I would think of [that make her stand out as a person].” 

IB Environmental was not an IB class that was taught at Cape High until Shaw pushed for the idea.  “As a biologist and as a biology teacher I was kind of tired of biology,” Shaw explained. “I thought that it would make more sense to initiate a program that combined both biology and chemistry so that kids could appreciate the connections between those two fields.”

‘Bella Verde Farms’ Garden came to Cape High the same year as IB Environmental Science, in 2011. The garden has become a place for plant education, community service, and organic eating. “As they grow, they take the produce home, share it in the garden throughout the year as they cook it, and give it to their neighbors,” said Shaw. Additionally, volunteering at the garden being available afterschool on Mondays and Saturday mornings has allowed Shaw to interact with a diversity of students.  

“I genuinely appreciate coming to work every day and talking to the kids listening to what they say,” said Shaw, “and my job keeps me young.” Shaw has stated that she often becomes good friends with graduated students, out of their common appreciation for the environment.

As the members of Bella Verde Farms see it, the garden is not only a place for produce and plants to be grown, but also a haven that brings students together. The garden represents a community of inclusivity for all students who are willing to step out of their comfort zones and evolve as people. 

“I think it’s important not just for community service, but I think that I have a diversity of students that come to the garden, and I see their CAS projects, and I see the community service and the kids ideas, and to me, it helps to improve my relationships with the students to both their learning as well as they develop into people,” Shaw expressed. 

Shaw likes to get her hands dirty and her feet soiled when teaching her students, giving them a more realistic, interactive way of receiving information. “She does a lot more hands-on, like learning hands-on approach to learning. Lots of experiments,” explained Godwin.  

Once her time is up in the nest, Shaw has even more aspirations to keep her on her feet busy. “I intend on starting an online plant business and also moving to a different area,” explained Shaw. 

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