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Shelley teacher is passionate about his classes

May 9, 2012

Morning News — Leslie Mielke Stephan O'Shaughnessy teaches math, Spanish and an academic team class at Shelley High School.

Stephan O'Shaughnessy, a teacher at Shelley High School (SHS), believes in participation in his classrooms.
O'Shaughnessy said, "We do lots of board work in my classroom.
His enthusiastic teaching style is emulated after his calculus teacher at BYU-Idaho.
"I teach like him," O'Shaughnessy said. "He would jump on desks or play music. The class was at 7 a.m. and he kept me awake."
The calculus teacher emphasized the learner is the teacher, he said. The teacher would have us explain a problem to each other.
If students can explain the problem, they have truly mastered it, O'Shaughnessy said.
"Teaching has to do with the senses," he said. "Moving around helps the learning process.
O'Shaughnessy teaches math—algebra 2 and ISAT math class—Spanish 2 and an academics team class.
The academics team class is for gifted and talented students. They work all school year preparing for two tests, the INL Scholastics Tournament in April and the Academics Decathlon.
The students are tested in math and science in the INL tourney. O'Shaughnessy said. "They did really well; I was really excited for the kids.
"The Academics Decathlon is the hardest competition I've ever seen," he said. The students study math, history, English, science, economics and music. They must write an essay, make a five-minute speech, prepare a resume´ and interview.
The Shelley High School students were state champions among medium-sized schools.
Mr. O also teaches at the Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA).
"I've designed six classes for IDLA and teach as well," he said. "I've designed an Android application so students can program their own apps for a smart phone.
"I've developed 12 apps on my own," he said. Yes, he receives monthly royalties.
He also hosts an online office hour one night each week so students can go over problems ahead of a test.
O'Shaughnessy has taught at SHS for seven years. He will be teaching at BYU-Idaho starting the next school year.
"I loved teaching at SHS and will miss the things I do here but I'm looking forward to a new adventure," said O'Shaughnessy.
O'Shaughnessy and his wife, Skye, have three children, Evelyn, age 6, Camden, age 3, and Juliet, age 10 months.

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