PUNTA GORDA, Fla.-- Inside Babcock Neighborhood School in Charlotte County, you’ll find Principal Shannon Treece fixing dinosaur costumes, listening to poems, and greeting students.
"Making the move into administration is definitely where I found my passion," said Principal Shannon Treece.
Treece said she always loved playing teacher as a kid, but when you head back to the beginning, student Treece wasn’t always the most well behaved.
“I would say I was a good student, but I was pretty mischievous from time to time and landed in the principal’s office a few times.”
After four years of teaching, she moved to an administrative role. This part of her life brought her to one of the most pivotal lessons in her career–– becoming a principal.
"I've never questioned if I'm in the right place or not. This is where I'm supposed to serve."
At the time, she was the youngest principal in the entire state of Kentucky. It was a big milestone, but fellow teacher Tina Tipton was in her corner the entire way.
“There are still times I call her and say 'Mrs.Tipton this is what happened today, what would you do in this situation?'. She really has been such a mentor.”
Treece said her husband has also been her rock through through it all including the times through her career and adopting their daughters. Motherhood ended up teaching her a lesson she never knew she needed.
“Your level of empathy goes up when you have your own children.You know the struggles of having to raise a child."
Treece has two daughters, Halie from Ethiopia and Ellah from China. She admits there were some obstacles getting Ellah home, but that’s where her school community stepped in.
"For my passion project, I raised supplies for my teacher to bring to china," said student Larsen McLoon.
Treece is a key part in building Babcock Neighborhood School. A place that approaches education in an innovative through passion project's every semester like Larsen's and incorporating technology into everyday assignments-- learning how to continue it’s legacy is an ongoing lesson in her life.
“I hope that people will be able to see what it is that we do at Babcock. They can visit and feel it, and know that it’s something that they can do. Any school can do what it is that Babcock Neighborhood school is doing."