From walking a beat in New York City to walking the sidelines of a junior varsity basketball game and eventually, the halls of Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, Ed Shannon's career charted an adventurous path.
The 50-year old former police sergeant spent more than 20 years serving as a member of the NYPD before entering the world of education. He recently earned his master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Scranton and is working as the assistant dean of students as well as the criminal justice teacher at Archbishop Molloy, a Catholic Marist preparatory school.
We were able to catch up with Mr. Shannon and ask him about his experience at The University of Scranton and his hopes for the future.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background.
A: Prior to working at the high school, I was employed by the New York City Police Department, where I retired as a sergeant after 22 years of service. I am married and have a 12-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter. After graduating high school in 1984, I attended St. John’s University, but put my education on hold when I joined the police department in January 1986. Ten years later, I restarted my education at SUNY-Empire State College and later moved on to the CUNY Baccalaureate Program (Brooklyn College) where I finished and earned my Bachelor of Science degree in 2007.
Q: What fuels your passion for education?
A: In 1993, I returned to Archbishop Molloy High School and served part-time as the junior varsity basketball coach. It was that coaching experience, and being back at the high school, that led me to my change of career direction and my interest in the field of education. I truly enjoy the challenges and rewards that this type of career has to offer.
Q: What motivated you to advance your education through this degree program?
A: After extensive research, I found this program to be the best fit for what I was looking for. The online degree offered the flexibility I needed while working full-time and raising a family.
Q: What were the most important factors in your decision to choose the University of Scranton?
A: It is Catholic and Jesuit, and has a great reputation as a university. I also have many friends and colleagues that have attended The University of Scranton and have praised the university.
Q: What did you most enjoy learning about while enrolled in the program?
A: I enjoyed learning about the many different aspects and responsibilities of being a school leader. The professors that taught the classes were helpful and knowledgeable. They offered great insight and were able to share some of their experiences as being school leaders. I found this to be most helpful.
Q: What skills or tools were important to your success in this program?
A: My experience as part of my school’s administration as the assistant dean of discipline has been very helpful in being successful in this program. Being a teacher in the classroom has also been helpful. I believe my experience as a supervisor in the NYPD has also contributed to the type of leadership skills necessary to be a successful administrator in the field of education.
Q: What are your career goals and how will your degree help you achieve them?
A: I believe my master’s degree in educational administration will best help me achieve my career goals by opening up opportunities for advancement. I would like to be a part of an administration that can guide teachers, as well as students, toward high standards in education.
Q: What advice would you give other students who are considering enrolling in the program?
A: It is a great program and worth considering. Compare it to others and you may well come to the decision that I did. It was flexible and challenging and offered exactly what I was looking for.
Q: Who or what inspires you to succeed?
A: I am inspired by the fact that we should always be striving to learn more and that we should never become complacent. We should always remain proactive and continue to strive to make ourselves better.
Q: What is one fun fact about you?
A: When visiting Egypt, I rode a camel at the great pyramid of Giza and went scuba diving in the Red Sea.