The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

New English Teacher at Big Sandy High School Ms. Shaela Wallen


September 18, 2019

Sometimes in life, things seem to fall into place. That would seem to be the case with new Big Sandy High School English teacher Shaela Wallen. Her boyfriend Drew Shanafelt had just been offered a job from local Bob Quinn to take over operations of "The Oil Barn" here in Big Sandy. Shaela had a desire to start pursuing a career in teaching and put to use her degree in English Education from the University of Montana in Missoula. It just so happened Big Sandy needed a new English teacher, so after some discussion, the two decided, "Why not, let's give it a try."

Born and raised in Montana, Shaela has never lived outside of the state she loves. In her early years, she grew up in the Flathead lake near Kalispell before moving to the Missoula area for high school and college and then on to Bozeman. But there is just something about small towns she loved, so when the opportunity in Big Sandy came available, it just seemed like things were falling into place. "I love the small-town life, the intimacy with all it's pro's and its cons, it's been great so far."

As is with most Montanan's Shaele loves the outdoors and is an avid mountain biker and backpacker, when she isn't busy reading. She played basketball, soccer and ran track all through high school. If you were in attendance of the powder puff football game a few weeks ago, you would have gotten to witness some of that track speed when she caught a pass and sprinted 40 yards for a touchdown untouched. It was quite a performance that got a lot of attention from all those in attendance.

Overall the move to Big Sandy has been good so far, and she loves the kids she has the opportunity to teach each day. She is excited about the future. The possibilities of starting a creative write club where kids can have a chance to write and express themselves outside the

classroom with a different creative writing project. "It's a great skill to possess to be able to express yourself creatively through writing," she says, and I would have to agree. You can expect to see Shaele on the court this year assisting Pete Jerrel with the girls' basketball program, pending school board approval. She is hugely excited about. "I'm looking forward to working with Pete and the girls, I think there is a lot of potential there, and I hope to help them see and achieve their potential."

When asked if there is anything else, she would like to add Shaele mention, "I own an orange cat with no ears, his name is Russie if you see him around town he is really just trying to be your friend. Just put it in the paper that he's mine and he's ok he's not hungry, he does get fed". So there you have it, folks, the orange cat with no ears does have a home and a loving owner, so no more need for phone calls checking on the cat with no ears.


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