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Shannon and Geoff Brooks Named Most Memorable Teachers by Baylor School of Education

Shannon and Geoff Brooks Named Most Memorable Teachers by Baylor School of Education

Many say teaching is one of the highest callings. For SBS teachers and spouses Shannon and Geoff Brooks, teaching is more than a calling; it’s an honor. And appropriately so, given that Baylor University recently recognized them as this year's Most Memorable Teachers.

Second Baptist School graduate and future teacher from the Baylor School of Education Class of 2024, Moriah Feng '20, nominated Geoff and Shannon to receive this meaningful award. After she submitted her nomination essay, a committee reviewed it, and the Brookses were chosen together.

Geoff Brooks emphasized, “We were honored and humbled by the recognition. It is amazing to be honored and recognized by a student we had invested in.”

Shannon and Geoff attended the award banquet as the guests of honor. “Baylor rolled out the green carpet for us,” Shannon explained. “When we arrived at the Baylor Club, we had a lovely view of the Brazos and were greeted with so many friendly faces asking us, ‘Are you the most memorable teachers?’” 

When it came time to present the awards, Moriah read her nomination essay, including poignant affirmation about the influence of these two dear teachers. 

“Mr. and Mrs. Brooks come to mind when I consider memorable teachers. Both left a life-shaping mark on my life and guided my career trajectory,” shared Moriah. “Mr. Brooks pushed me to try things I didn’t think I was good at and encouraged me to pursue a career
in teaching.” She explained how Mr. Brooks helped her discover her own love for teaching and how he “made his classroom a safe space where learning was hard but also emotions were protected.” Moreover, she said, “He modeled what it looked like to love students well and how to teach with passion, the same love and passion I hope to pass down to my students.”

Moriah went on to describe Shannon Brooks, her eleventh grade English teacher at SBS, as having had an equally profound impact. “She pushed me beyond what I believed I was capable of and encouraged me along the way. She taught me to shoot higher, aim further, and put forth the effort needed to succeed in my goals.” Moriah also described Mrs. Brooks’ passion for advocating for her students and teaching them to be the change they want to see in the world. 

“She was a fighter when times were tough, and persisted in every circumstance,” said Moriah of Shannon. “Mrs. Brooks was not only my teacher role model; she modeled qualities of the woman I wanted to be when I grew up.”

These words had a greater significance for Mrs. Brooks during this particular life season. “After a year of battling cancer, it was such a blessing to hear from the next generation of teachers and how Geoff and I played a role in Moriah wanting to teach,” said Shannon. “As we sat in the parking lot after the ceremony, Geoff and I both couldn't help but think, ‘What a difference a year can make.’ This time last year, I was beginning my first of twenty-two rounds of chemo. God has used our heartbreak to help others this year, so while we would never have wanted this experience, we are thankful it has been for His glory.”

Geoff echoed her sentiments, saying, “I don't know if I will ever have the words to express the emotions of the past week. For any teacher, true, honest and humbling recognition doesn’t occur often enough and is overwhelming when it presents itself.” He described Moriah as a young woman of high caliber. “We are so proud of everything she has accomplished. For a woman of such high character and expectation to reach out to honor us is both humbling and inspiring.”

Moriah said it best when she concluded her tribute: "Mr. and Mrs. Brooks showed me what it looks like to model Christ’s love as a teacher and many innumerable qualities that I will carry with me in life and into my classroom. Nothing would make me prouder to know I made them proud, to show them the impact they had on my life, to express how their love, passion and encouragement formed me into who I am today.”

Moriah Feng ‘20 will graduate from Baylor University in May and begin teaching seventh and eighth grade math in Waco at Robinson Junior High in the fall of 2024.