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Shannon Garrison

Shannon Garrison (CA '08)


Solano Avenue Elementary School
Los Angeles, CA

At the time of the Award, Shannon Garrison was:

Solano Avenue Elementary School
Los Angeles, CA

Subject(s) taught: General Elementary
Grade(s): 4, 5

Biographical Information


Teacher Shannon Garrison stresses student effort, academic rigor, accountability and growth in her combined fourth- and fifth-grade classroom at Solano Avenue School in Los Angeles.

Well-grounded in research-based teaching methods and state content standards, Garrison provides creative, differentiated and scaffolded instruction to accommodate student needs at multiple levels. She teaches her students how to use rubrics and criteria charts to evaluate and improve their writing, helps them set goals for the year, and meets with them regularly to check progress. In a classroom that combines English Language Learners (ELLs) with students on Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and students requiring a resource specialist, Garrison has helped three-fourths of her class score proficient or advanced in language arts and 100% proficient or advanced in math.

A founding member of the school's Instructional Leadership Team, Garrison recently co-authored Solano’s successful California Gold Ribbon application. In 2009 she led Solano through the process of becoming a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon School.

Garrison currently serves on Solano’s site council, crisis team and professional development planning team. She is the school’s testing coordinator and is advisor for the student Lighthouse team, the leadership group for the school’s Leader In Me student program based on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. She has served as the school's Title I and bilingual coordinator, science lead teacher, special education coordinator, and crisis team lead teacher. A National Board Certified teacher, Garrison has mentored new and student teachers and evaluated new teacher portfolios under the state's Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) program.

Garrison chairs the Assessment Development Committee and serves on the Executive Board and the Nominations Committee for the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), to which she was appointed in 2010 by former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. NAGB sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as The Nation's Report Card.

In 2010, Garrison received a fellowship to the Lowell Milken Center, where she studied project-based learning. For the past few summers she has coordinated the LMC’s summer fellowships, working with educators from around the world. Garrison brought the LMC’s Unsung Heroes project back to her Los Angeles classroom, where her students decided to research the Japanese American experience during World War II. They uncovered a true unsung hero – Ralph Lazo, a teenager of Hispanic and Irish descent – who voluntarily entered the Manzanar Relocation Center to protest the internment of Japanese Americans, many of whom were his friends. Garrison’s students wrote a play to share Lazo’s story with the community and, in the process, learned that one person can indeed make a difference in the world.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute recently selected Garrison to serve as a reviewer on Evaluating the Content and Quality of Next Generation Assessments, a report published in February 2016, and Garrison will work with the Fordham Institute on future studies as well.

Related Connections

Milestone: Shannon Garrison (CA '08) Appointed to National Assessment Governing Board for Second Term

Milestone: Shannon Garrison (CA '08) and Dr. Hector Ibarra (IA '93) on National Assessment Governing Board Committee

Article: Project-Based Learning: A Journey of Discovery

Shannon Garrison In The News

L.A. Unified Salutes Seven L.A. County 2016-17 ‘Teachers of the Year’
Los Angeles Unified School District  |  Sep 16 , 2016  |  Los Angeles, CA

Meet 5 Superstar Teachers Who Won the 'Oscars of Teaching'
Parade  |  Aug 12 , 2016  |  New York, NY

LAUSD Teacher to Keep Marking the ‘Nation’s Report Card’
LA School Report  |  Oct 20 , 2014  |  Los Angeles, CA

Additional Information


1996 University of California - Los Angeles, B.A.

1998 University of California - Los Angeles, M.Ed.


2010 Lowell Milken Center Fellow