NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Shannon Lee, a three-time Stephen F. Austin State University graduate, was awarded the 2019 Gilbert I. “Buddy” Low Excellence in Education Award from the Beaumont Foundation of America.

The foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives and enhancing the futures of less fortunate children and youth, families, and the elderly with a focus on improving education, health care and social services. According to the foundation, the award celebrates and recognizes superior contributions of teachers whose leadership and dedication inspire a spirit of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.

Lee serves as a reading interventionist and dyslexia specialist and coordinator for pre-K through fifth grade at West Sabine Elementary School in Pineland.

“I want to inspire my students to make personal connections to the lessons in order for them to succeed. Teaching gives me the opportunity to prepare my students for college and their future careers,” Lee said. “I am dedicated to the teaching profession, and I want to make a difference in the lives of my students.”

Lee holds a bachelor’s degree from SFA in elementary education and master’s degrees in secondary education with mid-management/principal certification and superintendent certification, and elementary education with a concentration in reading.

In her current role, she teaches students how to read and tests those who have reading difficulties. Her lesson plans often focus on fluency, vocabulary, comprehensive instruction and phonemic awareness.

“I enjoy working with my students and listening to them read,” Lee said. “I believe all students can be good readers and writers, and I make reading a priority in my classroom.”

Lee studied in SFA’s reading specialist graduate program, which she said “made a world of difference in my life.”

“The instruction I received from my SFA professors has given me greater insight into literacy and how literacy plays a critical part in the lives of all students. It has made a difference in how I teach and address their needs,” Lee said.

To learn more about SFA’s reading specialist degree, visit