In 1999, Shane Pantall was checking his mail where he worked at Fairview High School when he found a little yellow postcard in his mailbox. He didn’t know at the time, but that little piece of cardstock would change his life.
The postcard he received was from Trevecca about the master’s in educational leadership program. Less than two years later, he had completed his master’s and was working as principal at Page High School in Franklin, Tennessee. He said he’s always loved working with people and finding ways to leave places better than when he found him.
Shortly after, Pantall said he started to consider pursuing his doctorate in leadership and professional practice (Ed.D.) at Trevecca. It was the encouragement of a former Trevecca classmate that pushed him to take the leap.
“Going to Trevecca and getting back on campus, all the teachers were amazing, and they cared so much about you individually,” he said. “Trevecca made it possible so I could continue working and maintain my schedule. That and the cohort model won me over. I made lifelong friends through my cohort, and over the three years of the program, it was stressed every day that Trevecca was going to support us the whole way.”
Pantall completed the doctoral program in 2012.
Earlier this month, Pantall started a new position as principal at Franklin High School. He said Trevecca’s belief in him is something that has become intrinsic to how he approaches his work with students now.
“Trevecca is all about the attitude of ‘we’re here to serve,’ and that’s stuck with me. It really carries over into my job. In my work, I work with a lot of at-risk students, and no matter what happens, I don’t give up on them. It’s all about working hard every day and making connections with families. If you do that, good things happen,” he said. “Kids don’t forget who helped them, and that’s why we are here.”
Dr. Alice Patterson, on-site director for Trevecca’s Ed.D. program, said Pantall perfectly exhibits the value of servant leadership that the University aims to instill in all its students.
“Dr. Pantall is the embodiment of servant leadership in his constant pursuit of educational excellence, his quest in serving his stakeholders, and his willingness to assist when and where needed. All of these qualities are characteristics of the most august group of what we call the Trevecca doctors, of which Dr. Pantall is a distinguished member,” Patterson said.
Williamson County Schools superintendent Jason Golden said that Pantall’s penchant to put the needs of students first was influential in the decision to hire him as principal.
“He is always willing to serve and lead where he is needed,” Golden recently told the Williamson Herald.
Pantall said it is his hope for his time at Franklin High that he will be able to make a lasting impact and to be a positive figure in the lives of students.
“I want to show the students that the key is staying positive and knowing that you can persevere. I think that’s the best way to handle anything. Stay positive and keep showing up to do the best that you’re capable of doing,” he said.
To learn more about how you can impact the lives of people in your community with an Ed.D. in leadership and professional practice, visit Trevecca.edu/Edd.