Reaching for the Stars (and Stripes!)

Meet Shanna Wright of Eden, Georgia, MAT Elementary Education and singer of the National Anthem at WGU's Winter 2015 Commencement in Orlando, Florida, February 7!

Shanna's childhood teachers told her that she could be anything she wanted to be.

She said she wanted to be a teacher.

They wanted her to shoot for the stars, suggesting such professions as astronaut, doctor, and president. However, in her heart, her teachers were the stars, and she wanted to teach like they taught.

But she allowed her teachers to turn her sights toward supposedly greater ambitions. Finally the day came when, as a mother of two toddlers, she realized that there is no calling higher than that of a teacher and that she felt called to teach.

Her generous husband supported her in many ways as she returned to school. Although unable to finish the master's program on her first attempt, she returned to WGU six years later, again with the encouragement of her husband, who now works multiple jobs so that she can do what she loves.

She did not need a master's degree for her teaching position in a Christian school. Her pay will not change, nor does she want it to. All she wanted was personal change, to possess the best tools to equip the best students in the world.

She credits God's strength, her mentors' guidance, and her family's support for helping her acquire those tools at WGU. Shanna is honored to share her performance of the National Anthem with you.

You can watch Shanna's performance, and the rest of the commencement ceremony, live online starting at 9:45 a.m. ET on Saturday, February 7, 2015.

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