hometown hero

  • NAME: Shamahl Nolan

  • AGE: 63

  • HOMETOWN: Pleasant Hill

  • CLAIM TO FAME: Has worked for the past decade in the Mt. Diablo school district's "Early Start" program for hearing-impaired infants, where she has created a family-friendly classroom that includes parents support groups and developed a toy lending program to assist families, who she also visits in their homes.

  • QUOTE: "With the babies, I just follow their lead. They show me what they're interested in. I follow up with the language that will expand those things that they love."

  • EDUCATION: B.S. in speech pathology and audiology, Pennsylvania State University

    Teaching credential for multiply handicapped students, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Masters in Education, hearing-impaired, multiply handicapped program.

    Also received a fellowship with the Lexington School of the Deaf.

  • CAREER HISTORY: Has worked in a private school, on an Indian reservation, in a Catholic Diocesan program, in the Robert Shearer Preschool's Early Start Program and as an intake coordinator for the Regional Center of the East Bay.

  • RETIREMENT DATE: June 14.


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  • ON RETIRING: "It's been very rich. I'm glad to end on this note. I've done everything I wanted to do in the field. It's been a pleasure, especially working here at Robert Shearer Preschool, because the staff is just exceptional. Tina Lopez is such a good teacher that I feel that I'm leaving the program in good hands."

    Hometown Heroes, a partnership between Bay Area News Group-East Bay and Comcast, celebrates people in the Bay Area who make a difference in their communities. Read about a new Hometown Hero every other week and watch the program on Comcast On Demand at Channel One-Get Local-Hometown Heroes. Do you know a Hometown Hero? Let us know about the work they do at HometownHeroes@bayareanewsgroup.com.

    For more information about Nolan and the Early Start program, read the On Assignment blog at www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment.

    Theresa Harrington covers education. Reach her at 925-945-4764 or tharrington@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/tunedtotheresa.