Victoria Shears was born in Hartford, CT and is the proud daughter of Leo and Donna Shears. She was educated through the Hartford Public School system, attending Annie Fisher, Rawson, Quirk Middle and the Classical Magnet program at Hartford Public High School. Upon graduating 7th in her class at HPHS in 2003, Victoria attended University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT., where she obtained a degree in Special Education and became dual-certified in both regular and special education.

Victoria always had a passion for education and working with children. While in elementary school, she would frequently be seen having class with her stuffed animals and helping fellow real-life classmates with assignments. While in high school, Victoria taught religious education at her family church—St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Hartford, CT. During her time in college, Victoria worked as an in-home respite care provider, a youth development professional for the Boys and Girls Club of Hartford and mentored at-risk youth through MyPeople Clinical Services.

Shortly after graduating from college, Victoria became a reading tutor at S.A.N.D. Elementary School. Here she developed a passion for working with students from her own community in Hartford. She later became a 4th grade teacher at Burns Latino Studies Academy in Hartford, CT. During her decade of educating students at Burns, one of the many accolades and acknowledgements she received was via teaching and learning during the 2016-2017 school year. At this time Victoria worked alongside Ms. Logano and together their 4th grade students made the most growth in the district on the Math SBAC, with a 64.6% growth rate and 90.6% Average Percent of Target Achieved.

During her tenure at Burns, Victoria also held many after school opportunities for students such as “Girls Groups”, worked as an after-school homework coordinator for COMPASS, co-founded the school’s SunShine (Cheer) committee, served as a part of the SGC and PBIS committees and was a vital part of the school’s Union School Committee.

In 2014, Victoria returned to the University of Saint Joseph and obtained her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Upon completing her classes, Victoria transferred to S.A.N.D. Elementary school in 2017. This school year was a transformative one for Victoria which led to her changing roles from being a 4th grade classroom teacher to Special Educator. Victoria served in this role, servicing students in Kindergarten through 5th grades in reading for 2 years before transitioning to the position of Resource Teacher. While currently working in this capacity, Victoria works diligently as a resource for both students and teachers. Ms. Shears plans and implements intervention lessons for students, providing small group and one-on-one support while also creating and delivering school-based PLCs for staff.  She lends her technological skills by working collaboratively with the Behavior Techs and FCSSP, co-hosting weekly Eagle of the Week celebrations and creating student certificates for virtual learners.  She also works actively as a member of the school’s MTSS team, Leadership Team, S.A.N.D. Community Team and serves as the S.A.N.D. School HFT Building Representative.

When Victoria is not working at the school, she can be found traveling. Victoria loves seeing and exploring new places. Chances are you can find her at a museum taking pictures to bring back to share with her students or relaxing and watching her favorite show: The Office. Victoria also enjoys spending time with and entertaining family and friends and regales herself as a true foodie. Victoria truly believes that social emotional health is imperative to success in life and frequently advocates for everyone to practice self-care, seek out SEL services and do something every day that makes you smile!

Back to Teacher of the Year 2021