5 MINUTES WITH…
Science Teacher Brent Shano

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CREDIT: BEVERLY REGINO | THE MIRROR

Coach Shano describes his personality outside of school as passionate and silly, perfect for entertaining friends and family on hikes and trips to the woods.

Ever since middle school, Mr. Brent Shano always knew he wanted to be a teacher. More specifically, a history teacher. But growing up with nurses as parents, he found himself a new interest when watching a documentary about the brain; science. With this newfound passion, he followed his heart and attended junior college to get his associate degree, then transferred to CSUN where he majored in biology and minored in chemistry. He also obtained his teaching credentials and master’s degree in science education. In 2013, Shano heard of a job opening at Van Nuys High School and sought to teach a science class, no matter what kind of science it was. Now, he currently teaches chemistry, honors physiology and a health career class for the medical magnet. He plans to continue teaching in the future, but is keeping his mind open to other careers if they come up.

1. If you were given 24 hours to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?

“It’s kind of a combination. It depends on if I’m by myself, with my wife or with my kids. If I’m by myself, I would go on an adventure or get lost and go hiking. If my wife was there, that would depend on what adventure she wants to go on. Though if it was my wife and my kids, something like camping, getting lost in the woods, fishing and little things like that.” 

Shano and Osorio
IN ACTION : Mr. Shano and close friend Mr. Kenneth Osorio pose while advocating for UTLA demands on March 8, 2019. (CREDIT: COURTESY OF FANNY ARAÑA)

2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

“I love our country. California is one of the most beautiful states in our nation, mainly for camping, hunting and fishing. My favorite places right now are Idaho, Montana and Wyoming because of the opportunities to do. I have a couple friends in Arkansas and even Tennessee that have a ranch and a pond on their property. I would love to wake up and have a pond in my backyard. Fishing is not a vacation, but you don’t fish every day. I mean, that would be really cool.”

3. What weird food combinations do you really enjoy?

“I have two that come to mind. With sushi, I like eel. A lot of people don’t like eel but it’s really good for you because it gives you a lot of energy. It’s really good, at least in my opinion. There is that eternal argument, ‘does pineapple go on pizza?’ I think so. Most people say ‘no’ to pineapple on pizza. I think the pineapple is sweet but you have to have something salty. Like sausage and pepperoni with the pineapple, I strongly recommend it.”

4. If given the chance, which movie character(s) would you change places with for a week?

“It’s kind of hard to say. A couple of shows I like to watch have violent characters, but something in the West. Stories about cowboys and stuff like that. It was pretty intense back then, old school movies like ‘Tombstone’ or any characters from Clint Eastwood back in the day. Definitely being the good guy of the Wild West, a thousand percent. Like the sheriff of the town.” 

5. How would your friends describe you?

“I think my friends would describe me as passionate and really silly. I’m pretty serious in class, but one of my friends said I’m a big jokester. I prank my friends all the time. Most people don’t really know that, I just love being funny. Like this morning, I played some really loud music, a Justin Bieber song, and started dancing. My kids were waking up and had no idea what was going on. But that’s what I like to do. I don’t do that in class, because it’s not really professional. My friends would also say I’m passionate and hardworking. If I want to go hiking with my friends or do an activity, I always wanted to go further, faster and longer. Like, ‘hey let’s go to that hill, let’s climb that mountain, let’s go down that river, let’s cross through that lake.”

6. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to and why?

“That’s a really good question. I would really never change anything in my life because I wouldn’t be who I am today without that. But if I can go back in time and change it without affecting the outcome, maybe go back to high school and learn conflict resolution. I think I burned a lot of bridges growing up because I was so hard-headed. I think stubbornness can be a good thing, but I wish there would’ve been more conflict resolution and communication skills. I wish I had that, maybe starting as early as 18.”

7. What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?

“Probably something like farting in a public place. Laughing so hard and letting out a loud one, but honestly, it could be in a restaurant. Typically something with passing gas would be embarrassing.” 

8. What is one childhood fear you’ve never told anyone?

“I don’t know, I think people have the misconception of me being a really scared kid growing up just because I lacked a lot of confidence. Getting beat up was a big concern for me. That was a fear. I was like, ‘oh my gosh I don’t want to get into a fight because if I fight, I’ll get my butt kicked.’ As I grew up, I started to lift weights and joined football and stuff like that. I kind of got that confidence where the fear kind of went away. Then, I joined the wrestling team, which is a kind of self-defense in that regard. My confidence went up to where it is now. You kind of embody that old saying, ‘you respect all and fear none.’ That is why respect is such a high priority for me, and fear is now low. Fear of getting beat up because if I was going to be in a fight, I was going to get beat up. Growing up, I wasn’t big, tough and strong. You know, bullying is a present thing. It was later on in life where confidence came in and I think with a little wrestling background and with a little martial arts background, you lose that fear. Till this day, I don’t want to fight anyone. The only difference is that my confidence is higher than it was before.”

9.  If you decided you no longer wanted to continue teaching, what would you do?

I am always open to skill sets, and passions, and desires. I’ll keep my mind and goals open to do other things.”