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Stambaugh Rallies Around Teacher Fighting Cancer

After making a career switch from the daycare world to the classroom, Shana Timblin received life-changing news – she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She had spent 20 years working in daycare and decided to pursue a job in a classroom setting at the end of 2022 because she loves working with kids. But two months after becoming a first grade teacher in residence at Stambaugh Charter Academy, she thought her new job might be short-lived because she was unsure if she could teach while receiving treatment.
Before coming to Stambaugh, Shana Timblin spent 20 years working in daycare.Before coming to Stambaugh, Shana Timblin spent 20 years working in daycare.

Now, about one year later, her perseverance has paid off. Stambaugh staff and leadership have supported her during chemotherapy treatments and met any of her needs in the classroom. She also is back from surgery as part of her treatment plan.
“I just kept thinking, ‘I’m going to get beyond this cancer.’ I want to still be taking the steps and growing and connecting here,” she said. “Because of the diagnosis I’m most proud that I’m at least still here and able to both work and take on this cancer battle. Truly, it’s a testament to the staff and the leadership here because they have all been amazing.”

Stambaugh students have shown their support as well. They brainstormed ideas such as blue jeans Friday and selling coffee to teachers during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October to donate $585 to her for support while in treatment. At the end of the month she was presented with an oversized check in the cafeteria as the students applauded a teacher they had quickly come to love.
Stambaugh students and staff raised $585 for Shana Timblin as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.Stambaugh students and staff raised $585 for Shana Timblin as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
“I was blown away and surprised that the older kiddos even cared enough to want to put in,” Timblin said. “I don’t work with them but I still see them. In talking with them, they were excited to help. It was pretty special.”

Timblin with student. 
Timblin is a Youngstown native and is trying to pass on things from teachers who made an impact on her as a student. For her first graders, she connects with them by being seated when talking or getting down on their level so they can be eye to eye. She strives to listen to them individually.
“I have a couple teachers in my past who went the extra step to make sure I felt like I was being listened to, like what I said mattered,” she said. “Those are the teachers that stood out to me in kindergarten, first grade when I was in the Youngstown area growing up, so I try to emulate that. I just try to let them know that they matter, and what they think and what they feel matters, and that it matters to me.”
Stambaugh students helped Shana Timblin celebrate finishing chemotherapy in October.Stambaugh students helped Shana Timblin celebrate finishing chemotherapy in October.

Timblin’s transition to teaching has been smooth thanks to the support of the staff at Stambaugh, which has outperformed the district for 12 years. Being part of a team-oriented atmosphere is something she has enjoyed in her second act of helping kids.
“I have no regrets, I’m thrilled with it,” she said. “This is another avenue of caring for them.”
Keep up the excellent work, Ms. Timblin!
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About Stambaugh Charter Academy
Stambaugh Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Youngstown, Ohio, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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