High School: Manchester High School
Year graduated: 2005
Favorite subject at Manchester: English
Favorite teacher: Scott Ross
Postsecondary education: BS Journalism, Ohio University's E. W. Scripps School of Journalism
Family: Engaged to be married in September. Mother, Becky Shookman, lives in Manchester. Sister, Dr. Kimberly Shookman, is a 2007 MHS grad who works at University Hospital's Rainbow Babies and Children's.
Hobbies: Spending time outside and on the water, reading, cooking and movies
What makes Sara notable
Growing up loving Katie Couric is what lead to Manchester's Sara Shookman to become an Emmy award winning television journalists.
"I grew up loving Katie Couric. And school. I loved to learn. And being a reporter meant learning something new every day. I have wanted to be a television reporter since 7th grade," said Shookman.
That is when her favorite teacher, Scott Ross, helped her to shadow a reporter at the Akron Beacon Journal.
"I always loved to write. The experience was fascinating. Not quite what I expected. But enough to make me hungry," says Shookman, adding the television part came from her love of performing. She was a cheerleader and in Drama Club so it was a natural fit.
She began co-anchoring WKYC's 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts with Russ Mitchell in September 2015 after joining the Channel 3 news team in 2012. She was awarded an Emmy through her reporting on Ariel Castro in the moments after he was arrested for the kidnappings of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. It was the first of four she has earned. Shookman's favorite assignments were covering the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Question and Answer
Q: What was your favorite memory about Manchester High School?
A: Maybe being on stage for the musical, "Maria." Our PAC-7 Championship wins are up there! And also just walking the halls surrounded by this constant sense of community.
Q: How did Manchester High School help shape you into the person you have become?
A: I often reflect on Mrs. White's grammar lessons, or Mr. Hite's speech classes. But more than anything, it influenced the person I wanted to be. It taught me to be hungry for opportunity. It taught me to appreciate the good around me, and my responsibility toward maintaining it.
Q: At 17 years old, what is it that you thought you would be doing when you were an adult, and how is that different than what you are doing?
A: With lots of hard work and a little luck, I'm doing everything I hoped I'd be doing as an adult - working as a television journalist, trying to ask questions that can make life or, at least easier to understand. And miraculously, I'm doing it here. That part I could have never anticipated. This is one of those jobs you have to follow wherever it takes you. I couldn't be happier it brought me home.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job/what makes you notable?
A: The most rewarding part of my job is the people. Our viewers make it worthwhile. Sometimes in this job, you're meeting people on the worst day of their lives. But other times, it's the best day of their lives. Those stories are my favorites to tell.
Q: When it is all said and done, what is the legacy you hope to have left behind?
A: To think big. Without the encouragement of my family and educators at Manchester, I wouldn't be where I am today. I was raised by a village of people that allowed me to believe I could be anything I wanted to be. How blessed is that? We call that mentality "see the possible" at WKYC -- the idea that you can think beyond your current circumstances to a brighter future. I hope my story tells people not to give up on the dream, whatever that is for you.