• Sunnyvale Alumni Association Names Shanda Newsome Sloan (SJH ‘91) Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

    Camp Sloan

    “I can't think of anyone that emulates "Raiders Rise" more than Shanda and the entire Sloan family.  Their spirit of resolve and commitment are the type of qualities that we value in Sunnyvale.”  - Superintendent Doug Williams 

    The Sunnyvale Alumni Association has recently announced Shanda Newsome Sloan (SJH '91) as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for 2022. Shanda will be acknowledged during homecoming week, where she will act as Grand Marshall of the Homecoming Parade on Oct. 8  and at half-time of the homecoming game on Oct. 14.

    “Shanda is a kind, compassionate soul that puts others first,” fellow alumnus Andrea Freeman (SJH ‘94) said. “She is always willing to help, and go above and beyond not only as a friend, but as a mom, a wife, and fellow resident of Sunnyvale.

    Shanda graduated from Sunnyvale Junior High in 1991 and then attended North Mesquite High School. After graduating from Baylor University with BS in Education in 2000, she worked for Joshua Expeditions, a Christian educational travel company. Following that, she worked for Southwest Airlines. Shanda worked for SISD helping students in the classroom and, most recently worked as a teacher at Terry Middle School.

    Shanda remembers her own experience as a junior high student at Sunnyvale Junior High in history class.

    I, like so many, have wonderful memories of Ms. Holland,” she said. “ She was not only my history teacher but also my volleyball coach. Her excitement and love for both was contagious, and I am so grateful for her.”

    While a student at North Mesquite High School, Shanda met the love of her life, Nick Sloan. She married Nick in 2002 and they started a family. The Sloans have four children — all of whom are Raiders. Nick, a retired Marine, served on the Sunnyvale ISD Board of Trustees from 2018 to 2020.

    In September of 2020, Nick was diagnosed with ALS. 

    Using the Sloan family’s mindset of faith and fight, Nick and Shanda formed a non-profit entitled, “Attack Life Sloan.” 

    “I always think of Mother Teresa’s quote, ‘If you want to change the world, go home and love your family,’ when I think of my sister. Shanda embodies this everyday,” Shaira Starnes, Shanda’s sister said.  “She loves her family so well. This world-changing love has been extended to others as she and Nick have been foster parents, and Shanda, as an educator, has invested her heart into teaching and encouraging the children in her classrooms. Her kind self-sacrifice is what changes the world, and no doubt, she has changed the world for so many.”

    As a marine, Nick was stunned to learn that veterans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ALS. The Sloans have made it their mission to advocate for veterans with ALS and their families.

    “We would love to make connections with anyone you know living with ALS,” Shanda said. “We will answer as many “what’s next” questions as we can. Many do not know where to begin with the VA (Veterans Affairs), and we would like to help that navigation in any way we can. We also would like to extend that help to those widowed because of ALS.” 

    The Mission of Attack Life Sloan is to advocate, live alon side, and serve all patients with ALS (pALS), their families, and caretaker team. Today, we seek to build an inventory of medical equipment that will improve quality of life. Tomorrow, we seek collaborative partnerships to create the first ALS Center of Innovation in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. 

    “The Lord has continuously humbled me by the kindness, generosity, grace, and love of family, friends, this community, and even strangers,” Shanda said.  “I have learned, and continue to learn from their examples.”  

    Attack Life Sloan

    Advocate. Live. Serve. Join the Fight: https://attacklifesloan.org/