I was raised in the rural North Florida town of Chiefland and attended public schools there. I played football and baseball while attending Chiefland High School, graduating in 1986. I began my college education at the University of Central Florida and ended up transferring to Radford University in Radford, VA; where I completed my Bachelors of Science degree in Social Science in 1996. I completed a Masters of Arts degree in Gifted Education at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama in 2012.
I began my teaching and coaching career in 1996 at Trenton Middle School in Trenton, Florida. I coached Junior Varsity football and assisted with the varsity Tigers as well. I moved to Patrick County High School in Stuart, VA the next year where I taught U.S. and World History and coached Junior Varsity football there as well. I moved to Wilkesboro, NC the following year where I again taught U.S. and World History and coached linebackers, eventually becoming the defensive coordinator then moving to the offensive line; which became my coaching passion. I stayed at Wilkes Central High School for 7 years before accepting a position at Winston-Salem R.J. Reynolds High School. I taught World History and coached linebackers again for the Demons. My last NC move was to St. Stephens High School in Hickory, NC in 2006. I coached offensive line for the Indians and eventually became the A.P. U.S. History teacher there. I left St. Stephens in 2010 for Alabama.
I got married in 2009 to an Alabama girl; St. Clair County native Heather Sanders. Within a year of our marriage, I was living in Alabama; teaching gifted education at Odenville Intermediate School and Margaret Elementary. I moved to St. Clair County High School as a U.S. History teacher in August of 2012. I transferred to Springville High in the fall of 2016 where I currently teach AP US History, Government, Economics and Pre-AP US History.
I am also a professional musician, playing in my own bluegrass band, County Clare (http://www.shannonslaughter.com/). I was immersed in acoustic and country music at a young age by my family. My early influences include Merle Haggard, Randy Travis, Tony Rice, Keith Whitley, Ricky Skaggs, and the Osborne Brothers. I began playing guitar on my own at age 8 and was soon singing in churches, at livestock fairs, and other venues around the Tri-County area in Florida.
I started my professional career with the Lost and Found in 1992, moving to Virginia that summer. In December I joined the Larry Stephenson Band and was an integral sideman for 3 years. During my tenure with Larry, I recorded 2 CDs, toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada, and performed on the prestigious Grand Ole Opry. In 1995, I teamed with several top-flight Southwest Virginia musicians and created Savannah Road; recording and performing with them for 6 years.
After a couple of years off the road, I re-entered the bluegrass profession, touring with Melonie Cannon in 2004 and 2005. In the fall of 2005, I became guitarist and lead vocalist with The Lonesome River Band, touring and recording with the award-winning band until 2007. A stint with Lou Reid and Carolina followed and most recently I was guitarist and vocalist with Grasstowne.
I now perform with my own bluegrass and traditional country band, County Clare. In my spare time I enjoy singing and having fun with Heather and our children, Rae, Jed and Call, watching Florida Gator sports, reading historical fiction, U.S. History, fishing, and playing golf.