Dr. Shangri-La Durham-Thompson was an avid reader and first began reciting poetry as a young child. In elementary school, she recalls reciting poems such as Paul Revere’s Ride and Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In high school, she recited the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes. Her love for the spoken word led her to study drama education and upon graduation, she taught in an elementary school for two years. She later taught English, communications and drama at the high school level for sixteen years, after obtaining her Master’s degrees. After twenty years of teaching in the public-school system she became an Arts Education Officer for the Department of Education. She has served as an acting Middle school principal and was an elementary school principal for twelve years. She has taught public speaking and communication at the Bermuda College and today, she serves an Education Officer for the Arts and Leadership at the Bermuda Department of Education. Shangri-La believes her name is prophetic as Shangri-La means eternal youth and beauty. In her younger years, she spent a great deal of time painting and selling visual art work. She has written and produced numerous plays and is the host of a weekly radio leadership program, “The Need to Lead.” Dr. Durham-Thompson is currently the district superintendent for eleven church schools in Bermuda having served as her local church school superintendent for almost thirty years. She is married to Stanton Thompson Sr. They have two sons, Stanton Jr and Shan-on. Nina Solei makes her a proud grandparent.