By Angie Mayes
Special to Mt. Juliet News
Fresh off her appearance with the Wilson Central High School dance team on Ellen DeGeneres’ television show, “Ellen,” Wilson Central assistant principal Ranesa Shipman was once again on the show, but this time, it was in person.
During her first appearance, DeGeneres invited Shipman to be an audience member during a taping of the popular talk show.
At Monday’s show, DeGeneres called Shipman down from the audience. Shipman called the experience, “unreal, phenomenal, outstanding. It knocked the breath out of me.”
With tissues in hand, Shipman told DeGeneres that DeGeneres was wonderful.
“I was mesmerized to be in the studio, to see people and her,” Shipman said. “What you see on TV, magnify that by 10 million. She is so pleasant, caring, loving and has a heart of gold. She has such generosity and care for people. I’m just grateful. It was a wonderful time, and I’m excited that my family and I had the opportunity. To think enough of us, to include us in the event, I’m humbled and grateful. It was a remarkable time.”
During the show, DeGeneres talked about Shutterfly’s previous gift of $15,000 to the dance team and another $15,000 to Shipman herself. At the show Monday, DeGeneres gave Shipman another $20,000 from Shutterfly to help pay off Shipman’s “secret” credit card bill.
“I’ve had it since I began teaching,” Shipman said. “There are a lot of other educators who do the same thing, especially when it comes to things needed in the classroom. We don’t want to be a burden to the parent, and the educators just get it. I don’t want to draw any attention to me. I’m not doing anything extra. I’m just doing what any other human would do to help out their brothers and sisters. I don’t want to be recognized. I just want to help people and be remembered as a loving person, who was upbeat, happy and energetic.”
She said with the $20,000, she hopes to create a nonprofit that will give back to others who need things for the school.
“I think a lot of the $20,000 will go for legal fees, but I want to start the process for creating a nonprofit,” she said. “I don’t want people to think I’m taking the money for myself. I’m giving back to the community.”
Shipman and her family were in Los Angeles for two days.
“It was a very short trip,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve slept in the past 72 hours. I had to come back, because there are people who depend on me.”