Ms. Dawn Cassity replaces Ms. Heidi Resnik

Ms.+Dawn+Cassity%2C+Miss.+Heidi+Resnik%27s+replacement%2C+teaching+her+English+2+class.

Photo by: Serena Sotelo

Ms. Dawn Cassity, Miss. Heidi Resnik's replacement, teaching her English 2 class.

After Miss Heidi Resnik’s departure to become the school librarian, English teacher Ms. Dawn Cassity officially joined Cam High’s staff on Tuesday to teach the class Resnik left vacant.

Cassity can be found in room A3, teaching English 1 and English 2 classes. In the past, Cassity has taught ELL, GATE, SPED, and AP classes. “[Cassity has been] very successful at SPED co-teaching, AP teaching, and cross-curricular Humanities experience,” said Principal Kim Stephenson in an email to the staff. “[She also has] an enthusiasm for collaboration, student support, and activities.”

Cassity’s first inspiration as an educator came from her history professor at the University of Missouri, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree for secondary education and Master’s degree in higher education. “Just the way he taught the class made me think about things differently,” said Cassity. “Instead of just teaching facts or dates, it was more about what could have happened differently, how these events really impacted people’s lives […] it was more like a higher level of thinking. That really made me think, ‘I think I want to do this, I want to teach kids how to think like this, too.'”

Aside from history, English is also one of Cassity’s favorite subjects. “Writing, reading, analyzing information, spelling, written grammar– you need it all as lifelong skills,” she said. “You are going to need the skills and tools that you will learn in your English class through your college life, your young adult life, all the way through your life.”

As she steps into her fourteenth year as an educator, helping students reach success continues to motivates Cassity. “I love students. I love meeting new students, getting to know them, seeing them learn new things, and getting them to college. It’s just so amazing,” she said.

Over the years, Cassity has received a great deal of positive feedback from her previous students. “I have had a couple times where I have written recommendation letters for students to get into college,” said Cassity. “They came back to me and say they got in because of my letter, and they were so thankful, so happy that they got into the school that they want to get into. […] I have had a couple times like that. [It] just felt really good to know you probably changed somebody’s life.”

Cassity said she aims to maintain a standard for her students’ success. “I have high expectations for my students. I expect them to be prepared, have their supplies with them, do homework, study for tests, study for quizzes, turn in work on time, so I hold students accountable,” said Cassity. “[Teachers] know if you do all those things, then you are going to be successful in high school, in college, and in life.”

As her new job begins, Cassity looks forward to her career at Cam High. “I am so excited to start my job here. I have been watching Ms. Resnik, and she is such a good teacher and students love her. I hope I can develop a relationship with them like she has.”