I would like to nominate Mrs. Michelle Cassetty, Henrietta Elementary, for the Red River Chevy Teacher Appreciation award for 2020. Mrs. Cassetty has been educating students for thirty years, and as an educator myself, I can attest to the fact that there is no one I know that deserves this recognition more than her. Michelle graduated Cum Laude from Midwestern State University in 1989 where she was nominated as Student Teacher of the Year by Region IX. Additionally, she began her career at Alamo Elementary in Wichita Falls where she was nominated as KLUR’s Most Popular Teacher and Teacher of the Year. After leaving Alamo Elementary, she pursued a job with Bowie ISD for one year where she taught fifth grade and again, was involved in academic competitions with those students. She spent twenty-one years working for Bellevue ISD where she was not only the GT Coordinator but spent numerous hours of her own time volunteering to organize countless fundraisers and concessions for athletic events, traveling and helping with FFA, performing, organizing and speaking at graduation ceremonies and teaching kindergarten children. While at Bellevue, she served as cheerleading sponsor for ten years and coached poetry, prose and impromptu speaking with elementary and junior high age children. In 2019, she took a position with Henrietta ISD where she currently works with kindergarten age students. Michelle gives back to the community as well as she is the director for First Baptist Church in Bellevue and sings and plays the piano for church services as well as scheduled funerals through the year. She also volunteered her time to help high school students with building floats for the Clay County Pioneer Reunion Parade.
Mrs. Cassetty is an educator who always strives to put her students above her own family. Being an educator in today’s world is extremely difficult, but Michelle has never allowed those difficulties to deter her. Her number one goal is making sure her students leave the classroom at the end of the year knowing that she loves them and through hard work and discipline, they are genuinely better people. I have known of many days that she would stay late to help struggling students or spend countless hours making sure each student’s accommodations and educational goals was met successfully. I personally watched Mrs. Cassetty sacrifice her own son and daughter’s needs behind the young children she taught, and I truly admire her for what she meant to those students. One of the programs Michelle implements in her classroom is called “Capturing Kids Hearts”. Additionally, this program teaches young students how to cope with struggles or obstacles they encounter on a daily basis. With technology being so wide spread and so readily available to our young children, students have a hard time coping with issues as well as the struggle with verbalizing those feelings appropriately. When a conflict arises, Mrs. Cassetty becomes the mediator and allows the students to find an appropriate means of thought and reflection to come to a consensus of how to solve the problem at hand. This strategy teaches her students to manage stress, learn how to verbalize appropriately toward others, and resolve a conflict where students take ownership in the discussion. The motto of “KINDNESS” resonates through her room on a daily basis.

I feel Mrs. Cassetty would be a fantastic representative for not only the Red River Chevy organization but for all of the wonderful teachers across the area who are also making a difference in students’ lives. Thank you for the opportunity to honor teachers who make a difference.

Jody Carter
Northwest ISD

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