Getting to Know Grand Erie is a new weekly feature that puts the spotlight on one of the many Grand Erie staff members working towards the goal of Success for Every Student. The Q&A series brings the staff member into focus by sharing – in their own words – the lessons they’ve learned in leadership, teamwork, and perseverance. Do you know someone who should be featured? Let us know!

Casidy Guzar
English as a Second Language (ESL)/English Literacy Development (ELD) Teacher Consultant, K-12

Getting-to-Know-Casidy[1].jpgWhat’s the best part of your job?

I love the passion I feel and the amazing rewards of working in integrated partnerships with students, families, teachers, school administrators, support staff, and community stakeholders to improve the quality of education for all students, fostering academic excellence and success. Every day in my role as the ESL/ELD Teacher Consultant for English language learners K-12 is a great one!

What was your first job, and what did it teach you?

I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be an educator. Most of my summer employment revolved around supporting children and youth. My first job as a competitive synchronized swimming coach, taught me the value of hard work, discipline, effective communication, and teamwork.

What motivates you?

Both the energy and enthusiasm I feel as an educator, lifelong learner, and leader, and feeling like I’m making a difference in the lives of the students and families I work with.

What’s your favourite thing about working in Grand Erie?

My favourite thing about working in Grand Erie is the broad range of opportunities that allow me to interact, learn from, and collaborate with senior staff, administration, colleagues, students, and families. Every day is unique!

How does your role contribute to Success for Every Student?

As a Teacher Consultant, I take a lead role on specific Ministry and Board areas of emphasis, building system-level capacity to best support those students learning English as an additional language. 

Supporting equitable and inclusive programming is not a one-person job! I have the privilege of working in an integrated team setting with six talented English Language Learner (ELL) Itinerant Teachers. As a team, we diligently work to ensure student success.    

What’s a skill or talent you possess that might surprise people?

I can make homemade perogies from scratch!

Best advice you received?

Be you... no one does it better!

Best advice you have given?

Your students may not remember all the components to a persuasive piece of writing or how to describe and represent shape, location, and movement, but they will certainly remember how you made them feel as a learner, and more importantly, as a person. Never underestimate the power of a teacher.

What’s been your most important lesson learned during the pandemic?

The pandemic has reaffirmed for me how a small act of kindness can go a long way towards comfort in a time of vulnerability and need. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two miniature Dachshund dogs, Gabby and Ike. Together, we cherish our time spent supporting adults with developmental disabilities, and during my free time, I can often be found outdoors gardening in the shade or in the kitchen baking.

Photos by Grand Erie Communications

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