Helena Magazine

Helena Elementary School’s Casen Young looks ahead to year two

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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Casen Young

Helena Elementary School first grade teacher and Shelby County Schools’ First Year Teacher of the year 

You recently finished up your first year as a teacher. What made this year so memorable for you?

The relationships that I was able to build throughout my first year with faculty, staff, students, and parents helped me to realize the importance of community not only in the school, but in each classroom as well. From my first day at Helena Elementary, I felt a tremendous amount of support, and knew that at any time I had people around me to encourage me in my first year.

Not only was it your first year, but you were named the Shelby County Schools’ First Year Teacher of the Year winner. What did that honor mean to you so early in your career?

Being named Shelby County Schools’ First Year Teacher of the Year was so special to me. I grew up as the daughter of two educators, and while I knew that I wanted to follow in their footsteps, I also knew that I wanted to create my own path in education.

In your words, what do you think helped you stick out this year as a top educator?

Being exposed to the field of education at an early age, I was able to see the challenges teacher’s face on a daily basis. When faced with these challenges, I was not afraid to ask questions that allowed me to reflect on my classroom. This formed relationships with other faculty and staff that helped to guide me through this first year.

Why did you want to get involved in teaching?

Coming from a family of educators, I have seen the reward that comes from teaching young people. In the field of education, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a student overcome obstacles to achieve their goals.

Who inspired you to get into teaching and why?

My parents were my biggest inspiration to go into the field of education. Being able to see the lives that they have impacted throughout the years inspired me to go into this field. They never fail to encourage me in my educational journey, and I am so lucky to have two amazing educators to look up to.

What did you enjoy about starting at Helena Elementary School specifically?

From the day that I first walked into Helena Elementary School, I immediately felt the family and community atmosphere. They have cheered me on throughout this first year, and I feel so lucky and blessed to be a part of the Helena family.

You are just getting started, but what is it that you already love about your job as an educator?

Being able to see the growth in a student over just nine months is so rewarding. As a teacher, I am able to watch students build skills and relationships with those around them every day.