Name: Casey Kadavy
Age (optional): 41
School: Copper Ridge
Why you chose to work in the district: I believe in public schools, and I certainly love the idea of serving the very community in which I live. I live in the area, and I love it when I run into my students and their families at the park or in the grocery store! (Even when I’m not wearing makeup.)
What I like most about what I do: There is nothing better than witnessing the moment when a child realizes he or she is truly capable of writing well or of analyzing a challenging text. I teach 8th grade ELA (English Language Arts), and it’s such a pivotal time for these young teenagers! It’s always my goal to push them beyond what feels easy.
Where did you come from: I was born in Michigan, but I’ve lived in AZ since I entered the 4th grade.
If I had picked a different occupation, it might have been: I would have been a geologist.
What I’m looking forward to the most this school year: My unit on persuasion! Teaching persuasive writing is a highlight of the year, as I love watching my students master a variety of rhetorical strategies. In addition to writing, they will create advertising campaigns and analyze logical fallacies. It’s incredibly entertaining to watch fourteen year-olds discover just how much the media and marketers attempt to manipulate readers and viewers. The entire unit is a wonderful way to encourage young people to become conscientious consumers of information. On a personal note, I can’t wait for our family ski trip in January!
My vision for the school: Copper Ridge is an incredible school filled with talented teachers who love being in the classroom. That’s what matters most! The K-8 model gives students the unique chance to feel part of a family on campus from pre-school through age 14. I am hopeful that we can continue to give students what they need to feel genuinely prepared for the coming stages of their lives. As an 8th grade ELA teacher, there is nothing better than running into a former student who says, “Thank you! I was totally ready for high school!” I hope all our wonderful kids feel that way when they venture off to 9th grade. More importantly, I hope we continue to give them what they need to feel happy and confident. Being a teenager isn’t always easy! Copper Ridge does such a good job of meeting kids where they are and “growing” the whole child.
Favorite community cause & why: Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children
My interests and hobbies: I love cooking and spending time outdoors during our many months with pleasant weather.
The best and/or worst time in my life: The best: Marrying my husband and having our son, Paul. Paul is now 12, and he is a student at Copper Ridge.
The trait(s) I admire in others: Dependability. Also, an aversion to procrastination. Is that a trait? I can’t stand procrastination. I’ve got a poster on my wall that says, “Your procrastination is NOT my emergency.”
People who inspired me (and how): Miss Bell was THE teacher for me. She loved books, and she loved talking about books! I went into teaching because of her. My mom and dad are pretty spectacular, too. I don’t think you really appreciate your parents until you have a child of your own. I certainly appreciate the time and love my parents gave to me.
My guiding philosophy: Be the teacher you would want for your child. My son is a 7th grader at Copper Ridge, so I take this one to heart.
My advice to today’s youth: Work hard and be nice to people. It’s that simple.
One thing I want students to know about me: Eighth grade isn’t always easy, but the hard work (and all the writing!) will be worth it.
One thing I want parents to know about me: I adore your kids! Eighth graders occasionally get a bad rap. What a shame! These kids are some of the most earnest, hilarious, full-of-wonder human beings I’ve ever had the honor of spending time with.