By Margaret Nimmo Holland
If you’re looking for a return on investment, look no further than Wytheville Minnick School teacher Kasey Primm. Primm started in the classroom more than six years ago as an educational aide, and today is a fully licensed teacher with an endorsement in special education. EnCircle invested in her through its Education Assistance Program, and the students and fellow staff in Wytheville are the beneficiaries.
"Professionals like Kasey are exactly what we look for in Minnick Schools," said Director of Educational Services Terri Webber. "She is gifted in working with our students, and we were eager to help her build her career here."
After working as a one-to-one aide for students in the Wytheville school, Primm, who had her bachelor’s degree in criminology and psychology, applied for a teaching position. She became provisionally licensed and immediately set to work to get her teacher licensure. She enrolled in two online classes per semester, year-round, for three years at UVA Wise.
EnCircle paid for tuition, books, and testing fees, meaning Primm had no out-of-pocket expenses. But that doesn’t mean it was easy. "I thought, how am I going to do this?" she recalled. Juggling motherhood, full-time teaching, and school was a heavy load, but having supportive coworkers was a big help.
"We bounce ideas off each other, we talk in the evenings about have we noticed a pattern with how a certain child is doing," she said. There are challenges every day in Minnick Schools, but she finds it fulfilling when she’s able to explain something in a way that makes it "click" for a student.
She teaches math to elementary students and history to sixth graders. "Kasey has an easy way about her," said Principal Bill Sutherland. "Our students never feel threatened or intimidated by her presence. As a result, she is able to engage with our students and move them forward behaviorally and academically."
For any other enCircle employees considering going back to school to further their career, Primm says, "Definitely go for it!"
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