New Special Ed Teacher Motivated by Her Own Experiences

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New Special Education teacher Mrs. Renee Casani’s goal is to help all students succeed, regardless of ability, especially because she knows firsthand what it’s like to struggle in school.

“Somehow I got to 3rd grade without being able to read,” she said. “In 3rd grade I was identified as a student with Specific Learning Disabilities in Reading, Writing, and Math.”  

She had an IEP (Individualized Education Program) and had to repeat 3rd grade. “I always tell people I liked it so much I did it twice.”

Although she jokes about it, she said repeating a grade was hard socially.

“That was tough for me because now my younger brother and I were in the same grade and all my friends moved on to 4th grade.”

However, with the support of her teachers and parents, she was able to overcome that stage of her life.

“They told my mom and dad that I would probably never graduate high school, and that if I did, I would probably be a kid who would just go into the workforce,” she said. “My mom and dad never ever gave me the option of giving up or quitting.”

They would spend as much time as she needed helping her with homework, she said, and also worked with her on managing her frustration levels.

“I am lucky I have super awesome parents and had really great special education teachers, all of whom encouraged me to keep going and refused to let me give up.”

Mrs.Casani ended up graduating high school in the top one-fifth of her class and was accepted to Bloomsburg University. Then, she graduated with honors and went on to Wilkes University for her Master’s Degree. 

She tries to provide the same kind of encouragement she received for students in her classroom. “Each of my student’s knows that I understand what it is like to be the kid who struggles and had to work so much harder than my peers just for a B. I hope by showing them that perseverance and hard work pays off they will be motivated to be the best them they could be.”

Before coming to Boyertown, Mrs. Casani worked for six years at Souderton Area High School. At BASH, she co-teaches with Mrs. Rochelle Towne in 10th grade English.

Mrs. Towne said Mrs. Casani is very positive and dedicated, taking time to explain more for those who don’t understand. “I am better teacher because of Mrs. Casani’s influence,” she said. Her classroom also is now a “more relaxed and stress-free environment.”

Outside of school, Mrs. Casani is busy taking care of  her 10-month-old twins. She also has a cat named Bear and an Old English Bulldog named Bentley (aka Meatball).  

“He’s 82 lbs of pure muscle who thinks he is a lapdog,” she said.

Having overcome a lot, she hopes she is a good example for both her twins and her students. “I strive to be a person who is positive, welcoming, caring, respectful, and motivating.”

 

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