Leah Jasek '20
Remote Kindergarten Teacher, Grand Island Central School District
Education is a family affair for Leah Jasek ’20. From a young age she was active in her mother’s classroom and aspired to follow in her footsteps. “My mom makes every student feel like they are capable and belong which is exactly what I want to do with every student I meet and teach,” she shared.
Jasek has held several roles in her district, but is currently teaching kindergarten students in a 100% virtual learning environment. She runs her classroom and meets with students throughout the day. When not working with students, Jasek is planning future lessons and communicating with parents. “My favorite part of my day is interacting with my students,” she emphasizes, while affirming the importance of the administrative tasks of teaching. Jasek looks forward to one day teaching students in person, but for now she’s happy in the virtual classroom. “I love helping students shine and have fun while learning online.”
She credits the faculty in the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education for teaching her how to make each student feel valued and appreciated, and remains in touch with her professors, contacting them for advice, tips, and tricks. “My Fisher education prepared me for my career, when it comes to the material and knowledge that I needed to succeed in my classroom. In addition, Fisher provided me with experiences that have allowed me to grow as a teacher and a person. I would not be the teacher or the person I am today without Fisher,” Jasek shared.
Jasek encourages students to use their experiences at Fisher to excel in their career after college, recommending them to “use the knowledge and values you have learned from Fisher to continue striving toward your goals. Life outside of Fisher is definitely different, but the values and person you are is not,” she advises.
Emma Paradise '22
Academic Intervention Support Teacher
Tagging along with her mother to her classrooms when she was younger, Emma Paradise always loved playing school with her brother and sister. “I always knew growing up that I wanted to be a teacher.”
Now, working as an academic intervention support teacher, Paradise puts her childhood passion to practice as she supports students in first through fifth grade in literacy and math. Through field experiences, practice teaching sessions, and courses at Fisher, Paradise feels as though she was able to gain confidence in her placement and profession. Through the University’s Teacher Immersion Program, she substituted for local school districts to gain experience in several grades.
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education prepared Paradise for her path to success. “All of the professors are so knowledgeable and truly want the best for you. Fisher’s education programs are inclusive, so I'm certified in both childhood education and special education. Being dually certified allows me to feel confident to work with students of all abilities.”
For anyone considering a career in teaching, Paradise believes Fisher is the place to start. “The education professors prepared us for the real world and made us the confident first-year teachers we are today. Fisher was truly my home away from home.”