Meet the Teacher: Karissa Young, Niles High School

Educators are perhaps the greatest population of unsung heroes in Berrien and Cass County. This school year, Leader Publications will publish a weekly spotlight featuring teachers throughout the district, giving the community a chance to get to know the hard-working individuals shaping their children’s lives. Throughout the next school year, their answers will be published in the newspaper that serves each school district.

Name: Karissa Young

School: Niles High School

Grades/subjects taught: 9th-12th/ Special Education Consumer math, science, careers, and connections

Where did you attend college? Southwestern Michigan College, Indiana University South Bend, Marygrove

How many years have you been teaching? How many years have you been with your current school? Eighteen years teaching and with Niles High School.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? I came home the first day of preschool and told my parents I wanted to be a teacher. It stuck! I have always loved working with kids and I have always wanted to make a difference in others’ lives. 

Outside of school, what do you enjoy doing for fun? Spending time with my husband and three boys, camping, watching sporting events and serving at church and church camp.

When you were a student in the grade you teach, what were your favorite hobbies? Sports, doing community service through school clubs and camping.

How would your co-workers describe your teaching style and personality? Hopefully positive and energetic mixed with being a rule follower.

Who is your biggest role model and why? My mom. She has taught me how to be a good mother and leader. How to look calm on the outside, but thinking like crazy on the inside. My mom is always there and encouraging in everything I do still today!

How has education changed in the last 10 years? Lots of changes. [There are] more politics involved and less people going into the field unfortunately. Technology has opened the door to many useful tools we can use in our classroom.

What is your best advice to parents to help their child continue growing academically? Get them to school every day! We can educate them when they are present. Ask them what they are learning and how it can relate to their lives!

If my students learn one thing this year, I hope it is… to be the best person they can be!

This photo was taken during spirit week.

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