Craig Cassady always knew he wanted to make an impact in his
community by becoming a teacher, but choosing which university to attend wasn’t
as easy of a decision.
After graduating from Port Huron Northern High School,
Cassady, an assistant principal and athletic director at Central Middle School,
decided to attend St. Clair County Community College to take the time he needed
to make some important decisions.
“After high school, I was still deciding where I wanted to
go for a four-year school and if I wanted to play a sport or not,” Cassady
said. “I knew I wanted to be a teacher so I decided to take classes at SC4 to
head in that direction. SC4 had a good reputation for being able to transfer
credits and I’m from Port Huron, so I was able to live at home and I didn’t
have to travel very far.”
In addition to being a full-time student, Cassady also
coached freshman football and baseball at Northern.
“I was coaching at Northern and a recruiter visited from
Albion College and talked me into going out there and visiting,” he said. “I
ended up going out there and loved it so I decided to go for school and to play
Cassady said that since he had enjoyed the smaller class
sizes and campus at SC4, he was swayed toward Albion as opposed to a bigger
school. He said SC4’s reputation for transferable credits also held up.
“Initially when I first registered at SC4 I told them I
wanted to be a teacher and they hooked me up with some basic classes. I took a
total of eight classes and I got credit for seven of them at Albion, so it was
worth it for sure.”
While at Albion, Cassady worked toward his degree in
secondary education with a major in history and a minor in political science.
“I enjoyed social studies and it was something I excelled
at,” Cassady said. “Outside of my family, my teachers and coaches had the
biggest impact on my life and felt I could do the same thing for kids.”
When he applied for graduation at Albion, Cassady found he
needed one more class to complete his degree. He was able to take that class at
SC4 because it fit Albion’s qualifications.
A few months later Cassady was hired in at Algonac High
School where taught for six years. He set his sights on becoming an administrator
and elected to attend Marygrove College for his master’s degree.
Cassady has been the assistant principal at both Fort
Gratiot and Holland Woods middle schools. He began his position at Central
Middle School this past fall.
“I felt like it was the logical next step and I wanted to do
something more,”Cassady said of becoming an administrator. “I wanted to come
back to Port Huron where I grew up and continue to have a further impact. I
went from influencing the 150 kids I had in my classroom each day, to 900 kids
at Central. I get to directly or indirectly influence them all and I want to do
that in a positive way.”
Cassady feels SC4 laid the ground work to help him achieve
success at the next level.
“It was my first experience in a college setting and a good
transition from high school where you see every teacher every day,” he said. “It
puts you in a position to self-manage your time and meet deadlines on your own
and be more responsible at a different type of level. (SC4) was a positive
experience and I don’t regret it at all. It was definitely what I needed to do
right out of high school.”
What is Cassady’s advice to students?
“Even if you don’t know what you want to do or where you
want to go, start taking basic classes and work toward a degree. A degree is
key to a successful future because whatever career you choose you have to have
a college degree nowadays. And don’t wait. The longer you wait the harder it is
to go back.”