Craig Cassady

Smart start

SC4 provided Cassady starting point on his way to degree in education

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.

Craig Cassady
Craig Cassady

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 football.”

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.”