Class Act: GCU Alumna One of NJ’s Top Student Teachers

Charlee Basso

Georgian Court alumna Charlee Bassillo was awarded The New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher Award following a successful stint at student teaching at Howell High School during the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters.

Ms. Bassillo spent those semesters teaching English courses at Howell High School, including 9th grade Honors English I, 10th grade Academic English II, and 12th grade Academic English IV.

Upon graduating from Georgian Court summa cum laude in the spring of 2014 with an English degree, she was offered a full-time position as an English teacher at Howell High School.

Her clinical supervisor, Dr. Leslie Kumer, nominated her for the award.

“We were chosen based on our successful observations from field experience. As teacher candidates, we were being continuously evaluated for our content knowledge, ability to successfully integrate technology in the classroom, pedagogical and instructional skills, as well as our implementation of quality, differentiated lessons at the time (among other qualifying factors),” Ms. Bassillo explained.

Initially, 10 students were nominated from the Georgian Court teaching program and then three final nominees were submitted to the New Jersey Department of Education, who ultimately selected Bassillo.

“Student teachers are nominated for this honor not only based on performance in their student teaching, but also in consideration of their cumulative grade point average from their GCU program and recommendations from their clinical supervisors, cooperating teachers and faculty,” according to  GCU School of Education Director of Field Experience, Corina Immorino Earle.

Charlee says she did not feel she was doing anything special or remarkable during her student teaching, but teacher candidates at GCU are always pushing to be at the cusp of what is up-and-coming in the education field.

“Receiving such a prestigious honor was really such an amazing and validating feeling. I always took pride in my academic career and after all of those years, it felt so nice to have all of my hard work and dedication recognized,” Charlee said. “Even being nominated was such a compliment! When I found out that I made it to the top ten nominees, I was incredibly humbled. Being honored as one of fifteen in the state for the 2013-2014 year felt unreal.”

Her obsession with education started at a young age, she said. When she was a young girl, she turned her basement into a makeshift classroom and continually played school with her friends, who eventually quit, because they told her, “it’s not fun if you have to do real school stuff.”

Her father always pushed her into accelerated programs from elementary school through high school and she could never get enough of reading and learning, she said.

As a child, Charlee could not understand why her friends and fellow classmates did not share her passion for education, but she soon realized that what she had was special—that “something” that drives someone to become a successful teacher.

“I think it’s the passion underneath it all that really drives you forward as a teacher and motivates you to be the best that you can be for the kids,” she said.

As Charlee kicks off her first year of teaching at Howell High School, she is always looking to for ways to keep the kids excited about learning.

“As far as teaching, I realized that I wanted to be the same kind of positive influence on every child who steps into my classroom,” Bassillo said. “Ask any teacher who loves their job: it’s watching that “light bulb” flicking on, the eyes lighting up, and the gears turning in a kid’s head that makes it all worth it.”

Charlee Bassillo is originally from Brick, N.J. and is a graduate of Brick Memorial High School.

The New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher Award ceremony was held on June 25 at the Fine Arts Center and the Yvonne Theatre at Rider University.

 

—Story by Nicole Bitette

Georgian Court alumna Charlee Bassillo was awarded The New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher Award following a successful stint at student teaching at Howell High School during the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters.

Ms. Bassillo spent those semesters teaching English courses at Howell High School, including 9th grade Honors English I, 10th grade Academic English II, and 12th grade Academic English IV.

Upon graduating from Georgian Court summa cum laude in the spring of 2014 with an English degree, she was offered a full-time position as an English teacher at Howell High School.

Her clinical supervisor, Dr. Leslie Kumer, nominated her for the award.

“We were chosen based on our successful observations from field experience. As teacher candidates, we were being continuously evaluated for our content knowledge, ability to successfully integrate technology in the classroom, pedagogical and instructional skills, as well as our implementation of quality, differentiated lessons at the time (among other qualifying factors),” Ms. Bassillo explained.

Initially, 10 students were nominated from the Georgian Court teaching program and then three final nominees were submitted to the New Jersey Department of Education, who ultimately selected Bassillo.

“Student teachers are nominated for this honor not only based on performance in their student teaching, but also in consideration of their cumulative grade point average from their GCU program and recommendations from their clinical supervisors, cooperating teachers and faculty,” according to  GCU School of Education Director of Field Experience, Corina Immorino Earle.

Charlee says she did not feel she was doing anything special or remarkable during her student teaching, but teacher candidates at GCU are always pushing to be at the cusp of what is up-and-coming in the education field.

“Receiving such a prestigious honor was really such an amazing and validating feeling. I always took pride in my academic career and after all of those years, it felt so nice to have all of my hard work and dedication recognized,” Charlee said. “Even being nominated was such a compliment! When I found out that I made it to the top ten nominees, I was incredibly humbled. Being honored as one of fifteen in the state for the 2013-2014 year felt unreal.”

Her obsession with education started at a young age, she said. When she was a young girl, she turned her basement into a makeshift classroom and continually played school with her friends, who eventually quit, because they told her, “it’s not fun if you have to do real school stuff.”

Her father always pushed her into accelerated programs from elementary school through high school and she could never get enough of reading and learning, she said.

As a child, Charlee could not understand why her friends and fellow classmates did not share her passion for education, but she soon realized that what she had was special—that “something” that drives someone to become a successful teacher.

“I think it’s the passion underneath it all that really drives you forward as a teacher and motivates you to be the best that you can be for the kids,” she said.

As Charlee kicks off her first year of teaching at Howell High School, she is always looking to for ways to keep the kids excited about learning.

“As far as teaching, I realized that I wanted to be the same kind of positive influence on every child who steps into my classroom,” Bassillo said. “Ask any teacher who loves their job: it’s watching that “light bulb” flicking on, the eyes lighting up, and the gears turning in a kid’s head that makes it all worth it.”

Charlee Bassillo is originally from Brick, N.J. and is a graduate of Brick Memorial High School.

The New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher Award ceremony was held on June 25 at the Fine Arts Center and the Yvonne Theatre at Rider University.

 

—Story by Nicole Bitette

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