Meet Cassidy Penland: a substitute teacher and alum of Verner. She returned to Verner one year ago to apply for a substitute teacher position while she studies for a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is a wonderful example of Verner’s commitment to providing support for children, families, and employees and the lasting impact that support can have.
Cassidy began her experience with Verner when she was three years old when her grandmother could no longer provide care for her at home. As soon as Cassidy stepped foot in Verner’s Riceville Road Center, the familiar smell and sights recreated the feeling of comfort and security she associated with Verner as a child. She even remembered the loft she napped in and now enjoys telling children as they settle down on their cots how she used to sleep there when she was their age. Cassidy’s experience as a child and now as a teacher at Verner has made her a great believer in the lifelong benefits of early education for all children and a proponent of the expansion of access to early education for all families.
Cassidy’s early education experience at Verner and her success in grade school inspire her to support young children and start them on a road to success. Cassidy credits her third grade teacher for sharing the most important of life lessons: “You are awesome simply because you are you.” This is the gift she wishes to pass on to children in her work. Her deep commitment to helping children know themselves as uniquely wonderful is apparent in everything she does.
While Cassidy’s ultimate goal is to teach kindergarten, she is in no hurry to leave Verner as she has found the same profound sense of support and encouragement here as an employee that she experienced as a child. She is an important part of the Verner family and her supervisors and co-workers support her in all areas of her life and provide Cassidy with the flexibility she needs to excel in her pursuit of her early education degree.
Thank you Cassidy!