The May 25 Board of Education Meeting provided an opportunity to recognize Kelsey Mason for being in the Staff Spotlight this month. For the past two years, Mason, who was nominated by colleague Al Martin, has taught Geometry, Honors Geometry, Geometry B, and Algebra II at Cuyahoga Heights High School (CHHS). She also coaches volleyball, Prior to joining CHHS, she taught eighth-grade math and Algebra at Olmsted Falls Middle School for four years.
“Kelsey has an extremely competitive spirit, both in and out of the classroom which drives her to constantly search for and find different ways to help her students and players achieve. She often meets with students who need extra assistance (in math) during her lunch and on her planning periods. She is a true professional and inspiration to those who work with her,” said Martin.
“In the classroom I try to present the content in a way that the students can comprehend. Each student has unique needs to be successful and it is my goal to find what motivates them so they can perform at their best,” said Mason.
When it comes to building connections with her students, Mason is driven. “Not many students come in loving math, so I work hard to make my classroom comfortable for them. I also love watching a student's hard work pay off. Geometry specifically can be challenging for a lot of students so when I see someone persevere to achieve something they originally found difficult it is very rewarding,” she noted. Her reputation for being organized is evident in the manner in which she keeps her binders of notes and answer keys for her lessons. “I am very particular about this. I also have a major pet peeve of bent corners on my papers,” she remarked.
In the course of becoming a top-notch teacher, Mason has learned not to underestimate herself. “There’s going to be days of feeling down and definitely the occasional failure, but staying on course will allow things to work out. Dreams become reality with this mindset and sometimes I have to remind myself that a setback isn't the end of the world,” she said.
Mason’s tenacious spirit in the classroom also translates to the volleyball court. “Coaching at the school you work at is one of the coolest things you can do because you have the ability to connect with the students in a totally different way,” she explained. “There is so much pride in coaching and teaching in a district like Cuyahoga Heights,” she noted.
When she’s not working with numbers in the classroom, she enjoys working with numbers in the kitchen. Translation: she loves to cook and is always looking to try out new recipes. She also enjoys the outdoors, especially when it involves hikes with her four-year-old dog, Remi (“He is my whole life!), and bike rides in the park. This summer she plans to visit her brother, who lives in Utah. She is also hoping to teach herself sign language. “There’s always something to learn out there and I think it would be a really cool skill to have,” she concluded.