Every student deserves a champion - someone who will never give up on them and who will go to great lengths to ensure they have every opportunity for success. Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy English Language Arts (ELA) teacher Casey Nissenbaum exemplifies the role of a champion in the lives of all her students. Ms. Nissenbaum works tirelessly to ensure her students can show mastery of the ELA standards and content in a variety of unique ways that allow every student the opportunity to be successful.
Ms. Nissenbaum has been known to give students alternate assignments to replace those they struggle to find the motivation to complete. For example, when one student was struggling to complete a writing assignment and lacked the motivation to even get started, she came up with an alternate assignment that allowed the student to use their love of art while also meeting the ELA writing standards. With this option, the student was highly motivated and completed the assignment with mastery.
BASA Graduation Specialist Amber Hagy shares, “I have witnessed Ms. Nissenbaum create make-up work contracts that give students clear guidelines of the work that is missing and the latest date she will accept it. She goes above and beyond for her students and takes the time to get to know them. She is able to tell me about the struggles they are facing and the obstacles they are trying to overcome. Her students know she cares about them and she will never give up on them.” At BASA, when Ms. Nissenbaum is not teaching, she can be found hosting tutoring sessions for students and facilitating the anime club.
Ms. Nissenbaum has been teaching ELA for nearly twenty years. She lives in Athens, GA with her family, her dog Shirley, her cat Ernesto, and Bucky--the neighbor's cat who sneaks in through the doggie door. She enjoys walking her dog, reading, crossword puzzles, yoga, paddleboarding, camping, hiking, and traveling. BASA is so thankful to have many wonderful educators like Ms. Nissenbaum who hold high expectations for all students, while meeting them where they are with compassion and understanding.
We are proud of our students who are on the “Grad Track.” A Grad Track student has either failed one or more academic classes and/or is behind in credits needed for graduation with their cohort class. Graduation Specialists at all three Barrow County School System (BCSS) high schools support students who meet these qualifications.