Teacher of the Year, Casimir shares love of music with Northside students
By the time she was a Woodford County High School senior, Erin (Tulenko) Casimir knew she wanted to pursue a career in music education.
It was during her student-teaching experiences at Kentucky Christian University when Casimir decided elementary was the right place for her. She enjoys working with younger kids.
“You get to see the growth from kindergarten all the way through fifth grade,” explains Casimer, in her 11th year at Northside Elementary School.
“It’s just fun,” she says of teaching. “I get to play instruments. I get to dance, sing. We’re up and moving and playing. It’s just fun.”
Casimir says she embraces her opportunities to prepare students for that next step if they want to do more in vocal music or band or musical theater when they’re at the middle and high school.
“It’s fun to watch them continue,” says Casimir. And when her former students come back to Northside to share their love of music on Arts Day, her current students gain a better understanding of “what we do in here can then be used for things like marching band later on.”
Casimir credits her music teacher at Southside Elementary School, Karen McVey, for helping her find her passion for music, which led her to become very involved in band and the Woodford Singers at WCHS.
“So it’s always been a part of me, something that I was involved in,” says Casimir, who started doing a Madrigal Dinner at Northside Elementary three years ago because of her positive experiences performing at the Renaissance feast while a student at Southside.
“I never did much (in) sports so music was always kind of my thing.”
She wants her students to know enough about music so they can appreciate it – even if it’s not their thing. And it’s always gratifying when a former student reconnects with her to say how much they enjoyed their experiences at Northside.
The school’s annual spring musical offers students another avenue to learn and grow as performers, while also making memories of their own.
“I can still – to this day – remember songs that I did in the Southside choir,” says Casimir.
She says being chosen Northside Elementary’s Teacher of the Year helps to remind her “what you’re doing is worth it and is meaningful to the school and the kids.”
Casimir and her husband of nearly nine years, Rolgard, have two children, Micah, a kindergartner at Northside, and Brielle.