“I know my students know that I care about them,” Cassady said. “When I’m working with them, they know I care and that’s a really big thing for them.”

GOALS_TOY_PageJason Cassady’s passion for education comes from a family legacy, including his mother who taught within Round Rock ISD while he was growing up in the district. Now as a teacher, Cassady has the chance to continue in his family’s footsteps by serving the next generation of students.

Cassady, who teaches science and physical education, has been named 2017 Teacher of the Year at Growth Opportunity Attitude Learning Success (GOALS) Learning Center. Cassady has been an educator for 15 years, 13 of which have been at GOALS.

A Westwood High School graduate, Cassady first worked with children at residential treatment centers before going back to school and pursuing a career in education. His drive to help children in need influenced his decision to work in special education, first at Westwood for two years then transitioning to GOALS, Cassady said.

“Our students haven’t seen a lot of success in their lives and out of the 46,000 students in RRISD, I’d say our students are the most at-risk,” Cassady said. “It’s a really gratifying feeling to see them taste success for the first time, whether it’s academic or in P.E.”

Cassady has taught a variety of subjects during his time at GOALS, but said one of his main focuses, apart from academics, is teaching students social skills needed to be successful. Lining a wall in Cassady’s classroom are step-by-step processes for social interactions that give students an easy way to navigate through situations.

“I know my students know that I care about them,” Cassady said. “When I’m working with them, they know I care and that’s a really big thing for them.”

GOALS Principal Dennis Hardesty said Cassady comes to school each day with a drive to serve students and a positive attitude.

“Mr. Cassady builds a positive relationship with all of his students and the staff,” Hardesty said. “He shows compassion and caring and reaches out to parents on a daily basis to keep them updated on the status of their students.”