CATO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – Former Jordan-Elbridge standout Kelsey Youmell excelled at soccer, basketball and lacrosse while with the Eagles. It was in the last sport, that she went on to have collegiate success at Syracuse from 2014-17. But she didn’t just choose SU for the lacrosse.
“I knew I always wanted to be a teacher since I think when I was little,” said Youmell.
After completing her studies, the Jordan native headed down the road to Cato-Meridian teaching third grade at the elementary school. But, her second year is very different than the first, but she is adjusting.
“I like that we have the masks, we’re very on top of making sure everything is clean. We wash the desks after they eat a meal or before snack time. They’re constantly washing their hands,” said Youmell.
Cato-Meridan is using a hybrid model of in-person instruction four days a week and remote instruction one day a week. Kelsey has 10 students in her class per day. All of the teachers have worked together to provide virtual learning for the students.
“Our whole team did a different lesson. I did teaching about fables where another teacher taught like letter sounds and putting words together and then another teacher was math, so they actually got to see our faces every day which was really cool and they got to hear our voices,” said Youmell.
Youmell thinks there are benefits for students being in person to help their social skills, but understands it’s important that all of the students stay safe.
“It’s definitely worked out I think being flexible the parents appreciate it. They always check in with us to see if things have been missed or things that could be worked on,” says Youmell.
Her classroom is decorated with images from the movie Toy Story, with one of the lines from the movie “reach for the sky” hanging above the whiteboard. She thinks it has an important message for all of her students.
“The motto behind it is you got a friend in me which I think is something that is huge for kids,” said Youmell. “So, they always have a friend either in their teacher or the friends they make in their classroom.”
Kelsey not only teaches in the classroom but on the lacrosse field at Skaneateles as a volunteer assistant. For her, playing lacrosse at SU benefitted her in more ways than one.
“A lot of the stuff that I learned at Syracuse I still use with my girls that I coach now in high school,” said Youmell. “Being able to adapt to the situation I think is definitely a huge thing in teaching. Those kind of things that I learned through lacrosse have definitely stuck with me.”