Rickie DeVito Kassem

Title: Fourth Grade Teacher
Company: District 25, NYC Department of Education
Location: Douglaston, New York, United States

Rickie DeVito Kassem, Fourth Grade Teacher at District 25, New York City Department of Education, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in elementary education.

Having accrued more than 20 years of expertise in her profession, Ms. Kassem has excelled as an educator since 1997. Currently serving as a fourth-grade teacher to District 25 with the New York City Department of Education, she has been exposed to various grades over the years, such as pre-K, kindergarten and first, third, fourth, and fifth grades, as well as in an information and communications technology setting and working with children with individualized education plans. Ms. Kassem has learned that the education sector is ever-changing and she has grown to adapt to changes and challenges that she would not have ever imagined she would encounter. She notes what keeps her grounded is always recognizing her love of children, as their impressionable minds and room for growth inspire her every day.

Reflecting on her rewarding career path, Ms. Kassem recalls her most notable achievement was helping a student with learning disabilities pass his tests to advance to the next grade. She has kept in touch with this student and was ecstatic to learn he has been attending college. Ms. Kassem believes one of the most important aspects of her job is getting to know the students and making connections with them, adding that teachers need to be more sensitive to the needs of all students as individuals. With this sentiment, the mentors who instilled these practices in her were Ms. Gerando and Ms. Turkel.

Ms. Kassem became involved in her profession from watching a friend pursue a teaching career at the Bachelor’s level, along with her mother who was a teacher at a junior high school. Both of these influences encouraged her to consider a career in education, as they believed it fit her personality and best qualities. Her mom offered her an interview at her school to see if that was something she wanted to do for the long run. Ms. Kassem quickly jumped into the field and started as a paraprofessional and leader of outreach projects. Subsequently, she matriculated at Queens College, attaining a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in mathematics.


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