Photograph by Jason Miller
The Teen Whisperer
All those uncomfortable
conversations parents hate to have
with their kids about hygiene, puberty,
sex, and drugs? Seventh-grade health
education teacher Beth Casey has
them every day with students at the
Middle School. “I used to teach both
physical education and health, but now
I’m strictly in the classroom, which
I prefer,” says the 22-year teaching
veteran. “I feel like I make more of a
difference in health class.”
Other duties: Ski Club, Golf Club,
Gay/Straight Alliance, Newspaper
Club, and assistant swimming coach.
Why middle school?
I have found my niche. One person
described middle school students as
having one foot in childhood and the
other foot on a banana peel as they are
stepping into adulthood. I feel like I
can connect with that.
What’s your secret to
connecting with middle schoolers?
You have to be involved in school
activities and you have to speak their
language, know what they’re watching,
hear what they’re listening to. You also
have to have a sense of humor. If you
don’t, you won’t survive. You can get
along with this age group and still
What do students like about the
Shaker Middle School experience?
They love the freedom of not being
walked to their classes. That being
said, some students struggle with that
transition. It can take them several
weeks to get organized.