TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Cassandra Ringo keeps students current

Published 8:00 am Friday, January 27, 2023

This article is part of a series by The Vicksburg Post, in partnership with the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, featuring each of the nominees for teacher of the year honors. 

Cassandra Ringo, an English II instructional coach at Vicksburg High School, teaches her students current events in the classroom.

For her students to build real-life connections to their lessons Ringo, said she “incorporates current affairs into the classroom while analyzing nonfiction texts.” 

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Ringo is a finalist for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Educator of the Year award. The chamber will select and announce one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon on Feb. 15. The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union. 

Ringo has worked at Brilliant Minds Tutorial Service for eight years. For three years, she was part of the faculty at Kings Headstart. She taught at Vicksburg Intermediate School for a year and also worked at South Park Elementary and Vicksburg High School for two years.

In 2004, she received her associate’s degree in pre-nursing at Hinds Community College. Ringo then obtained her bachelor’s degree in general studies at Alcorn State University in 2015. 

While trying to keep up with current events, Ringo said she ensures that her students are using their resources to understand the lesson.

“I ensure students are connected to the world around them by using technology to increase engagement through interactive educational games,” Ringo said.

She tries to make each lesson fun and appealing, such as her lesson titled “What does it mean to be a Hero?” This lesson allowed her students to study the different types of heroes around the world and discuss who the students thought were their heroes. 

She also had a lesson about George Floyd.

“The lesson was very impactful because the kids were able to make connections with things going on in the community,” Ringo said. “I didn’t try to force my beliefs on the kids. I let them discuss their beliefs and the lesson turned out to be awesome.”

To make sure her students are engaged in class, Ringo uses a rubric to check their work.

“I give students a rubric for high-quality work and have them evaluate their performance against the rubric,” she said. At the start of her class, she establishes her expectation of classwork during these lessons.

“I establish a climate of mutual respect, set high expectations for quality work and maximize the percentage of time that all students are engaged in the content,” Ringo said.