"It fell upon me."
Mrs. Lisa Schrader never planned on becoming a teacher. Yet, as a graduate student pursuing her M.A. in Chemistry at the University at Buffalo, she quickly found her calling. She was working as teaching assistant in the Chemistry department helping undergraduate students come to grips with the subject. In her own words, she saw that many students "were struggling, and I was willing to help."
Part of her willingness to help comes from her own experiences. In high school, she remembered struggling with Chemistry herself, and how she learned to break down the basics of Chemistry to teach herself the subject. These early experiences helped her understand where other students might be tripped up with the subject, allowing her to guide these students towards understanding. Many of these students told her that she "should be a teacher."
Mrs. Schrader first came to Canisius High School in 2014 as a long-term substitute. Now five years later, she is a full time faculty member teaching Chemistry and AP Chemistry and loving every minute of it.
While she continues to help students, Mrs. Schrader appreciates the many opportunities she has to get to know students outside of regular class time. She is the head coach of the Science Olympiad team, plays flute in the school musicals, chaperones the Ski Club, assists with blood drives, and loves going on retreats. For her, this helps her gain a more holistic relationship with her students as she gets to know them as individual people.
It is therefore no surprise to learn that Mrs. Schrader loves when her former students come to visit. She loves to hear about their experiences in college and learning how their appreciation for the "concepts that I taught" came to influence their path in life. "The best part is hearing about the effect I had on them."
When we at Canisius High School talk about our commitment to cura personalis, or care for the whole person, it is sometimes hard for people to imagine what that actually looks like. Yet, Mrs. Schrader's experience helps serve as one example of how we see our students as more than just their academics. We truly care about our students, and strive to engage them outside of the classroom setting. We seek to play an active role during and after their four years with us and nothing gives us more joy than to see where they go in life and the effect that we had in helping them get there.