Student Star: Yvonne Sasse

She has a newfound respect for educators, after seeing what they do every day.

Name: Yvonne Sasse
Major: Secondary English Education

Some people compartmentalize their lives, keeping each area distinct and separate, with no overlap. Yvonne Sasse blends them, thereby creating a fuller, synchronistic life.

Perhaps it’s because she started life as a hybrid—German (her father) and Mexican (her mother). The first half of her life she spent in Germany, the second half in the U.S. She is fluent in at least two languages.

Yvonne studies hard, achieving high academic marks (3.7 grade point average), and is a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Kappa Delta Pi honor societies. Yet, she devotes a great deal of her time for the benefit of others. As philanthropy chair of Gamma Phi Beta, she organized a benefit for CampFire USA so that underprivileged girls could attend camp. Every Sunday she volunteers at the Leon County Humane Society bathing and caring for the homeless animals. She’s begun writing a newsletter for the Society, which will be distributed throughout the community.

She rescued a puppy from the Shelter, and then had him trained to become a pet therapy dog, one that improves the quality of life for people in hospitals, rehab facilities, daycare centers, and retirement homes—just by being himself. Smitty, an 80-pound Labrador mix, is “the brightest, most loving creature,” says Yvonne. “I enrolled him in the TheraPETics program because I really want other people to be affected by his unconditionally loving nature.”

Yvonne knows that to be a teacher—her chosen career—she will also always be a student, constantly learning. To meet her Secondary English Education degree requirements, Yvonne is currently interning, “the best experience to prepare you for teaching.” At Chiles High School, after a brief stint team-teaching with Mrs. Bennett, Yvonne now teaches three sections of English Honors classes herself, being responsible for planning, delivering lessons, and grading. She says, “I have a newfound respect for educators, after seeing what they do every day. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I am enjoying every second of it.”

The joy comes from the students, she says. “They make coming to work a pleasure.” Yvonne knows she’s made the right career choice, as teaching requires many aspects of herself. “You are not only an educator but also a mentor, sales person, manager, actor, and disciplinarian.” It’s not surprising then that she “loves the completely diverse work environment.”