Class of: 2000
Major: Associate of Science, Early Childhood Education

CCM Education Offers the Foundation for Teaching Others

“I definitely learned how to be a better student at CCM.”

Susanne Kessler, of Mount Olive, not only learned how to be a better student at County College of Morris (CCM), she also learned a life lesson she continues to use when confronted with a problem.

woman in blue sweater with arms crossedWhile she struggled with learning from elementary school through high school, her pre-calculus professor at CCM taught her a valuable lesson that both helped her as a student and with life in general. He taught her how to consider the various aspects of a problem and then develop a course of action, rather than rushing forward with a solution.
“Math is not just black and white. You have to figure out what strategy you are going to use. That’s a life lesson I continue to use,” says Kessler.

In addition to that practice, Kessler says she learned how to succeed as a student at CCM, which eventually led her to pursue a bachelor’s in education from Montclair State University.

“I definitely learned how to be a better student at CCM,” she says. “I learned how to succeed and excel.”
CCM had not been Kessler’s first choice after high school. Instead, she enrolled at East Stroudsburg University but found she missed being near her family. She returned home and earned her degree in early childhood education at CCM. After earning her associate degree, however, she did not pursue a career in education but rather ended up taking a corporate job in credit and collections.

The job paid well, but “something was missing,” she says. Her parents and then fiancé helped to shed some light on her situation with each telling her she would make an amazing teacher given the learning struggles she had overcome. So after earning her teaching degree and certification, she began teaching elementary students at the Shongum School in Randolph.
After 11 years, she continues “to enjoy everything” about teaching.
“My experiences taught me how to be a better teacher, and to look at things from different perspectives so I can help each child to learn,” says Kessler.

The mother of three young daughters, Emma, Kaitlyn and Ava, Kessler also has learned how to juggle multiple responsibilities and to make the best use of her time. Her goal is to next earn her master’s degree as a reading specialist.

Apparently CCM and its ability to transform lives is a passion for her family, as her father, Paul Licitra, has served on the college’s Board of Trustees for six years, including as chair.

“Everyone in Morris County knows CCM is the best community college,” says Kessler. “I knew it would be a good place to discover who I am and to learn how to study, and it was.”