Matchmaker: Candiss Kessler Connects Kids With Greatness
Briar teacher Candiss Kessler is proud of the many great connections she has made with students over the past 28 years.There were two times, though, when she played matchmaker with students and superstars.
First, there was the time that former Miss America Jackie Mayer came to her class and allowed a student to try on the crown. And, then there was the time a student became pen pals with former two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin.
In both cases, students were working on their “wax museum” lessons, where they study individuals and assemble biographical presentations to share with their classmates. Mrs. Kessler used her contacts and resources to help students make these special connections.
“These were really special moments with the kids,” Mrs. Kessler recalls.
Mrs. Kessler is among the five veteran teachers in the district who have announced their retirements at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.
And, indeed, Mrs. Kessler is going to be missed as a resourceful, creative, and reliable colleague, says Briar teacher Andrea Baker, who is in the 6th-grade classroom next door.
Mrs. Kessler “always has your back,” Mrs. Baker says. “She’s so helpful and someone I can always go to and ask questions of.”
Mrs. Kessler started her career at Briar Middle School as a teacher in 1995, and has taught language arts and mathematics at Meadowlawn Intermediate School and Briar, where she has been the past 16 years teaching math.
“I always loved developing my math curriculum,” Mrs. Kessler said. Other highlights include being junior class advisor for the high school and Briar student council advisor, and organizing the middle school math competition.
The Sandusky native earned her bachelors degree from Bowling green State University and a master’s degree from Ashland University. She also has a bachelors degree in Business Administration before becoming a teacher, and is a National Board Certified Teacher.
Among the highlights of her time here has been watching her three children – Dr. Erica (Kessler) Armstrong, Class of 1998, Todd Kessler, Class of 2001, and Carli Kessler, Class of 2005 – attend and graduate from Perkins Schools.
Now is a good time for her to retire, Mrs. Kessler says. She will be focusing her attention now on five grandchildren: Addie, Emmie, and Ollie in Michigan, and Harper and Emma in Ohio, and another grandchild expected in September.