Father and daughter pursue shared love of teaching at CCA
Tom Rottet and his daughter, Kailee, teach out of the Andreas Family Service Center.
Throughout her life, Kailee (Rottet) Lakitsky has shared many things with her father, Tom Rottet: a home, a last name and, most recently, a workplace.
After building a lifelong career as a chiropractor, Tom joined Commonwealth Charter Academy as a seventh-grade science teacher in 2010. After she witnessed how much he loved this teaching environment, Kailee — who had recently graduated from Kutztown University with her teaching degree — joined CCA as a ninth-grade English teacher in 2016.
“My dad was always so excited to go to work and truly enjoyed what he was doing and the students he was teaching,” Kailee said. “I was always interested in English and knew I wanted to teach in general, but because of my dad’s positive experience with CCA, I knew I wanted to work with this school specifically.”
Sharing a workplace through CCA has brought Tom and Kailee closer than ever.
“We spend the whole day together. As this is my first real job after graduating, it’s really special and puts my mind at ease to have my dad working in the same room as me,” Kailee said.
After work, Tom and Kailee also referee soccer together. Tom maintains his part-time chiropractic practice in the afternoons and evenings.
While Tom taught in a brick-and-mortar school for a half -year and Kailee had experience student teaching, both gravitated toward cyber school.
“Any subject has its ups and downs, whether in brick-and-mortar or online,” Kailee said. “It can be hard having limited face-to-face interactions with students, so we make an effort to incorporate (virtual lessons) so that they can get that personal interaction and experience.”
Tom echoed the benefit of cyber teaching, saying it allows for fewer classroom distractions and the ability to “individualize each student’s academic needs.”
Kailee’s students get plenty of face time with her through two weekly virtual lessons, regular phone calls and emails, and even occasional meetings in person. While she hosts weekly group reading times with her classes, she has also organized movie nights in the past. “Last year, I met with students from my class to watch "Romeo and Juliet," play some games and get to know each other,” she said. This school year, she plans to host similar events.
Kailee and Tom both work in the Andreas office, along with many other regional teachers. This setup allows the teachers to get to know each other and collaborate efficiently, while having space to connect with their students virtually.
Tom and Kailee's ability to teach together brings life to one of CCA's core values: family centered service.