Camelot Teacher Profile: Liz Gavrys
Liz Gavrys teaches American History and World History at Excel Academy North. She graduated with a BA in History and a Master’s in Education from La Salle University. Gavrys was a star in the classroom and on the field; while she was at La Salle University she played on their soccer team!
How did you find out about Camelot?
“A former college teammate had worked with Camelot and got me in touch. I did my student teaching at Camelot and then was able to come on full time.”
How long have you been with Camelot?
“This is my 2nd year.”
What do you like most about Camelot?
“It is challenging and very rewarding. I find that students who have been absent the longest are most appreciative of school. They realize that the high school diploma will get them much further in life than not having a degree or going and getting a GED.”
What is your favorite part of teaching history?
“I love history and worked in museums before. I wanted to teach though so that I could have a one on one connection with students. That connection is why I wanted to teach.”
Why do you think it is important for Camelot students to know history?
“If we do not know what happened then we are bound to repeat it. We need to learn from mistakes to move on. Even things that are happening now, like the fighting that is happening all around the world, has been going on for centuries in one way or another.”
What is your favorite moment in history?
“As a student I really liked the Civil War. As a teacher, I have just started looking at music in history. Last year I taught about the music that came out during the Vietnam War. This year I started off with music videos in one of my classes to explore social justice. We looked at music post-9/11 like ‘Where is the love?’ and music post-Katrina like ‘Georgia Bush’ by Lil Wayne.”
Why do you think Camelot is successful?
“Here at Camelot we set norms right from the beginning for our students and we also work as a team. If we did not all work as a team we could not do it—but it is from the bottom up and the top down—we are a team. Some teachers at other schools are in their classrooms on islands but we have help and support in the halls for all of our classrooms and students. It’s really that blend of academics and behavior that transforms or makes the education aspect come through.”