Following her calling: from law to education


Gabby Messina, Staff Reporter

Sometimes, where we think we are supposed to go is not where God has planned for us. Doors may open or close, and opportunities will come and go. For first-year civics teacher Charlene Kazan, this speaks true.

From a young age, she felt as if she was called to teach, but her family was unsupported of a low paying and seemingly inconsequential job. After years of secretarial work and jobs in advertising and retail, she decided to return to school to receive her degree: law school seemed to be the optimum choice.

After graduating, Kazan practiced for about fifteen years as an attorney, only to later take a leave of absence after having her daughter in 2006. Eventually, she returned to practice part time, but was not fully engaged and the longing to teach continued to pull at her heart.

After some time, she came to a conclusion to begin her dream of teaching. Kazan had been involved in the school for years before she applied for a teaching position, with her daughter having graduated from Northlake in 2015. She felt comfortable with the school family and the Christian environment.

Transitioning from a career in law to one in education was a tremendous change for her. Being a new teacher, she was unsure of what to expect in regards to technology and how to get students involved.

“Being a teacher is a lot like being in a courtroom,” Kazan explains. “You’re expected to get up there and be ready to go and know exactly what you’re doing and just be on and ready for the day.”

One of her main goals, she explains, is to inform the students about things going on in our government and current political issues.

“I really do love engaging with the students and having relationships with them. You really have to be involved and the [students] need to be informed.”

Even though Kazan does not teach younger students, she has already impacted the lives of many. She is deeply loved by her advisory group, and if it were not for her lifelong calling to be a teacher, she would not have been at Northlake to touch these girls’ lives.