Liz Czarnecki

EdM ’94, BA ’76, Reading Education

Liz Czarnecki.

Liz Czarnecki never pictured herself working in a high school.

During her time as a graduate student at UB, Liz worked closely with Dr. William Eller and Dr. Michael Kibby, focusing on literacy at the primary level. She particularly enjoyed the diagnostic puzzle of working with young children to determine how to best meet their needs. It was with a touch of trepidation that she accepted a position at Williamsville North High School following completion of her Ed.M. in Reading Education. At the time there was no English as a New Language program, so Liz worked with ENL students across their classes when they needed support. She worked with students who benefited from extra attention to organization and study skills and provided small group support for special education students. Liz was also part of the school’s Child Study Team and completed formalized testing for students recommended to the Committee on Special Education. This broad set of experiences provided the unique opportunity to work with students throughout high school and build close rapport with them. Some of those relationships continue today, well into Liz’s retirement, greatly enriching her life.

Liz has stayed connected to the education community in retirement, serving on the Westminster Community Charter School Board, and the Westminster Foundation Board as part of the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood. She recently had the chance to visit a tutoring site run by GSE faculty John Strong and Blythe Anderson, solidifying her optimism about the future of literacy education in Western New York.

Reflecting on her career, Liz advises recent graduates, “Don’t be surprised if you’re not doing what you expected and always be open to learning more. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into working with one kind of student. I expected to work in elementary but working in a high school was an incredible gift.”