A tribute to Maggie Cassidy — an extraordinary woman

June 21st, 2022

Margaret (Maggie) Cassidy of Putney, Vermont, died on June 4. Her obituary can be found here. This is a remembrance shared by her friend, SIT Professor Emerita Beatriz Fantini.

Margaret Cassidy
Photo courtesy of the Brattleboro Reformer

There are many words to describe Maggie. I chose to use “extraordinary” because it is one word that describes her the best.

I met Maggie when she was a graduate student at SIT. She was getting her master’s degree in teaching English as a second language and French. During that year, she was also my student in a Spanish course I taught.

Her classes demonstrated her joyful and energetic personality.

Maggie was a motivated and interested student. She thought it was important to communicate with speakers of other languages on their own terms. She later became a teacher of both French and Spanish at Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS).

Maggie was an exceptional person and teacher. Her classes demonstrated her joyful and energetic personality.

She contributed to the field of language teaching at both BUHS and SIT, where she also taught. Teachers as well as students benefitted from her skills and talents as a teacher. I also worked with her in the Windham Partnership Program, a program that promoted the teaching of French and Spanish in elementary schools in Windham County. Maggie also played an important role in that program.

Her role as teacher, however, went beyond the classroom. Having been a student abroad herself, she wanted to have her students benefit from the same experience. She took BUHS students to France, Switzerland, and Costa Rica. She was completely committed to teaching and having her students have the best experience learning a language and experiencing other cultures.

Maggie and I shared the same interests. We both loved to write for the local papers to share our experiences and knowledge with others. Her chronicles appeared in The Reformer and later on in The Commons and were read and enjoyed by many. She always wrote interesting articles that addressed both local and current topics.

Maggie was an inspiration not only to her students but also to her colleagues, friends, and family. We will all miss her and remember her as a most extraordinary person.