Christina Dazzo remembers how her high school teachers always believed in her and encouraged her to work toward the next level. Now a Special Education teacher at Carpenter Elementary School, Dazzo continues to reach for the next level - a Master’s Degree.
She has the opportunity to continue with her effort, thanks in part to the Park Ridge Rotary Club, which presented her the Raymond Hendee Award on Jan. 27.
The $1,000 scholarship is presented in memory of Dr. Raymond E. Hendee, District 64 Superintendent from 1970 until his retirement in 1990. Hendee was committed to providing teachers with the opportunity to improve their teaching skills by supporting and encouraging programs of continuing education focusing on new teaching techniques and academics.
“There is so much that I love about teaching at Carpenter,” said Dazzo, now in her fourth year teaching at Carpenter. “I love working with the kids and it is so exciting to see that lightbulb go on in them when something clicks!”
Dazzo loves the friendly atmosphere across the district and appreciates how much everyone cares so much about each other and the kids.
“We are one big team and that makes coming to work every day so enjoyable. Also, the kids are so fun to work with and watch progress.”
Dazzo attended Resurrection High School and was a camp counselor also working with cheer and gymnastic camps as a young adult.
“The teachers at Resurrection encouraged us to work toward the next level,” she said. “They believed in us as students and this has long motivated me to become a teacher and do the same for my students.”
Dazzo plans to use the scholarship to continue her masters work in special education with a specific focus on creating accommodations and modifications to the general curriculum to help her students be as successful as their peers. She started the program in the fall of 2020 and anticipates being done by Spring 2022.
“I appreciate the scholarship so much. I am learning a lot in my course work and am focused on helping students meet their full potential.”