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Providence Catholic's Erica Sparano wins WGN's Teacher of the Month

This story was written by Gaynor Hall and Kathanin Czink at WGN9. Click here to watch the news segment.

Suburban science teacher love for teaching is in her DNA

Ms. Erica Sparano is at the very beginning of her career, but students say she has all of the traits of an incredible teacher.

“Growing up, I can remember, when I was little, I wanted to be a teacher. I had the easel and I would present to my class,” she said.

Eventually, she decided to become an orthodontist. But later in college, she changed course.

She’s now in her second year of teaching science at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox. And she says there’s nowhere she’d rather be than building bonds with young people.

“Of course I love science. I love talking about it. But my favorite part is talking with students every day,” she said.

Senior Matthew Fleming nominated Sparano for Teacher of the Month saying she greets students with a warm smile and a heart of gold.

 “I’ve never been described that way,” Sparano said. “I was smiling when I read that but I was also tearing up. Such a sweet thing to hear about the way your students feel when you walk in a room and approach them.”

And Matthew says her approach makes complicated concepts easier to digest.

“I think she’s given me a good background in science and when I move on to the next chapter of my academics, I think I’ll be well prepared,” he said.

“I think it’s really important to approach teaching as a human connection. You want to connect with your students. You want them to find how your class is applicable to their daily lives rather than bodies in desks just talking at them,” she said.

When she’s not in the classroom, Sparano is working with the school’s esports team and cheering on girls athletics.

It all goes back to the relationship building that’s in her teaching DNA.

“All teachers work really hard and I think they all deserve appreciation like this. Today is her special day and I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more,” Matthew said.