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Proviso East Teacher Named Illinois Science Teacher of the Year

A first year science teacher at Proviso East High School recently received an award coveted by many teachers during their career. Kathleen Fritsch was named and honored by the Illinois Science Teacher Association (ISTA) as Science Teacher of the Year.

“Since very few 1st year teachers win this award, I am quite honored to have been chosen as Teacher of the Year,” said Fritsch. “It reinforces that teaching is my true career path.”

Each year teachers across the state of Illinois are nominated by their peers to be recognized as Teacher of the Year. At Proviso East, Ms. Fritsch was nominated by fellow science teachers Mr. Glenn Lid and Mr. Alex Aschoff who say “Kathy’s classroom is vibrant and she teaches like a veteran.”  Her students agreed.

“I love how Ms. Fritsch provides information on how we can find things and understand things better,” said Proviso East junior Precious Jude. “It’s also fun to do our lab work. We get to talk and work in groups, and Ms. Fritsch helps us figure out things together.”

This type of work is what set Ms. Fritsch apart from the teaching competition.

“We saw that Kathy enthusiastically and creatively inspires her students to want to learn physics,” said ISTA Awards Chair, Tara Bell. “She regularly uses hands-on activities in her lessons to boost student achievement and engagement while incorporating technology to prepare students for the future.”

Ms. Fritsch left the field of chemical engineering to become a teacher. Her extensive background and career experience have helped her revolutionize her teaching techniques and her students’ levels of engagement. She makes lessons and information internet based, requires results be graphed on a computer, helps student focus on problem solving, and offers a reward system for classes with exemplary lab scores. Fritsch says she has seen many students embrace technology as a result, and she even has students who presented lab results using movie-making software. Though incorporating technology has been the biggest theme in her classroom, Fristch says she is also working to leave an impact on her students-- which she hopes will last for years to come.

“Ten years from now I want my students to still have a quest for knowledge and a love of learning,” she said. “More importantly, I want them to know that they are smart, they have self-worth, and they can accomplish anything they want to, if they put their minds to it.”

Congratulations Ms. Fritsch. You are a vital part of “Proviso Rising.”

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