Position: Resource Room/Math Teacher
School: Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School
School District: New York City Department of Education - District 31
City, State: Staten Island , New York
About the Nominee: Christina Illuzzi received nominations from multiple students. Ms. Illuzzi is an amazing LifeChanger for so many reasons! Nowadays, education is so important for students. In order to understand and learn the material fully, students need a teacher who is willing to listen be there for you when you need help. Ms. Illuzzi is someone who goes above and beyond what she is asked to do and listens to every student. She is a selfless woman who everyone should have in their life. She will make time for students before school, during class and during any prep or break she has (including her lunch break) to help students and colleagues in need. Ms. Illuzzi will check in on students via email outside of school to make sure they are not stressing out and/or giving up. She makes sure they keep one foot in front of the other and know she is one step behind them. It cannot be stressed enough how much of an impact she leaves on every student in the school she teaches. Whether it be her student or a student from another teacher, she has helped each person significantly in some way, including her nominators.
For example, she helped one of her nominators, Marina Auletti, in ways that go beyond education. Schools are primarily built on education, but to also have at least one person whom you can go to talk to about any problems you have is comforting. According to Marina, Ms. Illuzzi has helped her overcome challenges, both inside and outside of school. She helped Marina practice her lines and solos in the school play (which Ms. Illuzzi directed), and she helped her gain confidence in herself.
Ms. Illuzzi's other nominators, who wish to remain anonymous, state that she has helped give them the extra push to move forward and do their best. She helps her students successfully achieve everything they want to do in high school.
Ms. Illuzzi is the glue that holds everything together. She is so involved with the school, her job and the students. For all that she does for others before herself, Ms. Illuzzi is a true LifeChanger who is greatly appreciated for all the good work she does. Ms. Illuzzi puts her all and more in everything she does, and her students feel thankful to have her as their biggest support!