Concetta Spano, alumna of the History and Culture Concentration, recently received the 2012 New Jersey Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award for the Hopatcong School District. More importantly, she reports, “The greatest gift was my students telling me that I am the best teacher and many saying I am ‘awesome.’ It brought tears to my eyes.”
Spano first became interested in becoming a teacher while she was in high school. Inspired by President Herbert Hoover’s quote, “Children are our most valuable resource,” she chose to volunteer at a middle school to help troubled adolescents. There she discovered she has a real talent and passion for teaching. She went on to complete her bachelor’s degree in elementary education (K-8) and began to work for Hopatcong Middle School. Spano lives by Dr. Robert H. Shaffer’s philosophy on teaching: “We must view young people not as empty bottles to be filled, but as candles to be lit.” She enjoys each child and encourages their individual gifts. Spano’s pupils exclaim, “Mrs. Spano we love that you come every day and just listen to us.”