I am pleased to announce that Dia Rizmani, a 2010 graduate of our Elementary Education Program (MA), has been awarded a 2015 Illinois State Board of Education "Those Who Excel" Award. Rizmani, a third-grade teacher at the Hoover Math and Science Academy in Schaumburg, won an Award of Excellence in the early career educator category.
Dia originally majored in biological sciences and worked in laboratories. However, she returned to Roosevelt to get her teaching degree when she realized that she was always teaching – through staff training, college tutoring and other avenues.
Despite teaching for only four years, Dia is already a leader at the school and district level, serving on the Hoover School Leadership Team and the District 54 Literacy Task Force. Additionally, Dia represented District 54 on the Roosevelt University Elementary Education Redesign Committee, which met throughout the 2013-2014 academic year to redesign and improve the elementary teacher preparation program at Roosevelt. Hoover Math and Science Academy is now a partner for our elementary education program, and approximately 20 pre-service and student teachers are currently engaged in observation and student teaching at this site.
According to a District 54 blog post, Dia is making a difference with her students. As the daughter of immigrants, Dia says she often felt isolated at school. Therefore, in her classroom, she teaches her students to celebrate their differences. By building upon each student’s strengths and cultural backgrounds, the learning environment is highly inclusive and regarded as a safe place for all to learn. This environment led to 100 percent of her students meeting their growth targets on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment last year.
Please join me in congratulating Dia Rizmani--a truly outstanding representative of what RU teacher preparation is all about.