Lifetouch National School Studios Inc.

photo courtesy of Chris Cirrincione

Dean Carlson, Executive Online Editor

Spanish teacher, Chris Cirrincione, will be leaving Prospect at the end of this school year. After working here for over four years, he will have the bittersweet ending he expected to have to have. Over his time at Prospect he has made some good friends, such as Maria Bakas, one of the other world language teachers, who is also one of his closest friends. Whilst, making good connections with his students to ensure that he will be missed upon leaving.

“My favorite part about teaching is working with students. [As] a Spanish teacher, the first couple of days I only speak Spanish until the last minutes of class. And my Spanish 1 and 2 classes … are always very nervous and their eyes open up,” Cirrincione said. “… from that moment to the rest of the year, it is really amazing to work with the students and help them know that they actually can learn Spanish and are capable of mastering it.” 

Cirrincione will be shifting his career pathway to Palatine High School when he takes the role of assistant principal next school year, which also has the role of being a Dean incorporated into it.

“What was really appealing about the new position is that it encompassed all three of my passions,” Cirrincione said. “This role has the ability to work with students, work on staff and instructional design and to help in student activities …  We will help [the] staff develop while planning activities that we create to improve a positive school culture.” 

As he explained, he has made much improvement at Prospect that he wishes to bring to Palatine. One example of him doing this is his leadership of the Prospect Associated Student Body (ASB). 

According to social science teacher Michelle Fonsino, Cirrincione’s optimism and charisma are just some of his qualities that make him a great teacher and leader. Because of this charisma, Cirrincione was able to get to know some of his students on a personal level. This is one of the most important aspects of teaching, and this just so happens to be Cirrincione’s favorite part of teaching. 

Leaving a well united school will have some downsides. 

“I am going to miss mostly the people here, for example, the students that I see on a daily basis and the wonderful staff members that I get to work with,”Cirrincione said.

And some of the other staff members will miss him too. 

“No, I am definitely happy for him, I am just sad that he has to go and leave Prospect,” says Fonsino.

Knowing this, he hopes that he has left a mark on Prospect. 

“I think, if I had been lucky enough to make a mark here, is this idea of the love for being a knight,” Cirrincione said, “And something I have really worked for these past couple of years is making it a place that is welcoming to all students.”

One of the most special moments Cirrincione has had here was the summer before he got hired he was spending most of his time in Europe studying spanish. So he didn’t really get a chance to know what Prospect was all about. Then, Senora Bakas, one of their other world language teachers, offered to have lunch with him a few times. “And then we exchanged a few emails after, and, not long after that, she welcomed him over to her house for the afternoon. He met her daughter and her husband at the time and they got to know each other while looking at the curriculum before he came over to Prospect.

“That has always stuck with me, because she has never met me before and she took time out of her day to have me over at her house and helped me get to know Prospect,” Cirrincione said. “And it’s stories like that that make this place so special and really resonate with me and make me end with a bittersweet ending.”