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Interview with Ms. Danielle Di Vito, Lighthouse American School Lead Teacher

"Lighthouse is the school I wish I could have attended as a young student, the school that I would dream of for my own child."

Ms. Danielle Di Vito, Lighthouse American School Lead Teacher

Education has always been at the center of my life. I was born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago before attending college at Butler University. Once I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and Psychology, I moved to Spain to complete a Master's program in bilingual education and teach English. I had discovered my passion for teaching, and I ended up staying in Madrid to teach for another year after graduation. Eventually I earned my professional educator license in the U.S., and my life in education came full circle once I found my way to Lighthouse.

What do you like most about LAS?

My favorite part of Lighthouse is the openness for teachers and the creativity of students that guide our curriculum. Our ideas as staff are always taken to heart, which allows us to tailor each lesson to students' needs and curiosities. It also paves the way for students to be the leaders of their own learning experience.

What did you like the most about the activities and programs you carried out at the school last year?

My favorite inquiry project that my class and I worked on together last year was The Case of the Stolen Painting. Fourth graders were tasked with finding out who was responsible for stealing a valuable piece of art from Director Irene's office. From the get-go, students were hooked! They engaged by taking meaningful notes, asking important questions via interviews, and manifesting their critical thinking skills by analyzing clues to find the culprit. Moreover, they worked cooperatively over many weeks and were constantly engaging reasoning skills to evaluate and explain their findings. By the end of the activity, our whole school was invested in discovering who had stolen the painting... (Spoiler alert: It was me!)

In order for students to develop lifelong learning, it is essential to get out and relate what they have learned in the classroom to the outside world.”
Several students doing an interview during the Stolen Painting project.
Why is LAS a different school? What do you think you LAS faculty have in common?

Working at Lighthouse is like being part of a large family. Our small class sizes means that every student and every teacher can truly get to know one another, which is a unique advantage that other students don't have the opportunity to experience elsewhere. It allows teachers to offer the individualized attention that every student deserves. Additionally, all of our teachers have significant international experience and come from different backgrounds that they get to share in the classroom.

What would you like to try or do new next year at LAS?

In order for students to develop lifelong learning, it is essential to get out and relate what they have learned in the classroom to the outside world. This coming year, I look forward to expanding our projects into the local community and going on field trips that we wished to have experienced last year.

“Working at Lighthouse is like being part of a large family. Our small class sizes means that every student and every teacher can truly get to know one another, which is a unique advantage that other students don’t have the opportunity to experience elsewhere.”
This is me at the Lighthouse entrance - welcome!
What would you like to try or do new next year at LAS?

In order for students to develop lifelong learning, it is essential to get out and relate what they have learned in the classroom to the outside world. This coming year, I look forward to expanding our projects into the local community and going on field trips that we wished to have experienced last year.

What would you say to families who don't know LAS?

Lighthouse is the school I wish I could have attended as a young student, the school that I would dream of for my own child. It is uniquely student-centered and globally minded. Each class is able to create a sense of community that provides a safe and secure learning environment where each student feels comfortable to express themself and grow to their fullest potential.

Each class is able to create a sense of community that provides a safe and secure learning environment where each student feels comfortable to express themself and grow to their fullest potential.
Students sit in each class in a different arrangement depending on the activity they are doing.
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