Teacher of the Month

Meet WGN and SXU's Teacher of the Month

Congratulations to Dianna Harrigan, the choir and music teacher at Sauk Elementary School in Richton Park, for being September’s Teacher of the Month

Choir and music teacher, Dianna Harrigan, believes that music is a powerful tool that can help children discover and boost their confidence. Harrigan says, “Sometimes they’re coming in with burdens, they’re coming in just to relieve the stress of the day and I know that they have so much untapped potential and it’s my job to pull that out of them.”

Deontae Farrow, the nominating student, was born with a hearing impairment that despite multiple surgeries, he still felt excluded. Harrigan describes Farrow saying “when he came in last year he was such a shy timid 4th grader….but as he got into music class and he stayed after school for choir we would start singing and dancing and motivating the students every day, those fears aren’t there anymore.” Farrow says because of Harrigan’s music class he can “let people know that he can sing and dance and do all of that.” She explains that learning takes place not only inside the class but also outside. Harrigan explains that public concerts “makes them feel good about themselves, it’s something positive …. They feel like they have accomplished something great.”

Farrow explains he enjoys Harrigan’s classes because“she teaches the songs and makes great dance moves for it.” Harrigan makes music relatable to all her student by taking basic music models and adding modern beats for “the new age child.”

If you are currently a student age 13 or older in the Chicagoland area, please visit the Contest Page on WGN's website to nominate a teacher whom you feel makes a difference at your school or in your community.