Channel 9News’ anchor Gary Shapiro visited Most Precious Blood School in March to interview teacher Michael Schiano for his exemplary teaching skills and care for students.
Schiano, who teaches middle school math and coaches the speech team, won the TV station’s “Teacher Who Cares” award.
Known among students as “The Big Spaccone” (Italian for “the big shot”), he earned a reputation as a caring teacher over his last eight years at the school.
“It’s an honor and it’s very exciting and flattering, but I’m accepting it on behalf of the whole community here,” Schiano said. “I think it’s a testament to the school in general. There’s plenty of teachers who care just as much as I do about the kids.”
Schiano, who hails from Brooklyn, N.Y., has a background in teaching and law. He graduated from Pace University and later its law school and practiced law in New York City for 18 years. He returned to teaching math and ended up at Most Precious Blood.
Some of his students’ parents nominated him for the award.
Jennifer Hoffman wrote that Schiano chose to return to teaching over practicing law.
“But he chose to make his life about the kids, and what true gift his presence and abilities have provided this community of learning for over 15 years,” she wrote.
She said she can’t remember a time he was unavailable to help students with math questions.
Mother Jen Wallis said her daughter, Tatum, has benefited his math and speech lessons. He wrote that he’s highly organized and has a passion for math.
“He has a big heart and he is funny (in) a dry-teacherly way,” Wallis wrote. “He loves what he does, he shows the kids that he believes in them, and he gives them just that little bit more responsibility than they are ready for and they dive for it.”
Schiano said he later received a letter in the mail from 9News announcing that he won.
Shapiro interviewed him and four of his students and their mothers for a segment that will air on the TV station. The interview will be aired on Channel 9 at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. April 11, and 7 a.m. April 12.