Nicole DiFabio was born and raised in Bethany, CT. As a senior in high school she fell love with working as a mentor and creative director at the Amity Teen Center in Woodbridge, CT. Ms. DiFabio worked alongside teens from the New Haven area to develop a safe space where students created fundraisers, music benefits and other community projects.
Ms.DiFabio has been teaching 9th grade social studies at Hartford Public High School for five years. During that time, she has been a school team leader, teacher mentor, cooperating teacher and RISE network educator, working to increase freshman on-track to graduation rates. Ms. DiFabio completed her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary History Education, and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Teacher Leadership. Ms. DiFabio became dedicated to serving the Hartford community after student teaching at Hartford Public High School.
Ms. DiFabio is the coordinator for the Isidore Wise Travel Scholarship, an award given every year to Hartford’s highest scoring history students, organizing a trip to Spain for the district’s winners. She is on the district’s curriculum writing team where she has helped to develop history curriculum dedicated to teaching students content and social justice practices.
Ms. Difabio sees education as a mode for social justice. Her lesson plans are designed to celebrate her student’s identities and diversity, to analyze society‘s power structures and to encourage students to create social change on their own. Ms. DiFabio’s students advocate for solutions toward political issues they value. These skills will be displayed at an end of the year exhibition as a final project. Ms. DiFabio believes her job is to create active citizens in a 21st century democratic society.
Ms. DiFabio believes that student voice and agency is key to student engagement in academics and improving climate and culture. She encourages her students to practice using their own voice inside and outside the classroom. Some of her most important work, outside of the classroom, is as teacher facilitator for the school’s Freshman Student Government. Ms. DiFabio supports students while they fundraise and solve grade wide concerns. Under Ms. DiFabio’s guidance, students developed Town Hall Meetings. In these meetings students are encouraged to voice their concerns and possible solutions to school problems. The student feedback is used to improve protocols and plan programs for the school. The event and the group has helped to improve the climate and culture in the freshman class.
Ms. DiFabio lives in Middletown with her husband.