RIVER FOREST, Ill. — Empowering female students in STEM education is the focus of Dr. Roz Iasillo, WGN’s first teacher of the month for the 2022-2023 school year.

“Dr. Roz” teaches at Trinity High School in River Forest where she shares her love of science with young women and cultivates their limitless potential.

“They deserve the best of me because I expect the best of them,” she said.

Iasillo leads her students in hands on-experiments with enthusiasm and encouragement.

“This is my fifth year at Trinity High School. It’s my 38th year in Catholic all-women education,” she said.

Growing up, “Dr. Roz” says she received a lot of support from her family but felt firsthand the lack of opportunities for girls in science.

“It led me to thinking that this is the way I want to spend my life. I want to spend my life in a meaningful way with young women and providing them the opportunities and more than I had as a young woman growing up and certainly in my professional life,” she said.

She teaches International Baccalaureate biology and forensics, developed engineering options for students and has had a longtime focus on environmental sciences, matching the academic rigor with respect.

“My approach is to teach every person that is sitting in that room with dignity because they deserve it,” she said.

Award sponsor Ankin Law presented her with $1,000 check for the school.

The money will go towards creating a relaxation space for students.

She said it’s an honor for her to come to work every day guiding them in the school’s mission to seek faith, knowledge and truth.

“When I look towards the future, doors have been opened for our young women and we’re just waiting for them to burst through,” she said.