Despite facing numerous challenges in her personal life, Therese Restituto has always been able to fulfill her passion for teaching in the urban core, where she believes she can make the biggest impact based off her skills and talents. As a high school math teacher at Allen Village Charter School in Kansas City, Missouri, Restituto has focused her entire professional career on helping make a difference in the lives of her students.
“I want my students to enjoy math as much as I do,” said Restituto. “Anybody can be good at math with a little effort, and being good at math can open so many doors for students! In my classroom, I develop a culture where students are supportive of each other and nobody is afraid to make mistakes because they understand that is how you learn.”
While teaching in a high school setting can provide many challenges on its own, one unexpected event happened to Restituto on September 13, 2019. While in her empty classroom, she suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. She was immediately taken to Saint Luke’s Hospital where she remained for the next month in the neuro ICU. Restituto experienced additional complications while hospitalized, including having to be revived after going into cardiac arrest. She ultimately began the slow road to recovery.
“I spent the next several months attending neuro and cardiac rehab and slowly began teaching again,” said Restituto. “I wouldn’t be here today without the support and strength of my family and friends.”
Having battled back from her aneurysm in 2019, Restituto has remained vigilant in the classroom by continuing to show her students the care and compassion they deserve. She’s constructed a culture where everyone is supportive of each other. She believes group work helps students to better learn math because they’re working closely with their peers.
Allen Village opened ten years ago, and Restituto has been teaching at the charter school from the beginning. With so many things to enjoy over the years, she says it’s the people she interacts with on a daily basis that make it such a special place to work and learn.
“The best lesson my parents ever taught me was that I could accomplish whatever I wanted,” said Restituto. “However, it was important to discover what made me happy and to invest my time and energy into that. I always tell my students that it’s okay to not know something, but it’s not okay to not try.”
Restituto believes her students can also achieve anything they set their hearts and minds to but teaches them to understand the necessary hard work and determination that’s needed to help reach those dreams and goals.
“I never settle for less than their best, and I want them to do their best in everything they do,” said Restituto. “I have high expectations for my students because I believe in them, and I want them to have those same expectations for themselves. I want my students to develop confidence in themselves and to be anything that they want to be. I am always willing to help with whatever they need to reach their goals.”
“As an educator for over 15 years in the inner city of Kansas City, Missouri, she has left a positive mark in countless young lives,” said Restituto’s nominator, Jeanne Crane. “She inspires her students with her incredible passion for math. Many of her students have been the first of their family to go to college, and she has been behind every single one, pushing them to excellence.”
“Therese’s story is remarkable and serves as a reminder to everyone about the importance of living each day to the fullest,” said Christina Lively, Blue KC Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We’re so thankful she has made a full recovery and are inspired by her desire to immediately return to the classroom and continue teaching high school students. It’s Therese’s love for teaching and strengthening the hearts and minds of our youth that represent what the Blue KC Sporting Samaritan program is all about. Congratulations, Therese!”
Blue KC Sporting Samaritans will continue to be recognized monthly at Children’s Mercy Park during Sporting home games. Fans are encouraged to nominate teachers and students who are making a positive impact on their schools and communities by using the form online at https://www.sportingkc.com/BlueKC.