Dominic Fallico teaches Algebra 1 and 2 at Geneva High School; his first full-time teaching job after college. He started in August 2020, in the middle of remote learning during the COVID pandemic. Although it was a difficult way to begin his career, it gave him an appreciation for being in person with others.
“My favorite part of my job is getting to interact with students and have a positive impact on their experience with mathematics specifically,” he said. “Some students come to me with a negative disposition toward math already, so my goal is to have them become more comfortable with problem-solving and using logic so that they start to enjoy the learning process of math slightly more each day.”
Mr. Fallico tries to impart to his students that math is all about problem solving and it helps develop a person’s ability to think.
“I tell them I know it’s uncomfortable, but being uncomfortable is part of learning and being comfortable with discomfort is an important skill for life,” said Mr. Fallico. “I also look forward to having the opportunity each day to show my students how math is fundamental in understanding the world around us, and how ubiquitous math/applied math are in our world today.”
In the summer of 2023, he took an internship at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia conducting theoretical statistical work involving particle physics. The internship, designed for high school science and math teachers, involved research specific to the Proton Improvement Plan II, or PIP-II. PIP-II will power the world’s most intense high-energy neutrino beam.
“It was a great experience where I had to do statistical analysis of the beam measurement data from the accelerator, and throughout the internship I had to learn how to code using Python, as well as learn a ton about particle physics, superconducting technologies, and how particle accelerators/detectors function,” he said.
The Fermilab research is something he’s always had an interest in, and he will try to bring his experience into the classroom as an example of one of the many ways that students can apply what they’ve learned.
In addition to teaching, Mr. Fallico also coaches the boys’ baseball and bowling teams.
“I love Geneva,” he said. “The involvement of the community and the parents is impressive, it’s something I noticed right away.”
Mr. Fallico has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and secondary teaching from Winona State University. He lives in Warrenville, and in his spare time he enjoys playing card games, board games, reading about physics and math, weightlifting/exercising, and traveling whenever possible.