Harding High Teacher Crosses Out Negative Thoughts To Blossom Student Growth

Dionne Cross

Teachers inspire students in ways they may never know. One nugget of encouragement can last a lifetime and even be passed on through generations. It happened to me multiple times, their names etched into the bonus points of life. In classrooms and halls of Bridgeport schools, adults reach deep to show sides of life not always apparent to young people. Say hello to Harding High School teacher Dionne Cross who stresses that life isn’t about getting knocked down, it’s about rising and dusting yourself off.

This week, “Teachers of Connecticut,” an online platform launched by Dalio Education in August, is highlighting a story about Dionne Cross, a 9th grade Science teacher at Harding High School in Bridgeport. The platform was launched by Dalio Education in August. The idea for the platform came from teachers themselves, emerging during a series of conversations convened by Dalio this past spring.

Dionne’s story can be found here: https://www.teachersofconnecticut.org/stories/dionne-cross/.

“In science, so many kids are afraid to be wrong,” said Cross. “But I tell them that’s what scientists do all the time. That’s at the heart of science–being willing to try and fail, and then get up and try again.”

“So many transformations happen in the classroom, not necessarily because someone was blown away by an awesome science experiment,” she said. “There’s a human level. Unless you’re willing to go there, you miss out on seeing students blossom and grow.”

The story about Cross was submitted through the Teachers of Connecticut website, using a feature known as “Share Your Story,” which allows any adult to submit a story about an inspiring teacher.

The idea for the platform came from teachers themselves, emerging during a series of conversations convened by Barbara Dalio, Dalio Education’s founder and Director, this past spring.

“One of the things we kept hearing was that teachers sometimes feel as if their voices aren’t being heard. With so much noise out there on so many different channels, they sometimes feel as if their voices are getting lost in the mix,” she said. “So that’s what this is: simply a platform for them to tell their stories, unfiltered, in their own words.”

“People have responded to this platform with so much enthusiasm, we thought it’d be a great idea to open it up to other teachers, and to the public at large,” said Dalio. “Everyone I know–myself included–has at least a few teachers, if not more, that they remember as being key adult figures in their lives. For me, it was a high school teacher who gave me the love of reading and opened up a whole world.”

New teacher stories are being published each week at www.teachersofconnecticut.org and shared through social media on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.



  1. Awesome post Lennie. Thank you for highlighting the positive. Needed the pick me up after so much negativity.

    I would like to take the opportunity to thank Ms. Cross along with all of Bridgeport Public School staff for being role models our children should strive to emulate.

    I also would like to thank the Dalio foundation for there continued contributions to PUBLIC education.

  2. Thank you Ms. Cross for pointing out to your students that scientists and engineers keep trying to solve a question or design until they get it right. So do salespersons in our economy. So do football linemen after every play.
    “Live the Question”! Which one is that? The one in front of you, in the classroom or lab, doing your homework, at the job or on the playing field. It is the mark of a human who is in the process of becoming more respected through adult patience and perseverance. Time will tell..


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