Students say she's giving them the power of voice. It is just one of the many qualities they say make Karen Cantele of Belvidere High School a great teacher.
Cantele is the choir director at Belvidere High School, but she says it's not all song and dance.
"They have to work together with 30 to 40 people. And they come in as a new class ever year and have to figure out how it works together. Every part relates to the other part. They can't be just one person, so it's all about life issues and more than just teaching," Cantele says.
She says she knows all about the issues students face in high school, which is why they say she is easy to talk to.
"If you have problems, you can easily just go to her and talk to her about it. It's not like you have to worry about it being weird because you're talking to a teacher. It's more like you're talking to another parent of yours," says senior Quierra Sample.
Quierra says Cantele is the reason she wants to pursue musical theater in college.
"She is the one that got me started with everything, so I feel like her encouragement to do everything has really gotten me to do what I want to do."
Cantele says she sees herself in students like Quierra.
"You can take it back to when I was in choir. That was my happy place. That was my place of success, and I think it can be a place of success for everyone. You don't have to be the smartest. You don't have to have a lot of music background. We try to give it all here, and it's a place they can feel like they're a part of something."