Samantha Billig

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Position: Business Teacher

School: Hunterdon Central Regional High School

School District:Hunterdon Central Regional High School

City, State: Flemington, New Jersey

About the Nominee: Samantha Billig was nominated by a colleague, Julie Nealon, as well as a former student, Annie Hosler. The following profile combines information from both nominations:

Mrs. Billig is the perfect example of a LifeChanger! She has been named a Philly Teacher of the Year, Eagles Teacher of the Year and Hunterdon County Teacher of the Year. She has received numerous awards due to her superior teaching methods and her ability to relate to her students. Mrs. Billig even received a plaque with the names of everyone who has been named Teacher of the Year before her. On a daily basis, she continues to prove why she received these awards.

Mrs. Billig teaches each of her classes with great attention to each student’s needs. She has added so much to the school atmosphere and has begun multiple initiatives, including “Bring Your Own Lunch and Learn." During these monthly lunches, she meets with teachers and offers help in a specific teaching area in which she can provide a beneficial learning experience for her colleagues. For example, she has used the lunch and learns as an opportunity to introduce the use of Google Sites in the classroom and how to implement them in the most effective way. She also started The Pineapple Project, where teachers can hang a pineapple picture with the blocks that they teach on their door and welcome colleagues to stop by and watch them teach. Ms. Billig created a board where teachers can add comments on why they teach. She also initiated Professional Development on Wheels, where schools can contact her and arrange to receive professional development from Teachers of the Year in the district. Additionally, she developed an A/B day calendar that she updates as dates change.

Ms. Billig is the “go to” person at her school for information of any nature. She keeps up to date on all trending educational topics, as well as technology topics. Ms. Billig is consistently rated as a Highly Qualified teacher in the district. She has even been spotlighted for her classroom initiatives and innovative techniques. Ms. Nealon states that she has been a teacher for 17 years and that Ms. Billig is the most outstanding educator she has ever worked with!

As a young woman about to close out the years of being a full time student, Annie credits Mrs. Billig as a teacher who has eternally impacted her. Annie first met Mrs. Billig as a freshman in her Digital Multimedia Class; Annie states that she will never forget the genuine grin she welcomed each student with. This grin did not fade as the semester progressed, and it still greets new students the same way it greeted Annie. Mrs. Billig is someone who truly embodies what it means to be an excellent educator. She radiates positivity and enthusiasm inside and outside the classroom. Her love for what she does is evident by her commitment to each individual student's success and she defines the role of a selfless teacher which is evident through her unwavering willingness to help any student. She defies the mold of a textbook teacher; she engages with her students and devotes herself to greatness. Over the course of Annie's four year career at Hunterdon Central, Mrs. Billig became far more than a teacher. She became and remains a mentor, role model and confidant. Annie admires her for her continual dedication to growing as an educator, and when she enters the workforce, she hopes to have the same resilience and passion Mrs. Billig embodies.

Now that Annie is a Teacher's Assistant, she has a new, heightened appreciation for Mrs. Billig's dedication to creating an inclusive, exciting, and productive environment for students. This is an incredible challenge that she not only takes on, but conquers and excels at. There is something great to be said for a teacher to be able to catch the attention of a group of fourteen to eighteen-year-olds and hone in on something that truly excites them and makes them want to be there. She not only cares for the general population of students, but for the individual and everything they can bring to the classroom. This is what makes students excited to walk into her classroom; they know they are being taught by someone who truly cares for them.

Six years after meeting Mrs. Billig, Annie is confident that she is an incredible educator and LifeChanger. Annie would not be who she is without Mrs. Billig's guidance and support. Mrs. Billig has shown her what it means to be an upstanding woman in the work place and that hard work is essential to a successful career. For these reasons, Mrs. Billig is a LifeChanger in her community.