Amber Willis was nominated by Rebecca Cohen, the parent of a student.
"Amber has changed my child's life for the better, and I have no doubt that she has changed the lives of other students for the better, as well," said Cohen. "First and foremost, Ms. Willis is an outstanding math teacher. My child has a passion for math, and she constantly engages and challenges him. She respects all the students in the classroom, both higher and lower level, and she stokes their curiosity about math. My son always comes home talking about their latest challenge."
Ms. Willis always goes the extra mile for her students to learn. She videotapes lessons so students can rewatch if they need to, gives helpful study guides, and helps them review in fun ways using technology and other interesting tools. Basically, she does whatever it takes to help each student succeed.
Ms. Willis also creates a positive climate in her classroom.
"My child had dealt with some unkind peers in the past, but he came home after one day in Ms. Willis's class and said, 'This year is going to be different. Ms. Willis has this under control,'" said Cohen. "She maintains a fun atmosphere, but makes it very clear there will be no bullying, and people will treat one another with respect. My child is so excited about school knowing he will be in her class."
Finally, Ms. Willis makes extra opportunities available to the students. She is the Scholar's Bowl coach and leads the team with fun and passion. She sacrifices her personal time so these kids can compete.
"Ms. Willis changes lives every day, and my child is one lucky kid to be in her class," said Cohen.