LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Samantha Marquardt

Position: Title I Coordinator and Reading Specialist
School: Rio Elementary School
School District: Rio Community Schools
City, State: Rio, WI

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Samantha Marquardt was nominated by her colleague, Megan Hartley.

Ms. Marquardt is the kind of teacher who gives everything she can to her students and school, and then somehow find even more to give. She supports children on a daily basis by helping them learn reading and math strategies that will help them grow and succeed in the classroom. More importantly, she supports children by being "that teacher" - the one who listens, the one who loves them unconditionally.

Ms. Marquardt makes it a priority to care for children's emotional needs above anything else. She has become the go-to for several students when they just need someone to talk to. In addition to that, Ms. Marquardt plans and implements two community-wide family nights at the elementary school each year, helped kick-start a program to give every student free books to keep at the end of each school year, and is a very active member of PTO.

"Samantha is always looking for ways to improve the school, involve the community, and enrich the lives of our students," said Hartley. "She has a smile for everyone, even on her bad days, and if there's a little treat in another teacher's mailbox, chances are Samantha is the one who put it there. She is the most generous, thoughtful, loving person I know, and our district is beyond blessed to have her."