LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Justin Snider

Position: Principal
School: Somonauk Middle School
School District: Somonauk CUSD 432
City, State: Somonauk, IL

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Justin Snider was nominated by Lisa Nelson, the parent of a student.

"I can’t say enough good things about Justin!  He treats every child with love and a fresh start every day, no matter what," said Nelson. "He’s so understanding of this age group and makes it easy to talk to him when there is a problem. Justin celebrates the good in the children by calling or emailing us parents. He is ready for change to benefit the child at any moment, always coming up with new ideas and exercises to keep the kids engaged. That is a very hard task for this age of children! He’s so appreciated in so many ways."

Comments (25)

Jenny Wasson Posted over a year ago

We are so fortunate to have Mr. Snider at Somonauk Middle School. The kids are his top priority and this shows through his interactions with them on a daily basis. My son was lucky to also have him as his basketball coach in 7th grade. What a fun season they had!

Mary Plante Posted over a year ago

Justin Snider is a caring & compassionate person. He goes above & beyond to help others. He advocates for all students. Previous students enjoy coming back to see him & thank him for pushing them & encouraged them to do their best.

LeAnne Albright Posted over a year ago

Mr Snider is very deserving of this award. He always has the kids best interests at heart each and everyday no matter what. Always has a smile on his face and willing to help not only the students but his staff and parents. He’s a great mentor, principal and coach. It’s very hard to find a life changer like Mr Snider these days!

Lora Posted over a year ago

Mr. Snider deserves this award! He is a great leader, role model, and encourager.

Lisa Kremnitzer Posted over a year ago

Well deserved Mr. Snider! Amazing principle, awesome basketball coach and the best role model for my son. My son has always struggled in school, but not in SMS. Mr. Snider was always there to help him if he was struggling. One thing my son pointed out to me was, there is no bullying in his school. He feels very comfortable there and always looks forward to Mr. Sniders high fives in the hallway! You’ll always be a life changer in our home, Justin! And we thank you for that!

Michelle Pritchard Posted over a year ago

He deserves this award because it's always been obvious he cares about the well being and education of children!!

Laurie Norris Posted over a year ago

Mr Snider is an amazing principal and a great leader. Every time I am in the school, I observe him interacting with the students. He has personally helped my daughter be more successful in school. He is a great example of what a good leader is. He is approachable, a good listener, and an encourager. We are blessed to have him as our principal.

Carolyn Wyant Posted over a year ago

I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award. Mr. Snider goes above and beyond for his students. He is someone our kids feel comfortable going to in any situation; whether it be for guidance, questions they have, or even just to chat with. We are very lucky to have such a caring principle at Somonauk.

Laci McConnaughay Posted over a year ago

He’s truly one of the best! His leadership is contagious and always pushes those around him to be the absolute best they can be! He had always been more than supportive to myself as a coach and a friend, Justin MORE than deserves this award!!

Lisa Fox Posted over a year ago

Mr. Snider is a wonderful educator and coach. He’s been a positive influence and role model for several of my children. He is fair, kind and sincere. Thank you, Mr. Snider!

Jay Streicher Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Snider for the past 16 years in the Somonauk School District. I have seen him grow from a great teacher into a great leader. The reason he stands out in a crowd is the way that he develops relationships with students. He has always been an advocate for all students and you will hear many stories from current and former students about the difference he has made in their lives. I cannot think of someone more deserving of this award than him.

Leigh Kossman Posted over a year ago

I am a substitute teacher in Justin’s district. I have watched him interact with junior high and high school students, always with ease, respect, and kindness. Justin smiles a lot with the students, but if I’ve ever needed him to help with discipline issues, he is stern and committed to setting a high standard of behavior. I appreciate that so much! He makes me feel welcome in his building and always greets me positively! He deserves this award!

Karee Matejovsky Posted over a year ago

Well deserved!!! Justin is a great principal that is always there for the kids. His door is always open to his students, staff and parents. Just a genuinely great guy that wants nothing but the best for all kids in Somonauk.

Julie Ball Posted over a year ago

Justin is a great principal , and connects with every student! I can't say enough about him he's a great guy!

Jennifer Zimmerman Posted over a year ago

Mr. Snider was not only my son Brock's Middle School principal, he was also his 7th grade basketball coach. Mr. Snider is/was a great role model for my son in both positions! He is fair,encouraging, understanding, and works very hard to create a positive rapport with each and every student. He challenges students to find the answer to things within themselves. He genuinely cares about every child, and family for that matter, coming through Somonauk schools. It is often stated in our house that Mr. Snider is a person Brock looks up to! He wholeheartedly deserves this award! Thank you Mr. Snider for all you have given our son!

Stephanie Brockway Posted over a year ago

My husband and I have been amazed by Justin. We’ve said often that we wish we had had a principal like him! He is an incredibly approachable, involved leader. He is consistent, fair, understanding, and VERY encouraging with his students. Our family, and every family I know, has a great deal of respect and appreciation for Justin! It’s great to see him being recognized!

Katie Posted over a year ago

Mr. Snider is amazingly patient, and understanding. He so deserves this award. I agree with all the previous comments.

Laura Stinson Posted over a year ago

You deserve it, Justin!

Lisa Ballas Posted over a year ago

I've had four children graduate from Somonauk and have always had nothing but positive encounters with him! As I do on occasion substitute teach, I always see him very proactive and out in the halls amongst the students before, during, and after school. He interacts with anyone that approaches him and always has a friendly and welcoming smile. He mingles with the students during lunch time and I sometimes wonder if he ever sits at his desk in his office. Somonauk school district is very fortunate to have him!

Malissa Posted over a year ago

My most influential teacher award goes to Mr Snider. He was my 5th grade teacher, middle school basketball coach and high school dean. Every school year that he had the opportunity to make an impact on my life, he did just that. From getting our whole 5th grade class to dance to the cha-cha slide every week to being a support system in my darkest high school days. Mr. Snider truly cares about his students and has always gone above and beyond for each and every one of them. He educates, inspires, uplifts, encourages and challenges you to be the best person that you can be. He understands the challenges of being a student and he helps guide you and conquer them. I hope that he will still be around to be such a positive influence on my own children’s lives!

Julie Popp Posted over a year ago

I know Mr. Snider as a parent and also as a supervisor. He is always welcoming and very enthusiastic. Students and staff respect him and feel like they are important. He makes time for each person. I see him interacting with students and being there for them. After a school dance he was outside waiting with students until their parents picked them up! He has made SMS a safe and enjoyable learning environment because of him and I am thankful that my son and I have the opportunity to work with him.

Carolyn Hentschel Posted over a year ago

There are so many ways Mr. Snider goes above and beyond. Mainly, he takes time to get to know the students. When talking with him about your child, you get the sense that he truly knows him/her. He always makes the time to engage with the students and parents. My youngest is entering middle school next year and I worry less about him knowing Mr. Snider will be there. We are so lucky to have him!

Nicole Lorentzen Posted over a year ago

Mr. Snider is amazing! He treats each student with respect and as if they were his own. He is the most interactive principal with his staff and students. He truly goes above and beyond to make sure his middle school is up to date with the best concepts and activities to better all around him. He takes time out to get to know each and every one of his students and their parents. I couldn't ask for a better influence of someone to be looking over my children everyday.

Madison Otto Posted over a year ago

I was a Somonauk High School graduate and went to Somonauk for my whole 13 years of school. I would be completely and utterly lying to everyone if I said school was a breeze for me. But Mr. Snider helped me in every way he possibly could, by helping build my confidence in myself,whether it came to my school work or me as an individual student he cared about. He showed he cared to each and every student in their own way. Mr. Snider is one of the great influences I think about til this day, 4 years after graduation, and he will still mean something to me 20 years from now. You never forget an amazing teacher, and how they helped you in life so I’ll never forget you Mr. Snider!

Michelle Jutila Posted over a year ago

Where to start...... Mr. Snider is always kind, considerate and caring to the children in the Middle School. He sees potential in each and every student in the Middle School. He treats my kids the way he would want his own children treated. He always goes above and beyond and is not recognized for this as much as he should be. He always has a smile on his face even if he’s having a bad day. I have had the privilege of having Mr. Snider in all 4 of my children’s lives and he has had a huge positive impact!