LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Samantha Sulek

Position: Sixth Grade ELA/Social Studies Teacher
School: Ross Elementary School
School District: North Hills School District
City, State: Pittsburgh, PA

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Samantha Sulek was nominated by Marnie O'Connor, the parent of a student.

Mrs. Sulek is a LifeChanger for many reasons.  She is truly a phenomenal teacher who makes school a place where her students want to be.

"My son was not a child who wanted to go to school until he was in Ms. Sulek's class," said O'Connor. "Something happened in sixth grade that completely changed his attitude towards school. I attribute this attitude change to Mrs. Sulek and her teaching style.  She finds a way to make sure all students are engaged.  She adapts, modifies, and differentiates for all students. In short, Mrs. Sulek makes learning fun.  My son would come home from school excited about what he was learning. This was amazing to me! Once I met with her at a conference, I could see why he was enjoying school so much.  Her demeanor with her students is fabulous!"

Mrs. Sulek has a B.A in Child Development and Ed from Washington & Jefferson College, with a minor in Psychology. She was also a four-year letter winner as a member of the soccer team and multi-year member of multiple honor societies. Mrs. Sulek also has a M.Ed in Curriculum and Instructional Leadership from Waynesburg University.  She has been teaching for 11 years.  Prior to teaching for North Hills School District, she led her previous school's SWPBIS program for six years and the MTSS math initiative for two years.

"When she arrived at Ross Elementary, she tried to stay away from anything other than sixth grade planning. She made it her main focus because it was new to her," said O'Connor. "I never would've guessed she was new to the curriculum when she taught my son!  She must have put many extra hours in learning and focusing on what her students needed to grow."

While teaching, she was also able to use her soccer experience from college. She coached five years of varsity soccer as an assistant coach, and is now spending her first year as head coach of the girls' middle school soccer team.

Her work as a teacher doesn't stop within the classroom.  She tutors on the side as needed or before school starts if parents request it.  She sponsored/pinned former students for NJHS and NHS. At least once each semester, Mrs. Sulek also visits college-aged students at W&J to speak to pre-service teachers and hold workshops and lectures.

"It doesn't surprise me that Mrs. Sulek has had ratings of Proficient and Distinguished over the years," said O'Connor. "I can't thank her enough for changing my son's attitude toward school. It made the middle school transition so much easier for him! She is definitely a LifeChanger!"

Comments (11)

Sophia Murgi Posted over a year ago

I'm Sophia Murgi and I had Mrs. Sulek as my teacher 4 years ago. Mrs. Sulek was the best teacher I could ever ask for. Not only was she kind, but she supported me and help me through many problems both school and life. I'm so thankful that Mrs. Sulek came into my life. Without her I wouldn't be the person I am today. Thank you, Mrs. Sulek!

Conaway Family Posted over a year ago

We're happy to see that Mrs. Sulek has received this honor! Our 6th grader often talks about how much she "gets" kids and makes learning fun. Our school district is lucky to have her!

Jan Sosko Posted over a year ago

I am the very first person ever whose life was changed by Samantha Sulek. I am her mom. When she was 10 years old her grandmother passed away, and Samantha became the self-appointed guardian angel for her grandfather. She stayed at his side, helped him to mourn their loss, made sure he was taking care of himself, entertained him, and defended him. As they laughed and cried and helped each other during a difficult time I saw my little girl blossom into the calm, kind, nurturing and grateful adult that she is today. I am proud to share her with her students!

Sandra Viehoever negri Posted over a year ago

My name is Gabriel Negri and I had Mrs.Sulek in 6th grade last year at Ross. She made school so fun and she was so relaxed but still strict when it came to learning.. I had the best time that year and I wish more teacher would b like her.

Joe Brimmeier Posted over a year ago

My name is Joe Brimmeier and I think Mrs Sulek is one of the most funny kind amazing teachers I've ever had. She is my teacher this year at Ross.

Christie Brimmeiwr Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Sulek is an amazing teacher and motivates my son Joe to do his best!!!

Sue Milligan Posted over a year ago

Mrs Sulek is a kind sweet wonderful person. A real down to earth teacher!

Brianne Mazzoleni Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Sulek is an amazing teacher! My daughter loves having her a one of her team teacher. As a parent I am very appreciative of Mrs. Sulek. I have emailed her with concerns and I have received feedback quickly explaining how she has helped my daughter and what I could do to help her as well. Ross is lucky to have her!

Patrick O'Connor Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Sulek is the best teacher! She makes learning fun and helps us when we need help. She cares about all of us.

Jennifer McEnroe Posted over a year ago

Coach Sulek coaches my daughter on the middle school soccer team. She says she is very caring and makes sure the girls are learning and improving. She is energetic and has a great positive attitude.

Michelle Cukauskas Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Sulek is a one in a million teacher!! My daughter has some anxiety about certain things about school. This year, she hasn't had ANY issues, and I attribute that to the support that Mrs. Sulek gives to her students. Additionally, Mrs. Sulek is very prompt and responsive to parent email and concerns. She responds quickly, which as a parent is so appreciated. Mes. Sulek is an amazing teacher and the students at Ross Elementary are very lucky to have her!