LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Eric McMillan

Position: Seventh Grade Social Studies Teacher
School: Beckley-Stratton Middle School
School District: Raleigh County School District
City, State: Beckley, WV

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Eric McMillan was nominated by his colleague, Katie Hottinger.

"Mr. McMillan is the leader of the team of seventh grade teachers I work with at Beckley-Stratton Middle School," said Hottinger. "He is not only a leader in title, but in spirit and in his daily practice as an educator. If a teacher on my team has a problem, we go to Eric. If a student we teach has a problem, we either go to Eric, send the student to Eric, or they go to Eric by their own choosing. He is consistently calm, conscientious, and caring."

Mr. McMillan sets a tone of composure and ease that keeps everyone sane. He maintains positive relationships with even the most challenging students, allowing him to serve as a peace-keeper, mediator, and strong authority. Students who "don't care" in most classes are respectful and do the work in his social studies classroom. Mr. McMillan is loved by his students, and the reasons they give are amazing: "He asks so many questions," "He makes learning stuff fun." "I feel like my education matters in his class."

Whether they're mummifying apples to learn about Ancient Egypt, going through a set of simulated stock market investments to learn about the economy, or drawing pictures to review their weekly vocabulary words, Mr. McMillan's classes are engaged at a high level. The standard of work students complete is held high as a result. As the team leader, Mr. McMillan not only leads by making his own classroom exemplary, but by taking on a set of responsibilities usually reserved for school administrators. He helps students get into their lockers, takes charge of disciplinary issues across his team, spearheads parent- and special-educator- contact pertinent to student needs, represents teachers' needs to administration, solves IT-related problems teachers and students have, and reads one-on-one with students who have the most learning needs. Mr. McMillan is constantly improving life at school, and life in general, for his school community!