Samantha Reinecke was nominated by an anonymous colleague.
Ms. Reinecke has a tremendous impact on the students and families she works with, as well as staff members in her building. Her positive attitude, mindset, and advocacy are an inspiration to all around her.
Currently, her caseload consists of 22 students. At one point this year, her caseload reached a record 25 students. Ms. Reinecke has embraced this challenge, however, in the same way she has embraced any other challenge in the past; with a smile, determination, and the mindset that the students she serves can do anything they set their mind to.
A huge part of what truly makes Ms. Reinecke a LifeChanger is her philosophy and beliefs on how special education and general education work together. She believes the students she serves learn best in the general education environment with their grade level peers. She works very closely with general education teachers to provide the individualized support each of her students need to succeed in the general education environment. Ms. Reinecke is a true example of what co-teaching is, and she does it very well with multiple teachers in her grade level.
Ms. Reinecke is also a tremendous advocate. She is not only concerned about the students she serves in her grade level, but across the building. She speaks up for what is right and is a fantastic example of what special education can and should look like. Ms. Reinecke is truly a master at her profession and continues to grow professionally through higher education. She is a true asset in her building and offers a great deal of information and knowledge in the area of special education and inclusion.
Ms. Reinecke is not only a phenomenal asset to the students and staff, but the families she works with.
"I have witnessed the communication and relationships that Samantha works to build with families," said her nominator. "She also conducts IEP meetings in the most professional, yet personal way. It is evident that Samantha truly values her students' families as members of the team and stops at nothing to build relationships and make them feel welcome."
"Samantha is one of our biggest assets at Chanute Elementary School," said her nominator. "I know, without a doubt, she has changed and continues to change the lives of the children she serves. She also impacts countless other third graders and staff members by being a constant example of acceptance, tolerance, and what it truly means to believe in kids."