LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Samantha Placzek

Position: Kindergarten Teacher
School: Wright Elementary School
School District: Community Unit School District 300
City, State: Hampshire, IL

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Samantha Placzek was nominated by an anonymous student's parent.

"Ms. Placzek is a LifeChanger in so many ways," said the nominator. "My daughter, who isn't her student, has a Mitochondrial Disorder, so she's unable to attend school in-person. My son, who is her twin brother, is in Ms. Placzek's class. After first quarter, our school district decided that the students who couldn't be in school would be switched to different teachers so the students who attended in-person would stay with their originally assigned teachers. That meant my son would be reassigned to a different teacher.

"We were terrified to leave and thought my son would get left behind," said the nominator. "Ms. Placzek told us to email her any time and she would continue to work with my son to make sure he wasn't behind. One week into virtual academy, my son's teacher was still not caught up to where my son was in math or reading, so I emailed Ms. Placzek in a panic. True to her word, she sent me work, where to go to get things to teach him, and took the time to explain everything. At this point, she wasn't his official teacher anymore. This woman is a godsend!"

"Today, the district has switched everyone to virtual learning and assigned the kids back to their original classes, so he is now with Ms. Placzek again," said the nominator. "Thanks to her keeping us where he needed to be, my son wasn't behind when he got back. He would've been so behind if she hadn't helped. We will forever remember how Ms. Placzek went above and beyond for our child in times when the world is going absolutely crazy."