LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Samantha Hernandez

Position: AP Psychology / AICE Sociology Teacher
School: Spanish River Community High School
School District: Palm Beach County School District
City, State: Boca Raton, FL

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Samantha Hernandez was nominated by an anonymous student.

"My fellow classmates and I have unanimously concluded that 'Mrs. H' not only exemplifies the best model of a teacher, but is a great and compassionate human being with the highest moral and ethical standards," said the student. "She leads by example, never being afraid to communicate to someone in need. I cannot imagine any other teacher in the United States who hasn’t had a more direct impact on students’ lives. Not only has she changed my life, but many of my peers have grown enormously because of her. Whether it's through her AP Psychology or AICE Sociology classes, casually chatting with her on campus, or direct involvement with her club, We Dine Together, students naturally gravitate to her kindness and enthusiasm."

"From my very first day of meeting her, I came home beaming with delight about how different this teacher is from all the rest," said the student. "She's so open and welcoming, and she's genuinely interested in the students. I felt as if Mrs. H taught only to me, despite being in a class of thirty students. Every class started with conversations about things that personally affect us: family strife, perseverance through hardships, and mental health."

Since Mrs. H teaches Psychology, there is a lot of internalization in what is being taught. Mrs. H freely recalls her own personal experiences as an example of lessons being discussed. This makes everyone connect with her and helps crystalize long-term memorization of what is needed to be learned because Mrs. H makes everything so real and fun. According to the administration, she continuously has one of the highest pass rates in the county for both Psychology and Sociology exams. She also was chosen as Teacher of the Year last year.

Because of her infectious positive outlook, many students are drawn to her outside of the classroom and want to participate in her club, We Dine Together. It's a new organization at the school that aims to end social isolation. We Dine Together has received national attention for its success in connecting students during lunch period and establishing long-term relationships with other staff members. These lunch meetings consist of student- and teacher-led discussions about overcoming life’s challenges, active listening, mindfulness, and other ways to better connect with one another.  

"Through my early involvement with her, I have watched this group transform from ten members to over 100 in only a couple years," said the student. "On a personal level, I have seen my own progression in building self-confidence and learning to be more empathetic to other students’ concerns. As a student leader, I take great pleasure witnessing fellow students, who have been bullied or are new to the school, walk into our lunch meetings and walk out feeling connected and valued."

Last year, Mrs. H led a school-wide assembly with a guest speaker, Dianne Grossman of Mallory’s Army, which is an outreach organization she created after her daughter experienced bullying and ultimately committed suicide. After Mrs. Grossman gave an emotional appeal to change the school’s culture, Mrs. H spoke to the entire school about ways to implement these understandings. Some of the We Dine Together club members gave testimony of their own victimizations.

"Watching Mrs. H go on stage with a presence that makes students feel like they are not alone is the most special thing I have seen from a teacher on campus," said the student. "Through this presentation, our school now has an elevated understanding of the impacts of bullying and ostracism. By being closer with Mrs. H outside of the classroom, I see her as a true role model and a beacon guiding her moral compass. In many ways, I see myself wanting to be a mirror of Mrs. H."



Comments (111)


Edward Major Posted 7 months ago

From what I hear about Samantha, she is hard working, very dedicated to her students and gives all she can to give them the best education possible. And not only does she look after their knowledge, but she also cares about their heart and helps direct them to good life choices that will affect the rest of their lives. She is brave and courageous enough to see her role as more than an educator, but as an example of healthy living and good choices.

Laura Hipps Posted 7 months ago

I've only had the pleasure of knowing Sam for a few months now, but right away I knew there was something different. Her authenticity and honesty immediately create a safe space for vulnerability and acceptance. There are few people that have this propensity to become an "instant friend," but she is without a doubt one of them. She is a beautiful human inside and out, full of compassion, integrity, life, and light. One conversation with her and you'll see it. She is not only highly intelligent & informed, but humble, personable, and committed. If something is important to a student, it's important to her... and she'll go above and beyond to show it. However, it's not just limited to students, it's everyone around her. Friends, family, co-workers, strangers... every.single.one. Sam also possesses an inner strength unwavering in the face of challenges. As she humbly and fearlessly takes on what comes her way, she will stand firm for the truth no matter what. We need more people like Sam in our schools and communities.

Geoff McKee Posted 8 months ago

Samantha Hernandez is a superlatively honorable, compassionate, spirited, bright, determined, and joyful leader. I had the honor of serving as Samantha's principal when she was a gifted scholar athlete in high school, and I enthusiastically hired her to be a teacher and coach when she graduated from college. Mrs. Hernandez has a powerful, multi-generational impact on her students. She is the empowering teacher who will be discussed when her students are asked in the future, "What teacher had the strongest influence on your life?"

Debbie Posted 8 months ago

Samantha is the kind of teacher that many people can look back to and think of how he/she made that timely comment, encouraged us to take a risk or show some confidence in a new skill, asked the right question to draw us out or just had a smile for us when we were down. Samantha cares so much about her students and doesn’t hesitate to let them into her world and her heart. Students have a sixth sense about that. I know I did. She is passionate about the topics she teaches and wants her students to grow not only in their knowledge of the subjects but also in how it relates to their world. She makes herself accessible to her students for educational help but also real-life help. Her dedication, enthusiasm and wisdom make her an unforgettable life-changer.

Mark Slingo Posted 8 months ago

I am related to Samantha and have had the privilege of watching her grow up into a beautiful person. Through many conversations over many years it has become very clear to me how much she cares about her students. She not only wants to teach well by effectively communicating the content of the curriculum, but also desires to encourage and help them be the best they can be. Her passion and compassion are seen in the way she reaches out to students who struggle to fit in and the way she goes the extra mile for all of her students. If I were in high school I would want to be in her class. She is an exceptional person and I highly recommend her for this award.

Randy Degler Posted 8 months ago

I have known Samantha since she was 7 years old. Samantha like many of us has enjoyed life’s blessings and life’s curve balls. It is easy to ride the wave of life’s blessings but true character is shown when we not just endure life’s challenges but we soar when confronted with life’s challenges. Samantha soars, in good times and difficult times Samantha soars. She has a joy of life that lifts everyone around her. Both peers and students lives are enhanced by being around Samantha just being Samantha.

Brittany Degler Posted 8 months ago

I have known Samantha for most of my life. She is one of the sweetest, most caring, giving, and consistent people I know. She is happiest when she is giving her time and energy to help others and is a true role model! So proud of you, keep it up Samantha!

Karen Posted 8 months ago

Her nature is to put all she’s got into any role she assumes…and she’s got a lot. Talent, drive, smarts, personality, and compassion. In her youth, she was recognized by adults as outstandingly mature. One reason for her popularity throughout her years is that she cares for others; she’s the one you go to if you need to talk. Even before she began teaching, I witnessed the influence she has on her friends and the impact she makes in groups. She has a keen eye for the under-dog, and you can be sure she doesn’t play favorites. Her strong sense of justice enables her to give individual attention in the classroom. Put a person like this in the school system and you’ve got good things happening. She’s accomplished a ton. Her students love her. I’ve read so many personal letters of appreciation that she’s received from her students and several touching ones of strong praise from their parents. She invests in relationships and spends time coaching, mentoring, tutoring, and leading “We Dine Together”, a club that has touched hundreds of lives in schools across the nation. Some of her summers are spent on mission trips or traveling the world. In addition to Psychology and AICE Sociology, she’s taught Economics, Government, World History, and Law Studies. She is an educated and well-rounded person with much to offer – most importantly, a desire to offer. It’s no wonder that Samantha is married to Jordan Hernandez, who is ALSO a nominee for the “Life Changer of the Year” award! In addition, they BOTH had the honor of being chosen as “Teacher of the Year2020” at their separate schools. So, way to go Sam! You’ve given much, endured much, and you keep charging on. These kids are forever changed from having a role model like you.

Mary Hernandez Posted 8 months ago

Samantha Hernandez is a very special person in my life, to know her is to love and respect her! She is dedicated to her students academically and personally, wanting them to strive to be their best. Although I know her more on a personal level, I often hear from her about the challenges her students face today and she cares for each and everyone of them. She has overcome this past year teaching during the covid crisis. She has given it her all even when the attendance was minimal she had that cherry smile that can light up any classroom, especially hers. For all of these reasons and much more, she deserves to be Life changer of the year!

Dylan Posted 8 months ago

Best teacher ever

John L Posted 8 months ago

It’s exciting but not surprising to hear that Samantha gives back to the community where she was raised. So great to hear she’s been nominated for this honor. The educational community greatly benefits from committed teachers like Samantha. I remember teachers who made a profound impression on me as a youth, and those impressions impact a lifetime. Well done and keep making a difference Samantha!

Bill T Posted 8 months ago

Samantha is the kindest and most caring person I know. Each student gets the time and information needed to be a success, which is her utmost goal. Bringing youth into the future with the best possible education they can get...

Rebecca Araujo Posted 8 months ago

Mrs.H is an amazing teacher. Even through these difficult times of teaching online, she continues to show how much she cares for each student and does her best to make sure the students virtually are learning as well. She is also understanding and she is someone that I know I could trust and talk to if I ever needed to. I am so grateful to have her as a teacher and she definitely deserves this nommination and many more:)

Keishia Thorpe Posted 8 months ago

Great work. You are a force to be reckoned with!

Karen Gauci Posted 8 months ago

Samantha is one of the most inspirational, caring, thoughtful teachers I ever met. I would highly give her this award.

Rich Fleischer Posted 9 months ago

Samantha is an amazing worker with a tremendous attitude. She brings her “A” game to everything she does. I highly recommend her.

Joshua Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. H leads by example...she is a wonderful teacher of life and I am grateful to know her.

Eric C Posted 9 months ago

Samantha is an amazing educator and person. She leads by example always!

Evan Lahr Posted 9 months ago

Sam has always been a caring and thoughtful teacher. She made sure that each student feels important and included each and every day. She consistently inspires and motivates her students to reach new heights!

Josh K Posted 9 months ago

Samantha is a compassionate person who inspires her students to become the next generation of leaders.

Ted R Posted 9 months ago

Mrs H is #1!! She touches everyone she comes into contact with. So many lives are better because of Mrs H's generosity and selflessness and I am honored to support her nomination.

James Posted 9 months ago

Thank you for all you do and all you continue to do! We are all so blessed to have your lifechanging guidance in our lives

Kimberly Richards Posted 9 months ago

I was introduced to what Ms. Hernandez does with We Dine Together last year at an assembly. It made a true impact on me that we have a faculty member who cares so much about not only her students but all of the students and is willing to run a club like this. Ms. Hernandez works extremely hard to bring students together so that they know they are cared for and there is a place for them at school. She allows students the time necessary to process through whatever it is they are dealing with. She is such a positive role model for our students and faculty.

Bill T Posted 9 months ago

Samantha is the kindest and most caring person I know. Each student gets the time and information needed to be a success, which is her utmost goal. Bringing youth into the future with the best possible education they can get...

G Posted 9 months ago

What a great teacher!

Melissa Babinecz Posted 9 months ago

Thank you for being someone who genuinely cares about your students, you've helped so many of my friends through more than you know.

Jean & Roy Slingo Posted 9 months ago

It is a pleasure to recommend Mrs. Hernandez for "Life Changer of The Year". She exemplifies the attributes of an excellent (super) teacher. She interacts well with her students, encourages them, cares about them and actually has a positive influence on their lives. She enthusiastically teaches her subject matter and goes above and beyond the duties of a teacher. She is an enhancement any environment.

Mark Houghton Posted 9 months ago

Samantha loves teaching and helping her students and it shows. She is a dedicated professional and a blessing to her students, as they are to her!

Dr. Cheri Shapiro Posted 9 months ago

As a psychologist and university professor, I can say without doubt that teachers who inspire, like Ms. Hernández, are our future!!!!!

Rebeca Magana Posted 9 months ago

Mrs.H is a role model, she is a very warm hearted and welcoming person. I remember the first time I met her was my first time at my new school, she offered me lots and lots of help and support. She is just is the best!!!.

Krystina Slanker Posted 9 months ago

I could write paragraphs about how much I admire and appreciate Mrs. Hernandez not only as a teacher but an amazing person as well. I enjoyed learning things about myself and others that I could continue to use in my daily life. She's so considerate of her students and the things going on in their personal lives. She deserves to be recognized for her daily commitment and passion to inspire the generation of the future.

Jungwoo Park Posted 9 months ago

I love this teacher. She is so passionate about what she does and cares about the success of students!

Alexandra Feldman Posted 9 months ago

Samantha is an inspiration not only to her students but to all of us to show kindness and friendship to others. In this fractured world, she is using her important role to bring young people together, helping create a new generation of empathetic and non-judgmental citizens. What she honor it is to have Samantha in this community!

A. Feldman Posted 9 months ago

In today’s fractured world, what could be more important than a leader who seeks to bring people together? Samantha understands how important her mission is to positively shape young people into empathetic, caring adults. She is going above and beyond to do it. In the process, she is creating a generation of adults who will be kind and non-judgmental. Everyone should be inspired to do the same and follow the example she is setting!

Victoria Swartz Posted 9 months ago

I have the privilege of being related to Samantha and seeing her life outside of school. She is one of the most genuine and loving people I know, and her love for her students and passion for what she does is evident well beyond the classroom; it shines around the dinner table at family gatherings and comes through in any conversation about her life and career. She has had an impact on countless lives, and as a former teacher myself, she has served as a role model for me and embodies everything I desired to be for my students.

Courtney Slingo Posted 9 months ago

To know Samantha is to immediately feel at home. You know that mean girls movie quote "you can't sit with us?" Samantha embodies "You CAN sit with us and all are welcome at her table." She fiercely loves, lives in beautiful authenticity and is perhaps the single handed most approachable person I have ever met. She is approachable because she backs up what she preaches with how she lives, and its marked and filtered by compassion, understanding and love. She very evidently cares for all that come into her life and I am so stinking blessed to know and be a recipient to her care and friendship.

Carly Slingo Posted 9 months ago

Samantha is a teacher who goes above and beyond for her students. She clearly loves her job and cares about the success of each individual student not only academically, but mentally and emotionally as well. I know Samantha personally and think she's one of the most joyful, kind, compassionate, and driven people I know. She is a blessing to every person she is around!

Sloane Young Posted 9 months ago

Best teacher ever! Very passionate about her job and always very nice to her students!!

Mary Brodeur Posted 9 months ago

Samantha Hernandez is a gifted teacher who shows kindness and goes the extra mile to serve her students to make sure they succeed. I wish I had a teacher like Samantha, when I was in school.

Paul Dudas Posted 9 months ago

Samantha is my grandson's wife, she is a sweet, caring, loving and intelligent woman. She is compassionate about teaching and helping others and is totally committed to her career.

Lisa Karklins Posted 9 months ago

Am so lucky to have met Samantha a few times in my life our families are good friends. Every time I am around SAMANTHA she is smiling and has so much positive energy. She is definitely one of those women who will leave her mark on this world!

Kristin Posted 9 months ago

Samantha is a compassionate, loving, and kind young lady who is passionate and caring about her job and her students! She is well-deserving of this award and more!

Lisa Ellis Posted 9 months ago

Awe..... Samantha huge heart for children and loves educating the youth. She is truly an asset everywhere that she goes. Her joy is contagious and her commitment is steadfast. Samantha is an amazing person.

Dan and Maria Frost Posted 9 months ago

Inside and out...Samantha is one of the most beautiful human beings on the planet. We have been so blessed to have her in our lives.

Sari Sheiner Posted 9 months ago

I am a fellow instructor at Spanish River with Mrs. Hernandez. Just reading some of the other comments and the student's nomination letter had me smiling from ear to ear. This is exactly what being a standout teacher is....she has touched so many student's lives not only through her classes and club sponsorship, but by having conversations with them on campus. I feel so honored to be on faculty with such a beautiful role model of a teacher!! Keep up the amazing work!!

Nicole Bujalski Posted 9 months ago

A nominee that could not be more deserving of this recognition. Mrs. Hernandez exemplifies all the attributes of a passionate educator who is committed to impacting the lives of her students daily. It is a true honor to have her as a colleague here at Spanish River.

Edward Major Posted 9 months ago

From what I hear about Samantha, she is hard working, very dedicated to her students and gives all she can to give them the best education possible. And not only does she look after their knowledge, but she also cares about their heart and helps direct them to good life choices that will affect the rest of their lives. She is brave and courageous enough to see her role as more than an educator, but as an example of healthy living and good choices.

Iris Young Posted 9 months ago

The most kind and passionate teacher!

Sloane Young Posted 9 months ago

Best teacher ever! Very passionate about her job and always very nice to her students!!

Craig Berson Posted 9 months ago

Mrs H is one of the nicest, warm and compassionate people on this entire planet. She is truly deserving of this recognition.

Kate Doherty Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. Hernandez is such an involved and empathetic person, truly one of the best teachers I have had. She is so passionate about what she teaches, inspiring me to study psychology in college and do more for my community.

Kaylee D Posted 9 months ago

Mrs.Hernadez is amazing at what she does and always encourages her students to pay attention and takes suggestions from them to make their learning better.

Doug Posted 9 months ago

This world can never enough people like this. Someone who makes a difference

Kate Major Posted 9 months ago

I could not agree more and would like to support Mrs Hernandez in this Life Changer of the Year. She is completely genuine and gives her all to the students. Her role model of including those who are vulnerable in school, to other students is incredible. She is very special.

Trish Gaudoin Posted 9 months ago

Mrs Hernandez is a vibrant, enthusiastic teacher who really cares about the success of her students.

Andy Glickman Posted 9 months ago

I have know Samantha since she was a young girl. I’ve watched as she’s grown into an amazing accomplished woman, a true educator and roll model. She’s always dealt with challenges and adversity with poise and grace and remains fully committed to teaching and serving the needs of her students. She’s had a tremendous positive impact on many she has taught She’s tenacious with strong values and a deep down commitment to elevating everyone she teaches. I’m very proud of her and she would be an excellent choice for Lifechanger of the year!

Carolyn Posted 9 months ago

She is an amazingly dedicated, very loving teacher. She is dynamic individual and an excellent role model for the community.

Santo Posted 9 months ago

Awesome young lady a model for future generations

Rachel Quade Posted 9 months ago

Over the years, I have heard of the many good deeds you have done in your role as a teacher. You impress me. Children and parents are SO lucky to have such a caring and lovely young lady give so much of themselves! Thank you for doing what you do : )

Crystal Posted 9 months ago

I have known Samantha since she was a little girl. She is full of compassion and kindness. Samantha puts her kids interest before her own. She loves her students with her whole heart. My wish is that all teachers would have a heart as caring and nurturing. She is changing lives one student at a time for a better tomorrow. I'm so thankful to know her and see how many lives she touches.

Susan Harding Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. Hernandez is a dedicated and thoughtful teacher who inspires her students as well as her peers. She has a generous nature that has propelled her career and made her an incredible role model. She is a very deserving nominee.

Student Anon Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. Hernandez, I am so grateful for the impact that you have in my life. You are an inspiration to me and everyone in you come into contact with. Because of you, I am going to be a teacher and try to make a fraction of the impact on others that you have.

SCOTT DEDI Posted 9 months ago

Samantha should be recognized for her selfless, engaging nature as a top educator. Her infectious personality and teaching style command the respect and admiration of her students and peers. She is by far one of the most popular and effective teachers in her field.

Hari Salen Posted 9 months ago

Our children are our future. We need to nurture every part of their being. This starts at home but is most reinforced by the ones who spend so much time molding our youth... our teachers. That is why when a teacher is as exceptional as this one we need to take notice and celebrate. Keep it up girl, we need more educators like you in this world!??

Kathy Barlow Posted 9 months ago

I'm so pleased that Samantha has been nominated for this honor. She has used her own experiences and challenges in life to develope the character needed to be a strong and positive influence on young people.

John L Posted 9 months ago

It’s exciting but not surprising to hear that Samantha gives back to the community where she was raised. So great to hear she’s been nominated for this honor. The educational community greatly benefits from committed teachers like Samantha. I remember teachers who made a profound impression on me as a youth, and those impressions impact a lifetime. Well done and keep making a difference Samantha!

Melinda Hale Posted 9 months ago

Positive recommendations from her students are the best indications of how dedicated and effective Mrs. H is as a teacher. Especially during these most difficult times for students and teachers Mrs. H is a standout and deserves all the recognition coming to her.

Helen Hughes Posted 9 months ago

I met Samantha in China at a One World conference .Her energy ,passion and drive were truly remarkable.I am from Wales UK.Her thoughts ideas and passion have made their way into my teaching in my primary school.Her compassion and presence are truly inspiring.

Andrew Smith Posted 9 months ago

Our family knew Samantha growing up as well. Even then, her energy, enthusiasm, and ability to engage were evident. It is delightful to see her using her God-given abilities so well for the benefit of her students!

Jeremy Whittington Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. Hernandez embodies what it means to be an educator. Especially during these times; she continues to set the standard for how teachers should be: kind, empathetic, intelligent, and patient.

JB Posted 9 months ago

I first met Mrs Hernandez when she had only been teaching for a little over a year. She was so passionate back then about her job and continues that way today. Teachers, especially those like her often get overlooked. She is so dedicated to her students and so deserving of this award! She is a huge asset to the teaching community, please reward her with this recognition!!

Lee Williams Posted 9 months ago

What an amazing example of how one teacher can makr such a difference in the lives of her students, school, and community. As a parent this means so much to me. Thanks Ms. H for all you do to make our students happier and healthier.

Anita Liberty Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. H. goes beyond the classroom to show compassion and love to students who feel unworthy/unloved/ invisible. Boca Raton is beyond blessed to have her in our school system, changing lives every single day. Her energy is infectious!

Jeff Donow Posted 9 months ago

While most teachers are doing amazing things with our kids, there are a few that are so special that it’s hard to even put into words. Mrs Hernandez is one of those teachers! Thank you for all you do!!!

Doug Posted 9 months ago

This world can never enough people like this. Someone who makes a difference

George Douglas Posted 9 months ago

These days are full of uncertainty and Mrs. Hernandez’s enthusiasm is a game changer and an example to us all.

Dr. Sam Knight Posted 9 months ago

Intuitively we understand that the greatest love is a willingness to give one’s life for another. Samantha’s entire teaching career demonstrates her commitment to put her students’ needs above her own. Her love serves them. They get it—and love her back. Her best encourages their best.

robert sapp Posted 9 months ago

Mrs H is a positive influence for our children. Her dedication and commitment in the classroom and in the community is remarkable. It’s people like her that truly make a difference. She should be recognized.

Sandra Sullivan Posted 9 months ago

Samantha projects Positivity and creativity She truly cares about her students !

Frank Harris Posted 9 months ago

When I think of Mrs. Hernandez I always has a smile and think about how fortunate I was to have her as a teacher. It was evident even to a young kid such as myself that Mrs. Hernandez. loved being a teacher. She had high structures in her classroom, but it was a safe place where we were encouraged to share, think, and express ourselves. All of us knew that she cared about us learning and our well-being. Mrs. Hernandez never let us give up. One of the memories that always stuck with me was Mrs. Hernandez was conducting a read-aloud and starting to cry because she was reminded of someone she knew. . She paused to share a little about this person and all of his psychological issues and how this made for us as students a true connection and learning experience. Mrs. Hernandez made a connection with each student in our class. She knew what our interests were and about our families. She used that information to bring our interests into the classroom. One of the biggest reasons that Mrs. Hernandez will always be my favorite teacher is because she helped my love of psychology grow. She suggested books that she thought we would enjoy, and today I realize that it was her alone and those books that she got me hooked on Psychology. FHBSMM .

JB Posted 9 months ago

I first met Mrs Hernandez when she had only been teaching for a little over a year. She was so passionate back then about her job and continues that way today. Teachers, especially those like her often get overlooked. She is so dedicated to her students and so deserving of this award! She is a huge asset to the teaching community, please reward her with this recognition!!

Frank Harris Posted 9 months ago

When I think of Mrs. Hernandez I always has a smile and think about how fortunate I was to have her as a teacher. It was evident even to a young kid such as myself that Mrs. Hernandez. loved being a teacher. She had high structures in her classroom, but it was a safe place where we were encouraged to share, think, and express ourselves. All of us knew that she cared about us learning and our well-being. Mrs. Hernandez never let us give up. One of the memories that always stuck with me was Mrs. Hernandez was conducting a read-aloud and starting to cry because she was reminded of someone she knew. . She paused to share a little about this person and all of his psychological issues and how this made for us as students a true connection and learning experience. Mrs. Hernandez made a connection with each student in our class. She knew what our interests were and about our families. She used that information to bring our interests into the classroom. One of the biggest reasons that Mrs. Hernandez will always be my favorite teacher is because she helped my love of psychology grow. She suggested books that she thought we would enjoy, and today I realize that it was her alone and those books that she got me hooked on Psychology. .

Zon Reed Posted 9 months ago

Samantha is an incredible professional. That helps students and people out every day. She is uplifting upbeat and is more then willing to help everyone. She is very deserving of this award.

Fotis Posted 9 months ago

I am proud to endorse Mrs. Hernandez for this award. I never had the pleasure of being a student in her classrooms but I have witnessed her passion to educate all her students. I believe we need more educators with her passion and enthusiasm.

Paul Posted 9 months ago

The sentiments I hear from Samantha students let me know that she has set herself apart as a teacher who is not doing this for awards but because she deeply cares for these student and pushes them to be great at this stage and their next stage of their lives. Receiving any accolade would show her as the humblest teacher in the nation.

Fran Papamichael Posted 9 months ago

Samantha Hernandez gives her whole body and soul when teaching. Schools today need more teachers like her to excite their students and capture their attention.

Darcie Pritchett Posted 9 months ago

I hear time and again from so many that she is an incredibly dedicated, caring and attentive teacher. We need more teachers like this in our schools and community.

Ray Schneider Posted 9 months ago

Selfless, compassionate and committed to the development of her students both inside the classroom and outside. Teaching is a critical and essential profession that has the ability to shape not only the lives of the students but society as a whole.Recognition for teachers like Mrs.H come too infrequently and we must pause to honor the sacrifice and impact that outstanding teachers like Mrs. H have on our community.

Rodney Lamar Posted 9 months ago

She’s sensational at what she does!

Mike Kemp Posted 9 months ago

My children grew up with Samantha when they were all just learning to walk and run. It is so inspiring to see that Samantha has become the adult that she is today, and to read such inspiring comments about the way she treats young people who are just learning to walk and run intellectually, socially and actually k scholastically. I have been close friends with her father and mother this entire time and have received occasional updates about where she was and what she was doing during these years. In the same way that she has grown and blossomed to be the exemplary model of an amazing human being, I am sure she is imminently qualified to lead others to do the same during their most important formative years. The other comments here testify clearly to that claim!!! I have no doubt she is more than worthy of this award and that having won it will use the benefits it bestows on her to advance the lives of the young people she leads and acts as a role model for today.

Harold Overby Posted 9 months ago

Very dedicated teacher. We need more like her!!!

Johnny Posted 9 months ago

Samantha is a woman of high integrity, compassion and empathy, she is extremely worthy of this award and her track record proves it every single day of her life.

Martin Harkless Posted 9 months ago

A good teacher touches a students mind a great teacher’s touch reaches into their very soul. Their imagination, goals, aspirations,and ultimately enriches us all. From everything I hear this is the type “teacher” Mrs Hernandez strives to be daily.

Ted Frangos Posted 9 months ago

As a long time friend of her parents, I've known Samantha since she was a young child and watched her grow through her teens and into adulthood. While I cannot comment on her teaching skills, I can say with certainty that I have rarely witnessed such consistency maintained through a life in regards to character, responsibility and compassion for others... that makes me confident that her example around her students and colleagues is top shelf and exactly what students and their parents would want in an educator.

Bob M Posted 9 months ago

You can do it! I remember Samantha from her earliest years, and this is what was spoken into her heart and mind by her parents, grandparents and church family. Now she shares the same with others in every way.

Steven Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. Major it’s probably one of the most positively influential people I’ve ever met. I never had her as a teacher but through all the craziness and turmoil of high school she was always there to assist me in anything I needed. She always pointed me in the right direction and always guided me to make the right decision.

Matthew Major Posted 9 months ago

I have been so impressed with Mrs Hernandez' dedication to her students. Her zeal for exemplifying character in the classroom and her capacity to show love outside the classroom is much needed in our culture. Each and every student recieves all of Mrs Hernandez quality attention and the needed encouragement to set them up to move forward. We need more teachers like her !!!

Matthew Major Posted 9 months ago

I am shocked daily by Mrs. Hernandez's sacrificial efforts on behalf of her students. The amount of time she spends involved in her kids lives being an amazing mentor, motivater, significant source of knowledge is invaluable to these kids lives. The passion is obvious, the love for her kids is beautiful and I can only hope she gets recognized for her uniqueness as an educator.

Michelle Rubin Posted 9 months ago

Well done, what an amazing movement you have got! Keep it going...Congratulations ??

Rylie Brashears Posted 9 months ago

Mrs.Hernandez is a truly amazing teacher and person. She cares about her school, her job, and all the students at the school. Before distance learning, she was able to bring countless kids together during lunch for the We Dine Together Club to combat social ostracism, and was extremely successful; there were kids filling up the hallway to join the positivity. Even with distance learning, she keeps involved with her students. I look forward to her class every day and love how she makes sure every student understands her material. Saying she deserves this award is an understatement.

Jordan Oney Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. Hernandez is a great teacher who knows how to keep the student engaged while keeping it fun. She adds cool details into lectures and makes them interesting. She is always interacting with the students even through the difficult communication via digital meets. She is making me love psychology and she is overall a great teacher.

Carina White Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. Hernandez is such a kind person and is genuinely passionate about what she does. She makes her classes so enjoyable just through her sheer passion for the topic and I think her enthusiasm for the topic carries over to many of her students and myself. Mrs. Hernandez is also very understanding of her students and I have really loved having her as a teacher this year :)

Kylie Brooks Posted 9 months ago

I have never had Mrs H as a teacher, but being involved in her club has allowed me to see how kind and compassionate she is with not just her students but every student at our school! She is so inspiring and is someone I look up to!

Bodey Miller Posted 9 months ago

She is a great teacher that supports all of her students and understands each of their perspectives on the world and her class. She loves to have conversations with them and go in detail about certain issues to allow students to understand the issue in better detail. All in all a very heart warming and wonderful person.

Kylie Brooks Posted 9 months ago

I have never had Mrs H as a teacher, but being involved in her club has allowed me to see how kind and compassionate she is with not just her students but every student at our school! She is so inspiring and is someone I look up to!

lyndsey roth Posted 9 months ago

Ms. Hernandez is so understanding and an amazing teacher. Even though we aren't in school learning, we still are able to interact and have a good class to look forward to day to day. She is kind, funny, and so caring of everyone around her. I couldn't think of a better person for this award!!!

Jhaila Posted 9 months ago

Mrs.H is genuinely invested in the success of her students and she makes sure that each of her students feels heard, understood, and valued. She’s truly the best teacher of all time.

Kerry Posted 10 months ago

I can not recommend Samantha Hernandez enough for this incredibly prestigious award. She has been the most amazing positive influence on my daughter in her entire 4 years of high school. From the very first week of school when she was in Mrs. G’s class, my daughter came home beaming about how inspired she was from her AP Psych teacher. She loved the subject matter and how well Mrs H was able to make the material applicable to each and every student. She made herself available before and after school for any student who needed an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on, or advice on how to handle any situation. She inspired my daughter to get outside her comfort zone and grow as a student leader becoming actively involved in her after school club promoting inclusivity at school. I feel so very fortunate to have such a remarkable teacher at our school- she has sincerely touched every student in her classes in the most positive way. There are no words to communicate my gratitude in what she has done for my child!

Mingni Qu Posted 10 months ago

Mrs. Hernandez genuinely cares about the subject and the class that she teaches. She goes out of her way to make learning in her class as easy as possible. She speaks in a loud, excited tone in order to prevent students from getting lulled to sleep by a monotonous lecture. She posts colorful PowerPoints with many visuals or videos to help students—especially visual learners—pick up and conceptualize important ideas. She includes mnemonic devices, analogies and other psychological learning tools so that students can memorize more concepts more easily. She is very approachable and understanding and you feel like you could tell her anything. She is willing to listen to any student who’s having a bad day and can spot when someone in her class is having a hard time emotionally. When I took the AP Psych exam at the end of the year, I felt well-prepared. Even the weird, obscure stuff that ended up on the exam were mentioned in class at some point so that I fortunately had at least some idea of what the question was asking me instead of having no clue like students from other schools. I couldn’t ask for a better teacher.

Anonymous Student Posted 10 months ago

Mrs. Hernandez has had a significant impact on my life and is person that I look up to as a role model. Mrs. H introduced me to my passion of psychology. I took her class Ap Psychology my junior year and absolutely fell in love with the class because of the way she presented the material to her students. Whether it was through an extensive review or a documentary of the content the class was learning, Mrs. Hernandez made sure that every single student in her class understood and properly applied the content we learned in class to a real life scenario. Other than her fantastic teaching, Mrs. H acted as a mentor to me. She introduced me to the club she sponsored, We Dine Together, a club that fought social isolation and bullying through the power of striking up a conversation with a stranger. Every student that walked into her classroom was welcomed with an overwhelming feeling of kindness and support form Mrs. H whether she knew them or not. Personally, Mrs. Hernandez left her lasting impact in my life through her kindness and willingness to listen to my issues. My junior year of high school was the most challenging of my high school experience academically and personally. Mrs. H always made me feel comfortable to talk with her about anything and provided me with advice if I needed it. After watching her pour her kindness and compassion to each student she met, I knew that I wanted to mirror her actions. Every student who has had Mrs. H as a teacher or has met her can say that she is an incredible person and someone everyone can look to as a role model.

Jhaila Posted 10 months ago

Mrs.H is genuinely invested in the success of her students and she makes sure that each of her students feels heard, understood, and valued. She’s truly the best teacher of all time.