LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Bridget Callender

Position: Resource Room Teacher
School: Sonoma Elementary School
School District: Harper Creek Schools
City, State: Battle Creek, MI

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Bridget Callender was nominated by her principal, Shalen King-Short.

Mrs. Callender is a dynamic individual who thinks outside the box and brings a problem-solving, solution-based perspective to her team.  As a case manager for numerous students at Sonoma, she works with parents and teachers ranging from kindergarten through fourth grade. She continually communicates with staff, students, and parents to create schedules, provide services, and attend IEP meetings and staffing for students who she is the case manager for.  She goes above and beyond by problem-solving, being a part of the child study team, and collaborating with the leadership team for students who may need Tier 3 support. 

Mrs. Callender takes initiative in all aspects of her role.  She brings solutions to situations that affect teachers, students, and families.  She is highly motivated in putting students first and making sure they're given what they need to feel safe and supported. Mrs. Callender is highly effective in working above and beyond what is expected of her, growing and learning with staff and students daily.

"She is a strong asset to our team. Many staff members, including myself, go to her for support with brainstorming ideas and working to support students," said King-Short.     

Among all of the things listed above, Mrs. Callender has taken on many different roles creating change and helping numerous students develop life-changing skills. She takes time each year to create bonds with her students to make sure they feel safe and loved at school. She has taught first and second grades, and she was a CI classroom teacher, as well.  Her capacity to instill a love for learning is what makes her such an amazing educator.

"Mrs. Callender works to make sure she keeps our team at a high level of excellence and standard for teaching and learning. As I learn and grow our systems as a building leader, creating an exemplar model of coaching and learning is something that Mrs. Callender is helping Sonoma to create. She has supported me in learning processes to move us forward and connect systems.  For example, she has helped with moving our child study process in a more strategic way, brainstorming and collaborating on how and what needs to be identified for student learning targets.  She not only supports this with her students, but with all students at Sonoma. She is a role model for teachers through her ability to require a level of rigor that will empower, educate and equip students for life. We are lucky to have such an amazing educator and LifeChanger, both at Sonoma and in Harper Creek," said King-Short.