LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Phyllis Poller

Position: Retiring Math Teacher
School: Ware County High School
School District: Ware County School District
City, State: Waycross, GA

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Phyllis Poller was nominated by an anonymous colleague.

"It is an honor and a privilege to recommend Mrs. Phyllis Poller to receive a LifeChanger Capstone Award," said her colleague. "Mrs. Poller is retiring from Ware County High School after teaching math for 36 years. You can only imagine the number of lives she has changed while successfully teaching and helping students of all abilities navigate a rigorous and difficult curriculum."

"In that time, I have worked with Mrs. Poller for nearly ten years," explains her colleague. "While I teach in a different department, news of her excellence has reverberated across the school to me dozens of times. At the beginning of each year, her students whined that she was too tough, the work was too hard, and the fear of failure was too deep. They changed their tune before the end of the year by singing her praises."

Before Mrs. Poller's excellent teaching methods and strong academic expectations, many of her students were never successful in math. She tirelessly worked to get to know each student's strengths and weaknesses to help them overcome their struggles and develop a positive self-concept. Time and time again, she proved to them that algebra and geometry weren't beyond their reach. She set them up to be successful, which bred more success.

"That change in confidence, in their self-concept, ultimately changed their lives and is the main reason I am nominating her for this prestigious award," said her colleague.

"Mrs. Poller is a superior leader in creating a positive school culture. As long as I have known her, she has cooked dinner every Wednesday during football season for the Ware County High School football team," explains her colleague. "For her, it was not about the food or the football games (though she's very active in attending every game), but it has always been about building a community, a team, and camaraderie among the boys to keep them active and engaged in school and academics. Her work with these students, our students, positively affected their character development, which can be seen in all classrooms, hallways, and across the school. Mrs. Poller created a caring and honest environment for these boys to develop those character qualities. Her goodness made it easy for them to become good people, and their goodness has rippled across our community."

"I feel lucky to have known Phyllis as a colleague, and she will be missed at Ware County High," said her colleague.

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Comments (1)

Teresa Soper Posted 1 months ago

Phyllis has poured her heart and soul out in teaching her students. I completely agree with what her coworker has already said. She will be truly missed by us all.