LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Dawn Bilbrey

Position: Eighth Grade ELA/History Teacher
School: Texico Middle School
School District: Texico Municipal Schools
City, State: Texico , NM

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Dawn Bilbrey was nominated by a colleague who wishes to remain anonymous. Her nominator supervised her as a Summer Instructor, Tutor, and Workshop Coordinator for low-income students.

"In this supervisory role, I was able to formally evaluate her teaching skills and personally experience the passion, drive and energy she exudes when she is working with students," the nominator said. "Her constant willingness to enrich students' lives in the Eastern New Mexico area gave our program the opportunity to utilize her incredible skills to enhance the learning and engagement of the 55 students in our program."

During this academic year, Ms. Bilbrey served as a Tutor and Workshop Coordinator for her students in the Upward Bound Program. She prepared a multitude of English-related workshops that included essay writing, ACT writing skills, and poetry interpretation. Ms. Bilbrey is able to engage with students at all levels and abilities, empowering them with the basic skills needed to transfer back into the classroom and assist on standardized tests. During her ACT workshops, she developed individualized programs to support each student's needs. Recieving this one-on-one feedback helped the students build their writing skills, become more confident and achieve higher scores.

Ms. Bilbrey has also served as a Summer Instructor at Clovis Community College for the past three years. Teaching two to three classes each summer, she would let her creativity shine during the largely self-guided summer courses. Her diversity in teaching various content areas was seen through the variety of classes she took on, including creative writing, theater, pop culture, historical readings and narratives.

"Our students would consistently praise their experience in her classroom as hands-on and engaging," the nominator said. "The preparatory work, in-class delivery of creative and engaging lessons, and student follow-through is why we kept asking Ms. Bilbrey back year after year."

"It is inspiring to watch her spirit come to life when she is working with students of all backgrounds, and it is this passion that makes her students as engaged and excited as she is about the topics that she presents to them," the nominator continued. "Professionally, I enthusiastically recommend Ms. Dawn Bilbrey for this award, as she embodies all of the characteristics that make her a truly impactful and inspiring teacher."

The impact that Ms. Bilbrey has on students in both her summer courses and school year classroom cannot be denied. Students feel safe as risk takers in their learning, empowered as individuals, and confident as they leave her classroom moving forward in their learning journey. Ms. Bilbrey is indeed a LifeChanger.

Comments (1)

Rebekah Jimenez Posted over a year ago

Dawn has had many roles in my life including colleague, my child's teacher, mentor, and most treasured role, friend. Dawn encouraged me to pursue my Masters and become a High School teacher after many years of contemplating what exactly I wanted in life. After I was certified to teach, Dawn continued to be my mentor through the rough first years and continues to be my number one contact when I need an expert opinion on the best way to meet a standard, bounce an idea about a lesson, or how to handle a situation I find myself looking to resolve. I was also a coach under Dawn, and the guidance she gave me not only helped me figure out how to deal with demanding situations that come with a group of hormonal high school girls, it allowed me to grow as a teacher, coach and mother. Above all of this, Dawn has been one of my biggest supporters though the most challenging task in my life, raising a teenage daughter in today's difficult world. My oldest daughter was blessed to have Dawn as an English teacher in middle school. Dawn connected with my child, as she does most her students, and was able to guide her in so many situations as her teacher, coach, and confidant. My daughter trusted her and was able to go to her with any problems knowing she would be heard and guided wisely. Through the years, Dawn has been the constant voice of reason for her and even after six years post is someone she knows she can trust to always have her best interest in mind. As I continue my path, Dawn is the one person I can count on to give solid advice, whether it be in life or in my classroom. Her character is one I admire and strive to emulate in my life as well. She is a devout mother, teacher and friend and constantly seeks improvement in her life as well as how to improve the life of her children, her friends, her students and her community. She is an active voice of reason in the ever-changing world of education, though her leadership roles in her school, community, region, and state. Her constant need to improve education not only for her students, but for students all in our state. Words cannot adequately express the impact Dawn has had in my life and the life of her students. Dawn takes on every day of her life with energy, poise, character and ambition, she has been the motivating factor and LifeChanger for many who otherwise would have no one.