Damonte Ranch High teacher named NV teacher of year

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Pilar Biller, an art teacher at Damonte Ranch High School, has been named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year by the Nevada Department of Education.

Teacher of the Year Pilar Biller, seen at right, with (from left to right), Washoe Schools Superintendent Traci Davis and Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero

“Pilar is a great example of a teacher who has devoted her career to finding better ways to create and provide engaging lessons for her students,” said Steve Canavero, Ph.D., Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Having great teachers such as Pilar who inspire their students is how Nevada will become the fastest improving state in the nation in education.”

Other finalists for the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year were:

• Mark Leamy: K-5 music at Doral Academy (Charter School)
• Rachel Leach: 6th grade self-contained at Silver Stage Middle School (Lyon County School District)
• Katherine Kareck: 9-12 math at Edward Reed High School (Washoe County School District)
• Aaron Grossman: 5th grade at Roy Gomm Elementary School (Washoe County School District)

“Pilar is an amazing art teacher who is so passionate and works just incredibly well with kids at all levels,” said Darvel Bell, Damonte Ranch principal. “Her classes are fun; her kids love being in her classes. I recently got to participate in one of her classes where the objective was to connect their art projects to businesses. This included developing a marketing plan and was a great example of how learning applies to the real world.”

Biller is a National Board Certified Teacher, and has taught for more than 18 years. The Nevada Department of Education Teacher of the Year selection committee received feedback about Biller as someone who “consistently searches for professional development opportunities to perfect her craft.”

She has presented at the Nevada Museum of Art, the National Art Education Association Conference, the Art Educators of Nevada Conference, and at district in-service days.

“The Washoe County School District and our community are fortunate to have incredibly gifted teachers who are truly making a difference,” said Traci Davis, Washoe County School District Superintendent. “I am so proud of Pilar Biller and pleased to see her recognized for this prestigious award.”

Biller will now receive consideration for the National Teacher of the Year program, run by the Council of Chief State School Officers. This program identifies exceptional teachers across the country, recognizes their effective work in the classroom, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels.