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Nevada Teacher of the Year Awarded to Damonte Ranch Art Instructor

By Carla O'Day


Damonte Ranch High School art teacher Pilar Biller.

Damonte Ranch High School art teacher Pilar Biller was awarded Teacher of the Year by Nevada Department of Education. Photo: WCSD

Pilar Biller, an art teacher at Damonte Ranch High School, has been named 2018 Nevada’s teacher of the year by the state Department of Education.

“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,” Steve Canavero, superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement. “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 teacher of the year were Mark Leamy of Doral Academy charter school in Clark County, Rachel Leach of Silver Stage Middle School in Lyon County, Katherine Kareck of Reed High School in Sparks, and Aaron Grossman of Gomm Elementary School in Reno.

“Pilar is an amazing art teacher who is so passionate and works just incredibly well with kids at all levels,” Darvel Bell, Damonte Ranch principal, said in a statement. “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 more than 18 years. The teacher of the year selection committee received feedback about Biller as someone who “consistently searches for professional development opportunities to perfect her craft.”  Her pursuit to build her toolbox has allowed her to present 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.

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