By: Jordy Najera
Teachers are alike, but each teacher’s journey are different. Samueli Academy’s Assistant Head of School, Miss Bilderback, opened up and told us about her journey to get to where she's at now.
Miss Bilderback graduated from the University of California in Santa Barbara in June 1998. During her years at school, her major changed from Microbiology to English. Afterwards, she immediately started teaching, with an emergency credential: "My first year I had 5 classes with 40 9th graders each; I had 200 students," said Miss Bilderback.
In addition to the difficulties of managing a classroom and planning curriculum, which Miss Bilderback did for 11 years in Roseville at Oakmont High School, she faced some personal struggles as well. One of these included the death of her brother. "After teaching for 11 years, I decided to move to be closer to my family," said Miss Bilderback.
Another personal struggle was her journey to become a mother: "I had been looking to adopt a child; I was approved, but with time, I knew it was going to be hard to have to be fighting with the biological parents for parental rights.”
Rather than going through a potentially unsuccessful adoption process, and dealing with the heartbreak that could follow, Miss Bilderback decided to help foster youth throughout their education as another means of giving back to kids: "When I found [at the time] The Academy, I did some extra research and I found out that they worked with foster kids," said Miss Bilderback. "That was important for me."
Miss Bilderback knew she wanted to work for a school that had the same or similar system as the one she worked for before. "I have a big belief in taking education outside the four walls,” said Miss Bilderback.
As many of the older Samueli students know, Miss Bilderback used to be the Freshman English teacher, a position she later left to become the Head of School's right hand. In this position, she oversees the teaching staff: “I am here to support and guide the teachers,” said Miss Bilderback.
Miss Bilderback doesn't just support teachers, but she has also helped guide many students: “Miss Bilderback has been a motivation to me; she has demonstrated that women can be independent,” said Lauryn Castañeda.
Intro to Medicine student Brianna Marquez tells us her experience with Miss Bilderback: “I really love intro to medicine; I have learned a lot and I'm always prepared for tests. Miss Bilderback is such a professional,”
More than a teacher, she has been a friend.
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