Pilar Biller, MAT '16, recipient of the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year Award
Pilar (Crooks) Biller, an art teacher at Damonte Ranch High School, has received the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year award from the NV Dept. of Education.

Alum Wins 2018 NV Teacher of the Year

The Nevada Dept. of Education named Pilar (Crooks) Biller, an art teacher at Damonte Ranch High School, as the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year.

“Pilar is an amazing art teacher who is so passionate and works just incredibly well with kids at all levels. 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.”

Darvel Bell, Damonte Ranch H. S. Principal

“Even in art, classroom creativity must be deliberate.”

Biller is National Board Certified Teacher who has dedicated her 18 year teaching career to creating engaging lessons for her students. Her thoughtful approach to teaching is a major factor in her students’ success.

Biller said it’s important for students to think creatively and to problem solve. She encourages her students to share their art in the community and work with local service organizations. When her advanced art students mount a show, they select the venue and set up the exhibits with adult guidance.

She has presented her ideas at the Nevada Museum of Art, the National Art Education Assoc. Conference, the Art Educators of Nevada Conference, and at district in-service days. The Washoe Education Assoc. awarded her a Distinguished Performance Award.

“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. Having great teachers such as Pilar who inspire their students is how Nevada will become the fastest improving state in the nation in education.”

Steve Canavero, Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction

Biller, a Fallon native, got her undergraduate degree in art from Gonzaga University. She completed the teacher certification portion of SNC’s MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) program in 1998. She has taught at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels in the Churchill County (Fallon), Ukiah (CA), and Washoe County school districts. In 2016 she returned to SNC to finish her master’s degree.

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