2023 Teacher Community Service Award – Carl Perkins

Jeff Samaniego – Mountain Ridge High School

Jeff Samaniego provides hands on learning for community service with the Dig PINK event. His students organize, implement, lead and solicit donations for a special celebration of life for Breast Cancer Survivors. Students organize the event with the volleyball team to create a night to remember.

Jeff allows his students to be highly involved in the school and community. The Ridge Gives Day is a giant day of community service with 200-300 students working on that single day to make a difference. His students select the work sites that need volunteers. He helps students write their scripts and practice their phone calls. Jeff has them write thank you notes and tag them in social media. They start the day with breakfast for all the volunteers. Then all the volunteers go to work and come back for lunch to celebrate their success. They work with food banks, dog shelters, campus staff, parks and recreation, the mayor’s office, and senior citizen homes. All this work aligns with marketing and career state standards.

His students have donated time and money to the MDA, St Mary’s Food Bank, schoolbook drives for elementary students, adopt a family every year, and the Mayor’s Youth Council Toy Drive for families.

Jeff runs the marketing and DECA programs at Mountain Ridge in the NAF Academy of Entrepreneurship teaching marketing and advanced marketing. He oversees the student store, DECA and the marketing students. He has blended community service into his curriculum as a project-based learning experience.

Students cover multiple state standards in an authentic application through the projects. The assessments for the class include the competencies demonstrated by completing the community service projects that the students undertake. There is theory and assessments. There is application and assessments, and the combination gives his students proficiency in the marketing state standards. The meaningful application creates engaging instruction for his classes. The instruction is differentiated and personalized to meet the needs of his diverse classroom.

Jeff creates pride in his program and that pride shows with his students. He has created a group of students that want to leave a legacy behind. Some students have started their own businesses at Mountain Ridge and some of them are non-profit. The students embrace an attitude of gratitude, and it shows. MANY have earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. Jeff’s students talk about leaving a legacy, but Jeff Samaniego is the one leaving a legacy.