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Ware County Schools Educators Nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award

RTI interventionists Mandy Williams and Lori Smith from Memorial Drive Elementary School and English teacher Levi Herrin from Ware County Learning Center have been nominated for the 2016-17 national LifeChanger of the Year Award.


Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, the national LifeChanger of the Year program recognizes and rewards the very best K-12 public and private school educators and employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.


Williams and Smith were both nominated by a colleague, Mamie Holland.


“Ms. Williams has been our Technology Specialist for several years, said Holland. “During that time, she has helped students and teachers through a broad range of technology problems. She has also guided students through several intervention programs which helped both the students and their teachers.”


Williams, who works primarily with grades 3-5, was named a Teacher of the Year in Ware County Schools. She is continuing her education in leadership, in order to be more helpful to Memorial Drive students and staff.


“Ms. Smith loves reading, and she loves to teach reading even more,” said Holland. “She has helped her former students learn to read and enjoy reading in the process. She has changed so many lives in our district.”


Herrin was nominated by a colleague who wishes to remain anonymous. When Ware County Learning Center opened last year, Herrin volunteered to transfer to the facility because he wanted to see its students be successful and achieve their dreams. He stays after school to work with students in order to help them catch up, and he meets with students at the public library on school holidays to make sure that they're able to complete everything in their courses.


“Mr. Herrin is a giving teacher who truly lives by the philosophy that students do not care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said his nominator. “In one instance, he worked with a student who had needed to complete two years' worth of coursework in one year in order to graduate with their peers. Through determination and hard work, the student earned the right to walk across the stage. He has definitely gone above and beyond in an effort to change the lives of the students at the Ware County Learning Center.”


Each school year, the LifeChanger of the Year program receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For 2016-2017, there will be a total of 15 individual LifeChanger of the Year awards. In addition, a 16th prize, the “National Spirit Award,” is given to the school and nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. Each winner will receive a cash award that is split between the individual winner and their school. The national Grand Prize award is $10,000. Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The top five winners will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in Naples, Florida. Winners will be announced in Spring 2017.


Winners will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals. Nominees must be school district employees. Award winners are selected based on the following criteria:


  • A proven ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students
  • An ability to positively add to the development of the school's atmosphere
  • Is involved in leadership activities at the school and/or community level
  • A demonstrative record of excellent performance at the professional level
  • A commitment to producing a nurturing atmosphere
  • Adherence to high moral and ethical standards


A resource page with ideas for how to celebrate nominees can be found at http://lifechangeroftheyearnominees.com/showspirit/.


To view Ms. Williams, Ms. Smith and Mr. Herrin’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profiles, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit www.LifeChangeroftheYear.com

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