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Nineteen Stanly County teachers, school employees nominated for national LifeChanger award

Nineteen Stanly County K-12 teachers, administrators and school employees have been nominated for the 2019-2020 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

LifeChanger of the Year is an annual program recognizing teachers and school employees across the country. According to its website, “Our program celebrates those who are making a significant difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.” LifeChanger of the Year is sponsored and run by the National Life Group and the National Life Group Foundation.

People are allowed to nominate up to three educators/school employees per academic year. They had to complete a short nomination form which included the nominee’s basic information, a photo and a short essay or video detailing why the person was a LifeChanger in their community. The nominations period closed Dec. 31, 2019.

Each LifeChanger nominee has a profile on the website where their story can be viewed. Colleagues, students, friends and family can visit each school employee’s LifeChanger’s profile and leave a comment.

There are 830 people nominated throughout the country, representing all 50 states and Washington, D.C. North Carolina received 49 nominations.

The 19 Stanly LifeChanger of the Year nominees are:

• Christie Talbert, kindergarten teacher at Central Elementary. She was nominated by friend Paula Little.

• Brenda Watson, DLL teacher and cheer coach at Albemarle High School. She was nominated by friend Kim Cook.

• Julienne Fallen, principal at Richfield Elementary School. She was nominated by Superintendent Dr. Jeff James.

• Brenda Whitley, second grade teacher at Central Elementary School. She was nominated by an anonymous colleague.

• Lynette Whitley, teacher assistant at Richfield Elementary School. She was nominated by two of her colleagues.

• Niecy Miller, custodian at Central Elementary School. She was nominated by her colleagues, Dawn Hildreth, Rachel Temple and Connie Nash.

• Jessica Hayes, secretary at Central Elementary School. She was nominated by an anonymous colleague.

• Kelly Hill, first grade teacher at Central Elementary School. She was nominated by a colleague and the parent of a student, Nicole Sherrill.

• Dr. Jeff James, SCS Superintendent. He was nominated by an anonymous colleague.

• Melissa Smith, principal Central Elementary School. She was nominated by school PTO president Steve Cumming.

• Kim Cook, school resource officer at Albemarle Middle School. She was nominated by an anonymous colleague.

• LeaAnn Buckwell, fourth grade teacher at Christ the King Christian Academy. She was nominated by Pamela Hatley, the parent of a student.

• Carla McSwain, history teacher at South Stanly High School. She was nominated by an anonymous student.

• Rebecca Little, curriculum specialist at Endy Elementary School. She was nominated by Principal Karen Nixon.

• Amanda Furr, second grade teacher at Richfield Elementary School. She was nominated by someone who would like to remain anonymous.

• Joseph McKenzie, head custodian at Millingport Elementary School. He was nominated by someone who would like to remain anonymous.

• Lori Greene, kindergarten teacher at Aquadale Elementary School. She was nominated by Brittany Whitley, the parent of a student.

• Karen Nixon, principal at Endy Elementary School. She was nominated by her colleague, Sarah Greene.

• Julie Busch, kindergarten teacher at Central Elementary School. She was nominated by Holly Litaker, the parent of a student.

Last year there were 18 North Carolina teachers and school employees nominated, though none were from Stanly.

The organization’s national selection committee, comprised of past LifeChanger of the Year winners and education professionals, are reviewing the nominees to determine the national winners and honor roll members. The winners (including one grand prize winner, along with a few others) and honor roll members (30 to 35 people) will each receive cash prizes, including donations to their school/district.

For more information, visit https://www.lifechangeroftheyear.com.

 

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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