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Educator nominated for national LifeChanger of the Year award


Kelly Workman, an eighth grade special education teacher at Cedar Springs Middle School, has been nominated for the 2017-2018 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

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

Workman was nominated by an anonymous colleague. She is constantly finding new ways to connect with her special education students and understand what services they require.

“I have seen students meet with her during lunch time to give additional support,” the nominator said. “She stays after school with students so that parents can adjust their schedules to fit their child’s needs. There is no stop in her drive for student success.”

Mrs. Workman and the nominator are continuously bouncing ideas off of each other to make sure that their lessons are structured, reteaching is practiced, and deeper questions are asked.

“Professionally, I appreciate how we work together to adjust or modify assignments, projects or assessments to make sure all students understand what is being taught,” the nominator said. “Many times, I have made lesson changes from one period to the next because something didn’t work out the way we expected.”

Additionally, Mrs. Workman is such a positive person, always playing motivational music in her classroom. On a daily basis, she puts up new positive messages across the halls, to motivate all students to be successful.

“I constantly hear her singing songs aloud while walking through the halls,” the nominator said.

Middle School principal Sue Spahr also had kind words for Kelly on her nomination. “Kelly works like an energizer bunny, never running out of positive energy! She lifts up staff and students as she works to provide the best support for students that is possible. Thank you, Kelly!” 

Each school year, LifeChanger of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Seventeen individual LifeChanger of the Year awards will be given during the 2017-2018 school year.

(1) Grand Prize Winner – will receive $10,000 to be shared with their school/district.

(4) Grand Prize Finalists – will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district.

(10) LifeChanger Award Winners – will receive $3,000 to be shared with their school/district.

(1) Spirit Award Winner – This award is given to the nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district.

(1) Spotlight Award Winner – This award is given to a nominee in a specific discipline each year. For 2017-2018, the award was given to Debra Santiago, who works as a secretary and bookkeeper in Orlando, FL. She received $5,000 to share with her school, Timber Lakes Elementary School.

Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The grand prize finalists will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in spring 2018 in Bermuda, where the Grand Prize Winner will be revealed.

Winners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals. Nominees must be K-12 teachers or school district employees. To be considered for an award, nominees must:

• Make a positive impact in the lives of students

• Enhance their school or district’s atmosphere, culture and pride

• Demonstrate exemplary leadership at the school and/or district level

• Possess a proven record of professional excellence

• Show commitment to building a nurturing environment that supports learning

• Adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards

A resource page with ideas for how to celebrate nominees can be found at http://lifechangeroftheyear.com/showspirit/. To see Kelly’s nomination page, visit lifechangeroftheyear.com and search for her name.

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