UNION COUNTY — Two local educators have been nominated for an award that honors teachers and school personnel who make a difference in the lives of the students at their schools.
An announcement release Wednesday states that “Mitchell Moss of Sims Middle School and Rhonda Hollingsworth of Foster Park Elementary School have been nominated for the 2017-2018 national LifeChanger of the Year award.”
The press release states that “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.”
Moss, a seventh grade social studies teacher, was nominated by his principal, Eric Childers. The press release states Moss was recognized for making a lasting impression on his students.
“Mr. Moss is our school climate control. By that, I mean that his upbeat attitude, positive outlook, and willingness to go above and beyond has a powerful impact on the rest of my staff,” said Childers. “He is a leader through his actions, and people naturally follow him because they know he will be there beside them doing as much or more work than anyone else.”
Moss also serves as Sims Middle School’s athletic director and head football coach.
“I love having him in this position because of the opportunity he has to be a positive influence on young men,” Childers said. “He is a wonderful employee, a fantastic teacher, and an even better man.”
Hollingsworth, a reading coach, was nominated by her principal, Mickey Connolly. The press release states that throughout her career, Moss has taught in a way that engages her students and enthusiastically nurtures them according to their individual needs. It states she spends countless hours planning, researching, analyzing data, preparing lessons, meeting with colleagues and working diligently to ensure everyone in the classroom is learning at the pace that is best for them.
The press release states that Hollingsworth’s commitment to young people spills over into her personal life, where she holds herself to the highest principles of integrity and selflessness. It states she is devoted to her family, including a child she informally adopted when he was an infant after his mother’s death.
“Mrs. Hollingsworth differentiates her instruction to help others grow, regardless if she is helping a student, teacher, or friend,” Connolly said. “The success of her former and current students inside the classroom and beyond shows how she instills her love of learning in them.”
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 view Mr. Moss and Mrs. Hollingsworth’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profiles, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit www.LifeChangeroftheYear.com.
Mitchell Moss has been nominated the 2017-2018 national LifeChanger of the Year award. The award recognizes teachers and other school staff who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. Moss, who has been a teacher for 11 years, has spent his entire teaching career at Sims. He teaches 7th grade Social Studies and also coaches the school’s 7th/8th grade football teams and serves as Sims’ athletic director. He is pictured here with his wife, Destiny, and their daughter, Layla.