Alabama Teacher Wins National Award With Help From ‘Small Town With Big Spirit’

Dana Ford, from Horseshoe Bend School in New Site, Alabama, named National Life Group’s first-ever LifeChanger of the Year National Spirit Award Winner.

Montpelier, Vermont, May 3, 2016 – National Life Group announced today that Dana Ford, second grade teacher at the Horseshoe Bend School, in New Site, Alabama, has been named the 2015-16 LifeChanger of the Year National Spirit Award Winner. Ford was selected for the prize out of more than 600 teachers, administrators and school district employees from 365 school districts across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

LifeChanger of the Year is an annual program, started in 2011, that recognizes and rewards outstanding K-12 educators and school district employees who have demonstrated a proven ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students. This year, in addition to naming 15 LifeChanger prize winners, National Life Group added the National Spirit Award to recognize a nominee whose school community showed exceptional support for their nomination.

“Recognition of every nominee is an important part of the LifeChanger program. So, it’s really fun for us to see the creative and enthusiastic ways in which schools celebrate their nominees and rally community wide support,” said Mallorie Manosh, Program Director for LifeChanger of the Year. “We added the Spirit Award category this year to encourage and reward that extra special effort and, without a doubt, Horseshoe Bend School certainly showed their school spirit for Mrs. Dana Ford. We’re thrilled to honor her with this award.” DanaFord

Ford, who was nominated as a LifeChanger of the Year by colleague Casey Davis, received an impressive level of support and recognition from the Horseshoe Bend School community. The regional K-12 school with a student population of only 785 students showed its support for Ford’s nomination in a variety of ways:

  • A local newspaper, Alexander City Outlook published an article highlighting Ford’s nomination
  • Ford’s nominee profile was shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook and received 3,000+ views
  • There were numerous social media posts across Facebook and Instagram
  • A congratulatory announcement was posted on the public message board sign outside of Horseshoe Bend School
  • Students made a bulletin board for the holidays celebrating her nomination

Another factor in Ford receiving the award was the quality and volume of comments on her nominee profile.  She received the second highest number of comments for this year’s campaign. One parent wrote, “Mrs. Ford has touched both of my kids’ lives. She inspired them to listen, learn, and take it all in. After having her as a teacher, I have heard both of my children say they wanted to be a teacher just like Mrs. Ford. My daughter plays school and often imitates her. Mrs. Ford will do anything to help her students. She is a very caring and wonderful lady.”

As the 2015-2016 Spirit Award winner, Ford will receive a $5000 prize which is awarded as a $2,500 personal cash prize and a $2,500 donation to Horseshoe Bend School.

View Mrs. Dana Ford’s profile.

View all of this year’s winners and nominees.