National Life has been busy partnering with our field to surprise our top five finalists for our K-12 educator recognition program, LifeChanger of the Year.
All five finalists have won at least $5,000 to split with their schools and are in the running for the $10,000 grand prize. And if that isn’t enough, all five and a guest will travel to Kauai in May to attend Conference of Champions and learn who the grand prize winner is.
This past week we surprised our last LifeChanger finalist, Lori Kwee, at Ala Wai Elementary, Honolulu, HI. Lori has been teaching for more than three decades and is being honored for her ability to break the mold on traditional curriculum and teach her fourth graders to be free thinkers, choosing their own curriculum. Her approach has been wildly successful, boosting overall engagement, test scores, and enhancing classroom culture. Nominated by her principal, Lori was also celebrated by Premier Financial Alliance representative, Tru Tran and First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige
In Cherry Creek Schools, CO, Jennifer Lemoine was also celebrated as a top five finalist. Jennifer is a Gifted and Talented Specialist whose mission is to make sure every student is cared for and loved. She has the tattoo “Unless” written on her wrist. It is her reminder from Dr. Seuss that ‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s just not.’ This is what she lives by. Appreciation representative John Becker was on site to celebrate Jennifer.
Tarence Wheeler, Director of Corporate and Community Affairs, River Rouge, MI was also announced as a finalist. Tarence is a strong advocate for the students and families in the River Rouge community, implementing critical social programs to better local lives. GLP Associates Norlena Brown and Tom Willms helped make the announcement at a basketball game.
On the East Coast, head custodian Samuel King in Palm Beach Schools was surprised by ValuTeachers agent Keren Taccone at his retirement celebration. Samuel is a beloved champion at Belle Glades Elementary, advocating for both students and staff. He’s even known for boosting employee culture by cooking hot meals once a month for the staff so they can come together and form positive relationships, boosting morale.
A little further North, Keishia Thorpe, a twelfth grade teacher and track and field coach at an English learning high school also learned she was in the running for the grand prize. Keishia’s mission is to support the English learning immigrant population and she does so through two foundations she started. ValuTeacher’s representative, Rosette Barner-Wiley helped deliver the news.
Congratulations to our top five finalists and thank you to our field partners who helped recognize and celebrate these outstanding educators!