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Grand Prairie ISD Educator Nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award

Grand Prairie ISD Educator Nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award

 September 10, 2018 – Grand Prairie, TX. – Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Arnold math teacher Navonia Thomas has been nominated for the 2018-2019 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

Thomas was nominated by her former high school student and 2017-18 LifeChanger of the Year nominee Lisa Forney.Forney is a career educator that is now serving her 27th year in public school education. She had Ms. Thomas for algebra in high school and describes her as a "true LifeChanger."

"Math has always been a thorn in my side, but Ms. Thomas took a great deal of time with me in high school to ensure I understood the material and felt confident in her class," said Forney. "She took me under her wing of care, and I am forever grateful."

Ms. Thomas goes the extra mile for every student she has the pleasure to teach. Forney states that she's the type of teacher she wish she had for her own child.

"She was not only my teacher - she was my mother away from home, my mentor, and my friend," said Forney. "We have kept in touch for over 30 years now.  She has supported every effort of mine as an educator, as a mother and as a wife."

This year, Ms. Thomas will serve her last year in education before retiring. For 44 years, she has been a champion for children. Her love and support of Forney has extended to Forney's own child.

"At every juncture, she takes the time to support the community efforts of my child...the same way she did for me when I was in her class so many years ago," said Forney. "She continues to serve as a math teacher, where she makes a difference in the lives of her students as she made a difference in my life."

Forney was a first-generation college graduate. As a high school graduation gift, Ms. Thomas and her husband, Dennis, gave Forney a brand new bike to ride around campus during her undergraduate years.

"I will never forget her kindness and sincere love for me as her student," Forney concluded. "She is a lifesaver for me and so many students who she has served over her lifetime of a career. She is a true LifeChanger."

About LifeChanger of the Year

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.

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 2018-2019 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 2018-19, the Spotlight Award will be given to a nominee who works in a counseling role (e.g, guidance counselor, social worker). The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school or district.

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 April 2019 in Hawaii, 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 Ms. Thomas’ LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit www.LifeChangeroftheYear.com.