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GISD teacher nominated as LifeChanger of the Year 


John W. Armstrong Elementary School third grade teacher Mitzi Howard has been nominated for the 2016-17 national LifeChanger of the Year Award.

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

Howard was nominated by a member of the community who wishes to remain anonymous. She helps and assists co-workers, friends and families in the community by encouraging their educational pursuits, as well as helping with the school garden. She has many additional accomplishments, including curriculum writing with the district and running a STEM challenge with students

“Ms. Howard works unrelentingly to make sure her students are given every opportunity to succeed in the classroom,” said her nominator. “She challenges her students to read, write and practice life skills at school, as well as in their home lives. Ms. Howard has created a connection for her love of sports, science and everyday living to education. She is a hidden gem and a LifeChanger because of her hard work and dedication.”

Each school year, the LifeChanger of the Year program receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For 2016-2017, there will be a total of 15 individual LifeChanger of the Year awards. In addition, a 16th prize, the “National Spirit Award,” is given to the school and nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. Each winner will receive a cash award that is split between the individual winner and their school. The national grand prize award is $10,000. Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The top five winners will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in Naples, Florida. Winners will be announced in spring 2017.

Winners will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals. Nominees must be school district employees. Award winners are selected based on the following criteria:

A proven ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students

An ability to positively add to the development of the school’s atmosphere

Is involved in leadership activities at the school and/or community level

A demonstrative record of excellent performance at the professional level

A commitment to producing a nurturing atmosphere

Adherence to high moral and ethical standards

A resource page with ideas for how to celebrate nominees can be found at

To view Ms. Howard’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile or to nominate someone, visit