St. Regis Schools employee nominated for LifeChanger of the Year

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St. Regis Schools food services manager Dawn Palmer has been nominated for the 2018-19 national LifeChanger of the Year Award. (Photo courtesy of St. Regis School)

St. Regis Schools food services manager Dawn Palmer has been nominated for the 2018-2019 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

Palmer was nominated by her superintendent, Joe Steele, for going above and beyond her official duties to serve students and the community. In her current role, Palmer has been recognized for providing nutritious meals for all students, ensuring no child goes hungry. Her work has become a model for other districts, and she recently discussed her philosophy and program with a nearby school district.

Palmer stands out because of her ability to make connections with struggling students. These relationships have helped the most troubled students, who often have difficult family situations, find a confidant and friend they can count on for a listening ear and advice.

Palmer shows students who aren’t behaving appropriately how to manage their frustrations, anger, or attitude. In doing so, she always lets the students know that she cares for them and believes in their potential. Her forthright and loving nature allows her to build strong relationships that have changed the lives of the most vulnerable students.

“In short, Dawn is the Team Mom for the school district. Her tireless energy, positive attitude, and dedication to the school district is what makes her a LifeChanger,” said Steele.

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 2018-19 school year.

The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 to be shared with their school/district. Four grand prize finalists will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district. Ten LifeChanger Award winners will receive $3,000 to be shared with their school/district.

There is one Spirit Award 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. There is also one Spotlight Award winner, who 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; and Adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards.

More information about Palmer and the LifeChanger of the Year award can be found online at

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