A Sussex Central High School science teacher has been nominated for the 2017-2018 national LifeChanger of the Year award, which recognizes and rewards the best K through 12 educators and school district employees across the country who make a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. Kristen Ables was nominated by a family member. She’s been the science department chair since 2002. Ables is also prom coordinator and helped a student with financial troubles to attend her senior prom – and helped others as well after enlisting beauty academy students to help with make and hair at no charge. And Ables has been the student council advisor since 2015.
Sussex Central High School chemistry and physics teacher Kristen Ables has been nominated for the 2017-2018 national LifeChanger of the Year award.
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.
Ables was nominated by a family member, Joan DeMilio. She has served as science department chair since 2002 and organizes every aspect of the science department. This includes ordering all supplies for the department and running the department meetings. Her position of prom coordinator has also enabled her to be personally involved with students’ lives.
In 2015, she had a student who wanted to go to her senior prom, but was struggling with financial troubles. Ables asked a former student for any gowns to lend to this student in need. She also enlisted students from the beauty academy to come in and help other students with makeup and hair, free of charge. She bought the student a wrist corsage to match her dress. With Ms. Ables' help, this student had a great senior prom.
Ables has been a student council advisor since 2015 and advises the executive board of student council in events throughout the school year, including homecoming festivities, a community food drive and the Giving Tree. Last year, Ables joined forces with a special education teacher from a special needs school in the district. She partnered regular education students with special education students. Together, they participated in a bowl-a-thon at the local bowling alley. The experience was both fulfilling and humbling for everyone.
“She loves her job and working daily with her students,” said DeMilio. “She always says that every day is different, exciting, and rewarding. As a young girl, she always wanted to be a teacher like her grandmother. To see her fulfill her dreams and being so wonderful at her job is truly an inspiration.”
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 2017-2018 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 2017-2018, the award was given to Debra Santiago, who works as a secretary and bookkeeper in Orlando, FL. She received $5,000 to share with her school, Timber Lakes
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 spring 2018 in Bermuda, 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
To view Ms. Ables’ LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit www.LifeChangeroftheYear.com.