Literacy Coach Marcy McDowell dresses as the Cat in the Hat to read to students at Eickenroht Elementary School.
HOUSTON – April 3, 2018 – Marcy McDowell’s sunny disposition, can-do attitude and commitment to helping teachers excel at teaching early childhood literacy skills earned her a nomination for the 2017-18 LifeChanger of the Year award. A literacy coach at Eickenroht Elementary School, McDowell joins hundreds of nominees in the national competition, sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, that recognizes and rewards K-12 educators nationwide who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.
McDowell was nominated by her principal, Robbie Green, who says she is a go-getter and a team player who coaches teachers, works on lesson plans with them, models those lessons and then provides them with valuable feedback after watching them teach.
“I love working with the teachers,” McDowell said. “I love the culture of my school. I love how the teachers put the children first and they are really working hard to use what we do in planning to transform our students. When the light bulb goes off for students, I know I’ve done my job.”
Passionate about literacy, she believes that early childhood literacy skills are the foundation for success and higher level thinking. “Literacy goes across all curriculums, so before we can really get into the math, science and social studies, they have to be able to read,” McDowell said.
Green said McDowell is willing to do whatever it takes to make learning fun for her students, including dressing up as a book character and handing out prizes for reaching their reading goals. “Marcy puts the sun in sunshine,” Green said. “She creates such a positive environment throughout our school and district.”
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 2017-18 school year.
- One 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.
- One 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.
- One Spotlight Award Winner – This award is given to a nominee in a specific discipline each year. For 2017-18, 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 Elementary School.
The 17 LifeChanger of the Year national award winners are being announced during surprise award ceremonies held at their schools over the next several weeks. 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 McDowell’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile, and learn more about the recognition program, visit www.LifeChangeroftheYear.com.