We are proud to introduce the K-12 educators and school employees who have been selected as 2017-18 LifeChanger of the Year national award winners. These individuals have been chosen by our selection committee from more than 800 nominees nationwide.
Grand Prize Winner
Thompson High School
Growing up, Brian Copes struggled with school until a technology teacher changed his perspective. This experience played a role in influencing his teaching style. As an educator, he has found success incorporating both project-based learning and service learning into his instruction.
“We’ve built a hydroelectric power plant that we’ve taken to Honduras to generate electricity for a rural medical clinic. We’ve also built prosthetic legs out of Toyota Corolla motor mounts that have outfitted 14 amputees in Honduras,” Brian explained. “One of the amputees had been contemplating suicide, and the leg my students provided him gave him hope. That’s what I love about these projects – they open students’ eyes and instill a passion for helping others.”
As this year's Grand Prize Winner, Brian received $10,000 to be shared between a $5,000 individual award and a $5,000 donation to Thompson High School.
Grand Prize Finalists
These educators have received $5,000 to be shared between a $2,500 individual award and a $2,500 donation to their school or district. Additionally, they attended our National Awards Ceremony in Bermuda on May 17th, 2018.
LifeChanger Award Winners
These ten educators have received $3,000 to be shared between a $1,500 individual award and a $1,500 donation to their school or district.
This year's LifeChanger Spirit Award was given to David Collins in Gallatin, TN, for the incredible support he received from his community! He was given $5,000 to be shared between a $2,500 individual award and a $2,500 donation to his school.
The inaugural Spotlight Award was given to Debra Santiago in Orlando, FL for her exemplary work as a school secretary and bookkeeper. She received $5,000 to be shared between a $2,500 individual award and a $2,500 donation to her school.