Jennifer Stanley

Position: Assistant Principal, Sixth Grade

School: Carter Middle School

School District: Knox County Schools

City, State: Strawberry Plains, Tennessee

About the Nominee: Jennifer Stanley was nominated by a colleague, Greg Green. This story begins when Mr. Green worked as a 5th grade teacher at an elementary school in the same county as Ms. Stanley. As an educator, Mr. Green was doing a fine job. He was on his school's leadership team, helped develop a new positive behavior plan to be implemented at the school, earned high accolades from both parents and students alike and was well-respected by his wonderful peers, whom he thought of as family.

That summer, Mr. Green faced challenges when the principal of his school was reassigned to another one. As a result, he was transferred to Carter Middle, where Ms. Stanley works. He spent his last day moving his possessions out of his school amid hugs and sad farewells from his colleagues.

As he was taking his belongings to his home, Mr. Green pondered. He thought about how many students he had helped. He thought about the many wonderful colleagues and their wonderful friendships that had formed. He thought about his family, who relies on him to not only support them monetarily, but emotionally.

Mr. Green was terrified about starting at a new school. Thankfully, logic soon kicked in and he returned to unloading his belongings. About a week later, he went to meet the administrative staff at Carter Middle. He spent a good deal of time with his new grade-level administrator, Ms. Stanley.

Any negative thoughts Mr. Green may have had were allayed when he was told that the past was over and a new future was just beginning. Ms. Stanley, by virtue of accepting him for who and what he was, helped allay his pent-up fears.

To shore up his confidence, Mr. Green was awarded Teacher of the Month shortly after school started. Ms. Stanley was squarely behind this accolade. Mr. Green thought it was a mistake, but Ms. Stanley matter-of-factually stated that he deserved it. Case closed. Upon leaving that afternoon, he saw her enroute to his car and asked if he could give her a hug as a means to thank her. She agreed without trepidation. This small token of humanity made Mr. Green realize that he was truly wanted in his new location.

As he starts his second year at Carter Middle, Mr. Green feels that he is in the right place because of working with Ms. Stanley. The healing process of what happened to him the year before he met Ms. Stanley isn't complete, but Mr. Green states that it's headed in the right direction because he knows that he can trust his administrator. Ms. Stanley is not merely a LifeChanger; she is a life saver!

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