Position: Third Grade Teacher
School: Bayou View Elementary School
School District: Gulfport School District
City, State: Gulfport, Mississippi
About the Nominee: Mandy Gunter makes strides to improve the lives of elementary students every day at school. On weekends, she designs valuable instructional lessons that boost students' learning, not only in terms of academics, but in terms of learning about how education makes a difference in their lives. Her positive presence motivates veteran teachers at her school and inspires new and novice teachers as well. Her professional reputation as an educator is well-known in her district and community; she has been selected by her colleagues and administrators as Teacher of the Year several times. This is a highly-coveted award that must be earned. She is encouraging to her students and colleagues, and she is a true teacher leader who aims to positively change the lives of students. She accomplishes this endeavor every day in her classroom. Her students demonstrate pride when they learn a skill they can carry forward in their lives forever.
Mrs. Gunter never settles and will not let her students settle for less than excellence. She pushes, nudges and bolsters students towards success. She is a committed teacher who lovingly provides all of the elements that further students' growth. Because she has high expectations of herself, she is a superb model for others. Mrs. Gunter is talented, focused, cheerful and extremely humble. She displays all of the characteristics that anyone, especially students, would want in a teacher. She tutors students to help them achieve their goals and treats them as if they are her own children. Without a doubt, Mrs. Gunter is a LifeChanger. She has literally changed many students' lives this year and during the many years of her tenure.