Georgia

Jeremy Shain

Position: Counselor

School: Bay Springs Middle School

School District: Carroll County School District

City, State: Villa Rica, Georgia

About the Nominee: Jeremy Shain was nominated by his principal, Marti Stephens. Mr. Shain has changed the lives of countless people. Many years ago, he adopted four boys from the foster care system. There are two sets of brothers, who had been separated and told they would not see each other again. Now, they are in a forever family. One is in college, two are in high school, and one is in middle school. All of them are thriving! They are successful academically, and all of them are involved in school, community and volunteer activities. Mr. Shain has taught the boys about giving back. They have seen first hand how letting someone know you care can change a life. He has, and still does, help the boys work through any issues or problems with love and patience.

Mr. Shain works in a low socio-economic school with about 800 students. Besides his counseling duties, he started a food pantry for students/families in-need. If they do not have transportation, he delivers food boxes. He started a clothes closet to ensure that students have jackets, appropriate clothing and shoes. He has holiday lists, and he makes sure each family in the community has Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Dinner and gifts for every child. Mr. Shain continuously goes above and beyond to better the lives of students and families in the community. He also lives with diabetes, and has helped five diabetic students and their families with testing and supplies, and by monitoring these students multiple times throughout the day. This has helped the students feel more "normal"; they've seen in Mr. Shain that diabetes is no reason not to have a full life.

Mr. Shain speaks at multiple community events to promote awareness of the needs of children in foster care. He speaks each semester to college students in the Counseling Program. He is also a Region One Liaison for the GA School Counselor Association and a trainer for the adolescent suicide prevention program. Most importantly, he is one of the most humble and sincere people one could ever meet. There is not a selfish bone in his body. He lives a life of complete service, and he changes lives just by being the person he is. He restores your faith and makes you want to be a better person. Mr. Shain is a true LifeChanger!

[nominee_videos nominee_email="jeremy.shain@carrollcountyschools.com"]

Nikhol Dysart

Position: Agriculture Teacher

School: Central High School

School District: Carroll County School District

City, State: Carrollton, Georgia

About the Nominee: Nikhol Dysart is a wonderful teacher and LifeChanger in Carrollton, GA. Her students enjoy her teaching style and school involvement with various FFA CDEs and activities. She takes time out of her busy schedule to not only talk to and support her students, but provide them with every opportunity to succeed. She and her husband are also involved in the school livestock showing team and the Carroll County Young Farmer's Association. They help out every year with the Association's Winter Livestock Show. She is a great role model to her students, who continue to keep in contact with her even after graduation to inform her of their successes and ask for advice. Mrs. Dysart inspires her students every day to be learn more, ask questions and to be involved in their community!

[nominee_videos nominee_email="negarbac@ncsu.edu"]

Stephen Kane

Position: History Teacher

School: Towers High School

School District: Dekalb County Public Schools

City, State: Decatur, Georgia

About the Nominee: Stephen Kane was nominated by a former student, Valencia Johnson. They have known each other for the past five years. Mr. Kane is an icon of guidance and leadership for students at Towers High School. In the time that he and Valencia have known each other, he has truly inspired her to never give up and has shown her that anything is possible. She is currently a senior in college. Although she graduated from Towers over three years ago, Mr. Kane still goes out of his way to write letters of recommendation for her for scholarship opportunities. He still keeps in touch with Valencia and is a source of inspiration and encouragement to her.

When Valencia first entered Mr. Kane’s history class, she looked forward to learning something new. He immediately stood out because his enthusiasm and love of teaching was evident from the beginning. Mr. Kane does not treat his class as a time to lecture his students, but as a time for interaction and discussion. He has the amazing ability to connect with all of his students, no matter what their level of knowledge is. He also focuses on the “big picture” rather than just facts from the textbook. As a student, Valencia was always engaged and was able to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for history. His focus was never on rote memorization, but rather to encourage his students to ask questions in order to develop their critical thinking skills. Mr. Kane has a knack for making even the most complicated ideas tangible and understandable to all of his students. He recognizes that not everyone learns the same way, and he makes an effort to accommodate everyone, whether they are a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner.

Valencia has fond memories of Mr. Kane’s class, and she still finds herself telling family and friends about the interesting things she learned there. From her experience in Mr. Kane’s class, she developed a deep appreciation for learning. His natural compassion is evident through his intense dedication to his students’ learning and achievement. Mr. Kane is more than just a teacher; he is a mentor, a motivator and a friend. These intrinsic qualities are the reasons why he is a LifeChanger in his community!

[nominee_videos nominee_email="stepkane@gmail.com"]

Essie Renee Davis

Position: Assistant Superintendent, Student Services

School: Douglas County School System

School District: Douglas County School System

City, State: Douglasville, Georgia

About the Nominee: Essie Renee Davis was nominated by a colleague, Angela Thomas. Ms. Davis is a great role model for the Douglas County School System (DCSS) and Douglas County. She was born and raised in Douglas County by her parents, and she attended Douglas County schools and local colleges. This alone does not set her apart, however. Ms. Davis has served as an elementary teacher, assistant principal, principal, director and executive director. In her current role as assistant superintendent, she has gone over and above the call of duty by continuing to serve on several committees. For example, she helps out with Cultural Arts community events such as the Chili Cookoff to help raise funds. She also spearheads the Operation Christmas Committee, which identifies students that the committee can help to enjoy the holiday season with their families by donating food, clothing and gifts. Ms. Davis helps to distribute these items on the weekends, as well. Additionally, she is in charge of the Diversity Team for DCSS. This entails bringing employees and community members together at the table for open, candid discussions and community and school programs to help bridge the gap between cultural differences in DCSS and surrounding communities. Ms. Davis has attended school events to speak with students and staff about her life's victories and challenges growing up in Douglas County when segregation was prevalent. Her day-to-day duties include directing and managing student registration, hospital/homebound, school safety, school nurses, Title I, the Office of Civil Rights Data Collection, community and schools, student enrollment data, social workers, homeless liaison and student transfer requests. The students, staff and community are proud to have Ms. Davis as a role model. One can witness the dedication and perseverance she has demonstrated by not only talking the talk, but walking the walk over the last 30+ years for DCSS and its communities.

[nominee_videos nominee_email="renee.davis@douglas.k12.ga.us"]

Beth Chandler

Position: Principal

School: Glanton Hindsman Elementary

School District: Carroll County School District

City, State: Villa Rica, Georgia

About the Nominee: Beth Chandler serves as the principal of Glanton-Hindsman Elementary School (GHE). She began her career in education in 1992 as a special education teacher at Mt. Zion Elementary and Mt. Zion High School. She continued teaching special education for ten years. As a result, she learned that all students can and will achieve their goals in their own time and way. In order to extend her work beyond the classroom, she served as the special education facilitator of Carroll County Schools for 1 ½ years. As facilitator, she worked with new special education teachers and with teachers who were struggling to meet the needs of special education students. Her enthusiasm to help teachers, along with her leadership skills, helped her transition to becoming assistant principal at several schools. In December 2012, she became the principal of GHE. At GHE, Mrs. Chandler is a dedicated leader! She spends countless hours working to ensure that GHE is a premier school. She's usually the first one to arrive at the school and the last one to leave. Her time spent away from her own family is devoted to her school. Each year, she uses innovative, fun, rewarding practices to motivate students and staff members. Her mission is to ensure that every teacher and student is successful, both inside and outside of the classroom. This mission extends to the Villa Rica community. Her motto is, "We are all Family."

She proudly supports and represents purple and gold!

Mrs. Chandler changes the lives of students every day! She is a LifeChanger!

[nominee_videos nominee_email="beth.chandler@carrollcountyschools.com"]