North Carolina

Barbara Plum

Position: Social Worker

School: Weldon High School

School District: Weldon City Schools

City, State: Weldon, North Carolina

About the Nominee: Barbara Plum changes the lives of students by giving them a fighting chance to stay in school and become a productive citizen. When the students and their families are hungry, she provides food for them. When they need clothes and shelter, she provides them with the items of clothing they need and will find a place for them to stay. She is dedicated to Weldon City Schools and the community of Halifax County. Mrs. Plum started a food pantry for her school and community. She is assigned families from DSS who are in need of food. She reaches out to businesses to obtain support to help students succeed. When Mrs. Plum get a call in the night from a student that need help, she does not hesitate to get out of her bed to go help that student. Mrs. Plum is a native of Weldon. When she graduated from college, she came back to give back to her community. She is fighting for every student in her community, one student at a time. She provides backpacks filled with food for students on the weekends because she knows some students won't get a meal over the weekend. Mrs. Plum always says that a student can not learn if they are hungry.

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Reuben Ledbetter

Position: CTE - Agriculture Teacher

School: E.T. Beddingfield High School

School District: Wilson County Schools

City, State: Wilson, North Carolina

About the Nominee: Reuben Ledbetter was nominated by a colleague, Jennifer Polner. What is there to say about Mr. Ledbetter? Well, to start, his entire school would agree that he is awesome! He has built Beddingfield High's animal science program from the ground up. He is a person who will help whenever he is needed and goes over and beyond. Mr. Ledbetter not only works as a teacher, but as an advisor for FFA (Future Farmers of America). He teaches students about the value of agriculture and its impact on our culture and society. Students absolutely love him, his style of teaching and his strong work ethic.

In addition to his accolades in the classroom and being a former Beddingfield High School Teacher of the Year, Mr. Ledbetter is a member of the PBIS team. He encourages positive behavior throughout the school.

He is an incredibly hard worker who gives 110% in everything he does!

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Betsy Sullivan

Position: Exceptional Children's Teacher

School: Beddingfield High School

School District: Wilson County Schools

City, State: Wilson, North Carolina

About the Nominee: Betsy Sullivan has been a LifeChanger for over 30 years. She has both officially and unofficially mentored several teachers in the exceptional children's department as well as teachers outside of the department. For several years, she has been the department chair for the school, helping guide teachers and administrators on exceptional children. On most days, she gives up her planning period to help fellow EC teachers with IEP related issues, such as reading tests to students, helping students with class work that they don't understand or keeping students that are upset with a teacher calm and out of trouble. She also conducts IEP meetings and meets with administrators over students with discipline issues. Most days after school, you can find Mrs. Sullivan meeting with teachers and administrators, working on IEPs, grading papers and doing anything else that might need to get done to ensure her students are getting the best education they can. Teaching three classes every day is not the only thing that makes Mrs. Sullivan a LifeChanger. She also teaches study skills classes, which involves teaching each student the best ways to be successful in their other three classes. While teaching, she can frequently be found reading tests to students, supervising students that need a separate space to take tests and taking calls from parents that have questions.

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Kimberly Fearrington

Position: Kindergarten Teacher

School: Northside Elementary School

School District: Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

City, State: Chapel Hill , North Carolina

About the Nominee: Kimberly Fearrington is a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She graduated from North Carolina Central University. A few years ago, Ms. Fearrington was voted Teacher of the Year by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System. As a kindergarten teacher at Northside Elementary, she has the opportunity to mold the education that every student deserves. Ms. Fearrington has devoted her life to helping educate all students, not only in her classroom, but in the community. You can often find her working at community events, tutoring students in the community or donating her time and personal funds to help a child in need. Ms. Fearrington has always been known for helping students in any way she can. She is a beautiful, kind and honest person. She is a LifeChanger because of her continued dedication to educating students. Northside Elementary and the Chapel Hill Carrboro School System is very lucky to have such a committed educator who continually gives 100% to the students, staff and community.

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Dr. Kelly Burgess

Position: Assistant Superintendent

School: Kannapolis City Schools

School District: Kannapolis City Schools

City, State: Kannapolis, North Carolina

About the Nominee: Dr. Kelly Burgess was nominated by a colleague, Wanda Davis. Dr. Burgess puts what's best for her students and staff at the top of her priority list. She has demonstrated a heart for education, both as a teacher and as Assistant Superintendent. She worked in her district's testing department for several years and moved their system in the right direction for improvement. Dr. Burgess is an awesome educator!

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