Tamara Kuriger of Guthrie High School and Tonya Stansbury of Cotteral Elementary School have been nominated for the 2018-2019 national LifeChanger of the Year award.
Kuriger, a special education teacher, was nominated by her colleague, Emily Savory. She was recognized as a LifeChanger in her community for making lessons interesting and relatable for her students. She meets students where they are in their learning and brings them up from there.
“Tamara is the most adaptable, fun-loving, hard-working teacher,” said Savory. “One of her best qualities as a LifeChanger is her ability to take a student’s previous knowledge and allow their abilities to flourish and bloom into a new concept of learning. She is a wonderful teacher, friend, and colleague.”
Stansbury, a kindergarten teacher, was nominated by her sister, Trinity Perrin. She was recognized as a LifeChanger because of her efforts to reach students who she knows need help. A few years ago, she had a student who was taken out of their family and put in the care of DHS. She stepped up and was a foster parent for the student and her brother for over a year. She was concerned they had nowhere to go, and she did not want them to be separated and undergo more trauma.
“Tonya opened her home and her heart to those kids, and I think that it helped them greatly,” said Perrin. “She is one of the best teachers, the best daughter, and the best sister that I know. She is constantly going above and beyond for students.”
Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The grand prize finalists will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in April 2019 in Hawaii, where the Grand Prize Winner will be revealed.
Winners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals. Nominees must be K-12 teachers or school district employees.