By Matt Kane
Helix Charter High School architecture and engineering teacher Jennifer Bullock has been nominated for the 2016-17 national LifeChanger of the Year Award.
Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, the national LifeChanger of the Year program recognizes and rewards the very best K-12 public and private school educators and employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.
Bullock was nominated by Gail Young, a member of the community.
Bullock became an educator after attending graduate school for her teaching certificate in Career and Technology Education. When she transitioned to education, she was one of many teachers who opened one of the first STEM academies. She has formed strong relationships with her students by incorporating project-based learning into her instruction. Additionally, she has worked with Texas A&M graduate students to develop a lesson plan book for other educators seeking to build a project-based learning classroom.
“Ms. Bullock puts the students in charge of their own learning,” said Young. “She encourages and lets her students know that being smart and putting your most authentic self forward is what will place you on a fulfilling journey. Due to the fact that she is not at the front of the room lecturing and more of a facilitator, Ms. Bullock is able to talk with her students and get a glimpse of who they are.”
Bullock has particularly enjoyed empowering female students, and it has been fun for her to see more “girl power” in the media.
“So many students put themselves in boxes and don’t venture out because they think they are going to fail,” Bullock said. “But failure is good, it’s how they learn.”
Each school year, the LifeChanger of the Year program receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For 2016-2017, there will be a total of 15 individual LifeChanger of the Year awards. In addition, the “National Spirit Award,” is given to the school and nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. Each winner will receive a cash award that is split between the individual winner and their school. The national Grand Prize award is $10,000. Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The top five winners will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in Naples, Florida. Winners will be announced in Spring 2017.
Winners will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals. Nominees must be school district employees. Award winners are selected based on the following criteria:
- A proven ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students.
- An ability to positively add to the development of the school’s atmosphere.
- Is involved in leadership activities at the school and/or community level.
- A demonstrative record of excellent performance at the professional level.
- A commitment to producing a nurturing atmosphere.
- Adherence to high moral and ethical standards.
For more information, visit lifechangeroftheyearnominees.com/showspirit/. To view Ms. Bullock’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit LifeChangeroftheYear.com.
—Matt Kane is a communications consultant for LifeChanger of the Year.