Brittney Rinehart isn’t just a teacher. She’s a life changer. That fact may translate into a cash prize next spring.
The Gardner Elementary School third grade teacher recently learned she’d been nominated as a 2013-2014 Life Changer of the Year.
The annual nationwide award recognizes K-12 teachers and staff for making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.
Rinehart was nominated because she “is creative, caring and makes a true difference for her students at Gardner Elementary,” according to her nominee profile on www.lifechanger.com.
A selection committee will name 10 winners this spring. The nominees will be judged on their proven ability to positively add to the development of the school atmosphere, leadership in activities at the school, a proven record of excellent performance and a commitment to produce a nurturing environment.
Rinhart’s teaching-style, her nomination reads, keeps the attention of even the most-distracted students. The third grade teacher occasionally provides snacks for the whole class and rewards students with pizza for never missing homework assignments.
“She is also teaching children how to be genuinely kind people of good character,” it reads. “And that is the kind of thing that will really change lives.”
The National LifeChanger of the Year will $10,000 — $5,000 for the individual and $5,000 for the school. First and second runners up receive between $5,000 and $7,000 to be divided between the school and the individual winner. Seven others will receive $3,000 to be split between the school and the winner.
Rinehart’s nomination will go up against educators and school employees from around the country. Three nominees are from Kansas, including English teacher Sommer Taylor from Olathe Northwest High School, and Courtney Rudd, a world history teacher at Wichita South High School.
Last year’s winner was selected from more than 400 nominees. Charles Clark, a custodian at Trinity High School in Euless, Texas was selected winner of the National LifeChanger of the Year Award.