Ernesto Serna Principal, Butler Counselor Nominated for LifeChanger of the Year Award

Ernesto Serna School principal Alejandro Olvera and James P. Butler Elementary School counselor Jennifer Madrid from the Socorro Independent School District were nominated for the 2017-2018 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, LifeChanger of the Year recognizes and rewards the very best K-12 educators and school district employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.

Olvera was nominated by a colleague who wishes to remain anonymous. He was credited with helping to turn around the Ernesto Serna School by bringing a positive energy and spirit to campus. As a result, students enjoy going to school and are more optimistic about the importance of their educations.

“Mr. Olvera is a humble individual who will never take credit for the difference he has made on campus,” the nominator said. “He has high expectations, not only of the teachers, but of the students as well. He is committed to making Ernesto Serna a better school for everyone who steps foot inside.”

Madrid was nominated by her colleague, Rosie Rodriguez who said she is a true advocate for students and provides them with support for career readiness as well as social and emotional needs. Rodriguez also said Madrid is constantly attending trainings and conferences to stay current on ways to help her students and provide support to all district counselors, diagnosticians, teachers, parents and colleagues.

“Ms. Madrid is the type of person who goes above and beyond for all students,” Rodriguez said. “Her true vision and actions revolve around what is best for students, and her great, upbeat attitude creates a positive climate at our school. Her innovative ideas to increase kindness and positivity at school have made a huge impact on how our students feel about themselves, our school and each other.

To view Mr. Olvera’s and Ms. Madrid’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit the LifeChanger of the Year website.

Each school year, LifeChanger of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Seventeen individual LifeChanger of the Year awards will be given during the 2017-2018 school year.

  • (1) Grand Prize Winner – will receive $10,000 to be shared with their school/district.
  • (4) Grand Prize Finalists – will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district.
  • (10) LifeChanger Award Winners – will receive $3,000 to be shared with their school/district.
  • (1) Spirit Award Winner – This award is given to the nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district.
  • (1) Spotlight Award Winner – This award is given to a nominee in a specific discipline each year. For 2017-2018, the award was given to Debra Santiago, who works as a secretary and bookkeeper in Orlando, FL. She received $5,000 to share with her school, Timber Lakes Elementary School.
Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The grand prize finalists also will be honored at a national awards ceremony in spring 2018 in Bermuda, 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. To be considered for an award, nominees must

  • Make a positive impact in the lives of students
  • Enhance their school or district’s atmosphere, culture and pride
  • Demonstrate exemplary leadership at the school and/or district level
  • Possess a proven record of professional excellence
  • Show commitment to building a nurturing environment that supports learning
  • Adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards

A resource page with ideas for how to celebrate nominees can be found at online.