A longtime Socorro Independent School District educator has been honored with the 2020 Life-Changer of the Year award from the National Life Group
Candace Printz, assistant director of fine arts for the Socorro Independent School District, was the fifth and final grand prize finalist for the prestigious award.
Printz was formerly an art teacher at El Dorado High School. As a recipient of the award she was noted as a leader in her field who is constantly finding ways to develop students’ artistic skills, while also incorporating ways to save the environment.
“I think people now, more than ever, are realizing how hard teachers work and the importance of the profession/calling,” Printz said. “To be knowledgeable of the content, while also being able to convey that in a clear and loving way is definitely a skill.”
A former student of Printz’s, who she taught seven years ago, pursued printmaking and earned a job with National Life Group. That student nominated Printz for the award.
In her Life-Changer of the Year award nomination video, Printz said she has always wanted to help animals and the environment, which eventually led her to forming a group of students, staff and community members that collected trash from deserts in El Paso, which they recycled into creative artwork while raising awareness for environmentalism.
This movement, which evolved into the Its Your World project, and a follow-up nonprofit known as the Green Hope Project, helped her earn the National Life Group recognition.
The Life-Changer of the Year award, an annual program funded and run by National Life Group and its Foundation, recognizes and rewards K-12 educators and school employees from around the country.
Each year, Life-Changer of the Year awards 16 educators and their schools with cash prizes.
“I think teaching is much more than just teaching,” Printz said. “I believe it’s a calling, every little thing you do with the kids and how you make them feel will impact them in their future, and that is the most rewarding part of my career.”