Return to Headlines

Duneland School Corporation Educator Nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award - 12/19

Image of Mary Gish being honored by the Duneland School Board

Duneland School Corporation Educator Nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award

Chesterton Middle School Media Specialist Mary Gish has been nominated for the 2019-2020 national LifeChanger of the Year award. 

Gish was nominated by her colleague, Tina Clindaniel, for going above and beyond to create learning opportunities for students. Although her official title is media specialist, she accomplishes so much more. After writing several grants, she has acquired technology for classes to experience virtual field trips to the Holocaust Museum and learn about Anne Frank and other historical figures. She also acquired a 3-D printer so students can make mitosis projects and other creations.

 In addition to using technology and writing grants, Gish encourages students to visit the media center.  She hosts after school groups such as 3D Printing for students, Book Battle, Chess Club, Makers Movie, and a Board Game Club.

 "Mary loves engaging with her students and is a great asset to the staff at CMS," said Clindaniel.

About LifeChanger of the Year

 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.

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 2019-2020 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 2019-20, the Spotlight Award will be given to a nominee who has made a proven impact on school safety.  The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school or district.

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 2020 in Florida, 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 http://lifechangeroftheyear.com/showspirit/.

To view Gish’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit www.LifeChangeroftheYear.com.