October 25, 2020

East Providence Teacher Nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award

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Mrs. Amy Almada, Grade 5 Teacher at Emma G. Whiteknact Elementary School has been nominated for the 2020-2021 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.

Amy Almada was nominated by an anonymous friend.

“Mrs. Almada is a LifeChanger this year and every year. She goes above and beyond to make her students feel welcomed and included, both in her classroom and while distance learning. Last year, after living through an incredible loss to her family, Mrs. Almada was back in school, ready to see her students. They are like her second family, and they offered her comfort during such a hard time.

Each year, students are excited to be part of her class and see what creative lessons she will come up with. Mrs. Almada makes a deep connection with each of her students and their families. It all begins with her welcoming phone calls in August before the school year starts. These phone calls get students and their families excited to be part of her class. She continues to communicate with families throughout the school year, and she attends all nighttime community-building school activities.

Mrs. Almada can often be found posting YouTube tutorials to help other teachers improve on their distance learning. She scopes out yard sales for furniture she can refurbish and bring into her classroom for flexible seating, and she creates hands-on materials for her students to have in school and at home. Overall, she's a creative genius who keeps learning fun and engaging for her fifth graders.”

Superintendent Kathyrn Crowley shared the following comment on the Amy’s nomination page:

“I am the Superintendent of Schools in East Providence. I have had the pleasure of working with this outstanding educator for the past five years. She is one of the most caring and creative teachers in the district. She is a true educational leader who truly loves children and is a positive role model in their lives. A well-deserved nomination!”

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Celeste Bowler also shared a glowing comment on the Amy’s nomination page:

Lifechanger is certainly how I would describe Amy Almada. She is an amazing educator and the most positive upbeat person. Her lessons are engaging, meet the needs of her students, and provide deep learning experiences for her students. As the assistant superintendent I have had opportunities to formally and informally observe Amy teaching. During one observation I was not sure why Amy was dressed all in white with a red cross on her shirt. As she introduced the lesson on crisis response I watched her transform into Clara Barton through dress and through the story she told about Clara Barton's life. The students were totally into the transformation and so was I. As students worked in small groups to plan how to respond to different types of crisis, I heard students refer back to the information about Clara Barton to support their crisis plan. During another observation Amy invited me, the superintendent, and the mayor to her students' version of Shark Tank. I saw students who confidently spoke about their product, provided thoughtful responses to questions, and who visibly supported each other even though everyone wanted to win. From these observations I saw a culturally and academically diverse class where every member was interested in learning and willing to assist their classmates, so everyone was successful. This is the type of culture for learning and caring that Amy builds each year with her students. I have also seen Amy take on a leadership role for the district. For the past four summers Amy ran the district's summer Camp Invention Program. She is responsible for over 100 students from grades 1-6, six teachers, and several junior and alumni counselors. Camp always runs smoothly under Amy's watch. That said, if you are looking for a Lifechanger, look to Amy Almada. She tirelessly worked to change the life of her students through education.

Each school year, the LifeChanger of the Year program receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For 2020-2021, there will be a total of 17 individual LifeChanger of the Year awards. The awards structure is as follows:

• 1 National Grand Prize Winner
• 4 Grand Prize Finalists
• 10 LifeChanger Award Winners
• 1 Spirit Award Winner
• 1 Spotlight Award Winner
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.

Winners will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals. Nominees must be school district employees. The selection committee reads every comment posted on nominee profiles and uses them when deciding upon winners. 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

If you would like to view and comment on Amy Almada’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile, visit http://app.lifechangeroftheyear.com/nomination_detail.cfm?NominationID=5802.


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