February 28, 2018 Celebrations

North High Connie Bates Nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award

Connie Bates

North High School math teacher Connie Bates has been 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.


Bates was nominated by her student, Kimberly Gonzalez. She believes every student has the potential to graduate high school and go on to college, no matter their financial situation. Bates treats every student with the same respect, and provides a safe environment for students to learn and grow.


“I am the daughter of a single immigrant mother,” Gonzalez said. “When people predicted that I was going to drop out of school, Connie stood by my side and guided me to graduation day. She was there for me every day and every step of the way.”


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 will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in spring 2018 in Bermuda, where the Grand Prize Winner will be revealed.


To view Ms. Bates’ LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit