Immokalee – Immokalee Middle School English language arts teacher Sunshine Franklin has been nominated for the 2019-2020 national LifeChanger of the Year award.
Franklin was nominated by her husband, Randy Franklin, for her tireless dedication and commitment to her students’ success. She mentors students during her lunches, buys items for students in need, and holds the highest of expectations with students whom others have given up on.
“When I first met my wife and she told me she was a teacher, I did not realize how special of a teacher she was,” said Mr. Franklin. “One day, I went to lunch with her and a former student of hers. During that lunch, the student told me how she was a troubled teen who struggled at home. She explained that my wife would allow her to eat lunches with her, and eventually, she ate lunch with her every day so she wouldn’t get in trouble or fights. During those lunches, my wife would explain how her decisions can have consequences, speak life into her, and let her know she has different paths she can choose in her own life. The student explained how meaningful those lunches were, and how life-changing they became.”
Years later, Franklin still keeps in touch with that student, who express gratitude that she was there to guide her through middle school and high school.
“I feel she is the LifeChanger of the Year, every year,” said Mr. Franklin. “She has a record of success on the state test with her students. More importantly, she has helped students understand that in order to succeed, they need to think more positively about themselves and believe in themselves.
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/.