Local educators nominated for national award

Published 1:05 pm Friday, January 29, 2021

Carter County Schools educators Suzanne Barr, Jenny Weir, and Bruce Wiltshire have been nominated for the 2020-2021 national LifeChanger of the Year award. Barr, an art teacher at Hampton High School, was nominated by Caitlin Andrews, a former student.
“Ms. Barr has a huge impact on every student that walks through her classroom door. She goes above and beyond for all of her students,” said Andrews. “Ms. Barr is one of the most passionate educators and mentors I have ever had the honor of having at Hampton High School. She not only helps you unlock a creative side of you that you never knew you had, but she cares deeply about the well-being of each and every student. She has taught me and many others that took her classes so much more than art. Ms. Barr taught us life lessons that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.”
Barr’s classroom is always a safe environment for students to show their true colors. She also is actively involved in the school community, from helping students raise money for senior prom, to hosting the annual yard sale. Barr also coordinates the school’s annual blood drives.
Weir, a special education aide at Valley Forge Elementary School, was nominated by an anonymous student.
“Ms. Jenny is the kindest person at Valley Forge Elementary. She is always there for us to talk to,” said her nominator. “She helps all of the students with any problems they have, whether it’s a problem with another student or teacher. Ms. Jenny is always willing to listen and do her best to help find a solution. When I was a student at Valley Forge, she never let any student feel left out. She always pulled for the underdog and made us all laugh. Thank you, Ms. Jenny, for not only being a great help at school, but a friend I could depend on.”
Wiltshire, an automotive mechanic teacher at Hampton High School, was nominated by his colleague, Jamie Oliver.
“Mr. Wiltshire, or ‘Wilt’ as we call him, is an inspiration to me,” said Oliver. “My son graduated in 2019. He did not have Wilt as a teacher, but he has become a mentor over this past year. Wilt took the time to work side by side teaching my son how to work on cars, just as he does with all of his students. He has gone above and beyond his call as teacher and mentor during the years I have known him. I am proud to call him a colleague and friend. He deserves this award, not only for his teaching abilities, but for helping students develop a trade in which they can be productive citizens.”
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. Eighteen individual LifeChanger of the Year awards will be given during the 2020-2021 school year.

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