Gail Dubois, a paraprofessional at Highland-Goffe's Falls Elementary School, is a
2017-2018 "LifeChanger of the Year," as named by National Life Group. Dubois received the award at a surprise ceremony during school-wide assembly. The prize includes $3,000 to be split between a $1,500 individual cash award and a $1,500 donation to her school.
Dubois was selected as a LifeChanger of the Year winner out of more than 825 teachers, administrators and school district employees nominated for the award from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. She was nominated by principal Susan Matthews for her many contributions to the students and atmosphere of the school.
Dubois trains an English Cream Golden Retriever named Remington, who she brings to Highland-Goffe's Falls with her every Friday to serve as a therapy dog. Each week, Dubois and Remington travel throughout the school visiting students and staff who need a little extra love and care. They have helped a little boy with cerebral palsy walk with confidence and have even assisted with student’s behavioral issues. Students also read to Remington, which helps them improve their reading skills. National Life Group recognized that the calming presence and positive attitude that Dubois and Remington bring to school is inspiring.
LifeChanger of the Year is a national program sponsored by National Life Group that annually recognizes and rewards K-12 school district educators and employees who make a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence, and leadership.
LifeChanger of the Year nominees must be full-time educators, teachers, principals, or any member of the school district's staff who makes a positive difference in the lives of students.
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
- A leader in his or her activities at the school and/or district level
- A proven record of excellent performance at the professional level
- A commitment to producing a nurturing atmosphere