PARSIPPANY —Sharon Dickerson, an instructional paraprofessional at Mt. Tabor Elementary School, has been nominated for the 2016-17 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.
Dickerson was nominated by a colleague, Jacqueline DeMarco. According to DeMarco, Dickerson and her family held a major role in re-opening Mount Tabor Elementary School in 1998. She has supported the school with numerous donations ever since, the largest of which was funding an outdoor classroom for all students to enjoy.
“Mrs. Dickerson is a LifeChanger due to her exceptional integrity, capability and sense of responsibility,” said DeMarco. “Many of our students’ parents say that she has made their children feel more comfortable and confident in their abilities.
Through all she has done, and all that she is, she has changed the lives of our students, colleagues and community.”
Dickerson is known for doing various acts of kindness at Mt. Tabor School. These acts include birthday cards for each staff member, hand crocheted afghans for every new baby born in the Mt. Tabor community and special items for those leaving the school. Most recently, Dickerson has made hundreds of smiley faces with inspirational messages on them for each and every staff member. Everything that she does helps her colleagues smile larger, work harder and make a larger difference in all of their students’ lives.
Dickerson is also known throughout the community for her generosity. She volunteers at the United Methodist Church in Mt. Tabor through teaching Sunday School and running their Thrift Shop. Additionally, she and her family have traveled to Guatemala each year for the past five years to build houses for families in need.
Each school year, the LifeChanger of the Year program receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For 2016-2017, there will be a total of 15 individual LifeChanger of the Year awards. In addition, a sixteenth prize, the “National Spirit Award,” is given to the school and nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. 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. The top five winners will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in Naples, Florida. Winners will be announced in Spring 2017.
Winners will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals. Nominees must be school district employees. 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
To view Ms. Dickerson’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile click here.