Monday, April 22, 2019

VHS Ag teacher nominated for Life Changer of the Year Award

An anonymous student has nominated Vienna High School agricultural teacher and FFA advisor Jason West for the 2018-19 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

            “He is an excellent FFA advisor,” said the student,” and an even better human being. Mr. West deserves recognition for all the hard work and effort he puts forward in his job. Vienna High School wouldn’t be able to function normally without him.”

            West said he had a great agricultural teacher in high school, and it inspired him to become an educator himself.

            “I’d like to see students have the same good experiences I did,” he said.

            His goals as a teacher include preparing tomorrow’s leaders, making sure the world has good quality food and leadership to manage the agriculture. He is always striving to do better with each passing year.

            West was surprised when he found out about his nomination.

            “I don’t feel like I truly deserve it,” he said. “There are teachers across the state doing the exact same thing.”

            He said he feels humbled, but appreciative of the award. He said it’s a good “mental boost” to start the school year.

To the anonymous student who nominated him, he said thank you.

            “I will hopefully continue to encourage and help them,” he said.

            The National Life Group Foundation sponsors the LifeChanger of the Year award. The award recognizes and rewards the 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.

            They receive hundreds of nominations from all over the country. Seventeen awards will be given during the 2018-19 school year.

            The grand prizewinner will receive $10,000. Grand Prize Finalists will be receiving $5,000. LifeChanger Award Winners will receive $3,000.

            The Spirit Award Winner, which is given to the nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. The winner will receive $5,000. The Spotlight Award Winner is given to a nominee in a specific discipline each year. For 2018-19, this award will be given to a nominee who works in a counseling role. The winner will receive $5,000.

            All monetary prizes will be shared with the schools/districts.

            Winners will be announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The grand prize finalists will also be honored at the national awards ceremony in May 2019 in Hawaii, where the Grand Prize Winner will be revealed.

            A selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals chooses winners. Nominees must be K-12 teachers or school district employees. To be considered for the award, the 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/district level; possess a proven record of professional excellence; show commitment to building a nurturing environment that supports learning; and adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards.

            For more information, visit

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