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Dougherty County School System Educator Nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award

Special to the Metro

Albany, GA – Sarah Mack-Holloway, a seventh grade social studies teacher at Albany Middle 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.

Mack-Holloway was nominated by a colleague who wishes to remain anonymous.

Mack-Holloway was selected as Albany Middle School’s Teacher of the Year two years ago. She was praised for using innovative approaches to help kids of all learning abilities retain information. Mack-Holloway makes songs that help students differentiate between the types of governments in the Middle East, and she empowers students to speak up and be heard in her class.

“Ms. Mack-Holloway personifies compassion and innovation,” said her nominator. “She doesn't accept that socio-economic challenges like race, gender and poverty mean that these students can't perform. Instead, she is always thinking of new ways to get these students excited about education. Her determination and creativity make her a LifeChanger for Albany Middle School.”

Mack-Holloway recently rented a limo and took some of her former students to the homes of her upcoming students to present them with a packet of new-student information and to cheer them on into the seventh grade. Her nominator cited this kind of out-of-the-box thinking as one of the reasons students are excited to come to school.

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 16th 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 and adherence to high moral and ethical standards.