Tollis Bond, a Kindergarten teacher at Northwest Elementary School in Chatsworth, GA has been named a 2015-2016 ‘LifeChanger of the Year’ award winner,  and received a $3,000 prize at a surprise ceremony on Friday.

Bond was selected as a LifeChanger of the Year winner out of more than 620 teachers, administrators and school district employees nominated for the award from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. She was nominated by Northwest Elementary School principal, Paula Martin.

Martin describes Bond’s classroom as warm and inviting, and she encourages family involvement through a variety of events. Before the first day of school, she invites her students and their families to come for a meet and greet. She also hosts several events during the school year such as Donuts for Dads, Grandparent’s Day, and Mother's Day events. All of these events have a high participation rate.

“When one observes Tollis Bond interacting with her students, it's obvious that she treats her students as if they were her own children,” said Martin. “She brings a sense of joy to her students and the school, and does everything she can to ensure that the children at Northwest Elementary get what they need.”

Each year, Bond schedules Career on Wheels, an event where over 25 local businesses and community services come out to give presentations. The students are given the opportunity to ask questions and gain some insight into possible career paths. She also coordinates include school field trips to the Warner Park Zoo, The Creative Discovery Museum, and the Science Guy.

Mrs. Bond is also an expert at raising funds for school activities. One year, she secured donations from local businesses like Dollar General for the school's Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) programs, which rewards the students for positive behavior. Bond also helps arrange scholarship funds and match them to students who want to participate and are in need of assistance. At the same time, she challenges the students to give back. For example, during the Bill Gregory Healthcare Classic, she produces a commercial for the morning announcements challenging students to come out and walk with her. Her contributions led to her being honored as the Northwest Teacher of the Year.

 “The Murray County Schools motto ‘Committed to student success. No exceptions, no excuses’ accurately describes the efforts and actions of Mrs. Bond,” said Martin. “She is a blessing to the district and a wonderful educator.”

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