Sumter County Schools educators nominated for national award

Published 1:45 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017

AMERICUS — Math teacher Phoenicia Cummings and school improvement paraprofessional Eric Brown, both of Americus-Sumter High School, have been nominated for the 2017-2018 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

Phoenecia Cummings

ponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, LifeChanger of the Year recognizes and rewards the very 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.
Both educators were nominated by their principal, Kimothy Hadley.
In addition to her role as teacher, Cummings also serves as the school’s math department chair, a member of the leadership team, a district curriculum vertical alignment team member, and an after/summer school teacher. She was praised for her ability to build connections with students that have led to improved test scores over the past three years.

Eric Brown

As a paraprofessional, Brown works with students who struggle academically and exhibit behavioral problems. He has made positive contributions to his school’s atmosphere by assisting its struggling learners and advising them on how to deal with life’s challenging situations.
“Ms. Cummings and Mr. Brown have gone above and beyond to make a difference in our school,” said Hadley. “They possess exemplary leadership skills and are always professional when communicating with students, colleagues, and parents. Their commitment to providing our school and students with a nurturing atmosphere has not gone unnoticed.”
Each school year, LifeChanger of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Seventeen individual LifeChanger of the Year awards will be given during the 2017-2018 school year.
•    (1) Grand Prize Winner – will receive $10,000 to be shared with their school/district.
•    (4) Grand Prize Finalists – will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district.
•    (10) LifeChanger Award Winners – will receive $3,000 to be shared with their school/district.
•    (1) Spirit Award Winner – This award is given to the nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district.
•    (1) Spotlight Award Winner – This award will be given to a nominee in a specific discipline each year. For 2017-2018, the award will be given to a nominee who works in a support role, such as a secretary, administrative assistant, or office manager. The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district in fall 2017.
Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The grand prize finalists will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in spring 2018 in Bermuda, where the Grand Prize Winner will be revealed.

Winners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals. Nominees must be K-12 teachers or school district employees. To be considered for an award, 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 and/or district level
•    Possess a proven record of professional excellence
•    Show commitment to building a nurturing environment that supports learning
•    Adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards
To view Cummings and Brown’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profiles, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit