LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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David Collins

Position: First Grade Teacher
School: Union Elementary STEM & Demonstration School
School District: Sumner County Schools
City, State: Gallatin, TN


David Collins was nominated by a colleague, Kathy Moran with the help of many colleagues and students.

Mr. Collins' School put together a fantastic video nomination below.
 


Comments (356)


Paige Roberson Posted today

Mr. Collins is such an amazing teacher. He works so hard keeping the garden clean and teaching the kids real life things.

Amanda Leath Posted today

Mr Collins was always a pleasure to run into at Union or anywhere in Gallatin. My daughter was in the classroom next to his last year and I was blessed to see him regularly. He always had a smile on his face! He is known for the garden, butterflies and the official tooth puller at Union. What a role model this man is!!

Kathryn Posted today

Mr. Collins inspires not only his students but their parents, his colleagues, administrators and all who know him.

Sarah Alexander Posted today

I brag about our school often. There is so much to be proud of. Our school absolutely would not be what it is without Mr. Collins. Every program that makes our school stand out, Mr.Collins has had a hand in. You won’t meet a child at Union who isn’t excited to learn and experience that learning hands on,thanks to Mr. Collins. I can’t imagine our children’s lives without him. He has planted seeds of curiosity in generations of children. He is not only a life changer but a world changer.

Amy Bradley Posted today

Sumner County is so lucky to have Mr. Collins!

Amanda Cooper Posted today

“To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know that one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson As a parent, I pray each year that my children are placed in a classroom with a teacher who loves their job, loves their students, and has the ability to teach not only the mind of my child but touches their heart as well. Little did I know how God would answer that prayer last year as my daughter entered in the classroom of Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins met my daughter at the door on the first day as a stranger but won her heart by the end of the first day. Last year, my daughter experienced learning with different lenses than ever before. It wasn’t just trying to get from A to B by knowing the answers on a worksheet. It wasn’t about being perfect. She learned that a mistake isn’t the end of the world but the beginning of learning. Mr. Collins shows students that the joy is in the journey from A to B not just getting the answer. Students get their hands dirty as they help nurture a seed into a plant in the garden. They watch how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly by raising them in the classroom. They learn how to appreciate a book for the story and not just a list of sight words as Mr. Collins takes time daily to read from his rocking chair. Learning with Mr. Collins was never a chore but something my daughter looked forward to every morning. We rise to the expectations set for us by those who believe in us. I know that’s why students are so successful in Mr. Collins’ class. He sees the student they can be and pushes them to learn a little more. He sees the person they can be and pushes them to love a little more. My daughter knew Mr. Collins believed in her which in turn allowed her to believe in herself a little more. If leaving a legacy is making a contribution on future generations, Mr. Collins is creating a grand one. With each student he teaches, prays for, pulls a tooth for, encourages, and loves, Mr. Collins is making is mark on the world and I’m extremely thankful that my daughter’s life has been influenced by the love of Mr. Collins.

Lauren Fennell Posted today

Mr. Collins is not only a great teacher but an awesome person. He is such a blessing to have at Union Elementary. He has touched many lives.

Julie Gibson Posted 1 days ago

He taught my son to love school. There are still days that he talks about what he got to do in Mr Collins class . We had a great year .

Brooke DeGlopper Posted 1 days ago

My children never had the honor of being in his "indoor" class, but flourished in his " outdoor" class. He is an inspiration to all learners young and old. We feel honored to have been taught lessons by this incredible lifechanger!

Chris Galicki Posted 1 days ago

Mr. Collins has touched the life of every child at the school past, present, and future by allowing them to appreciate the small gifts that life has to offer such as what it feels like for a butterfly to land on your finger, to watch a seed turn into a plant knowing that you planted it. He is a extraordinarily man, person and teacher who has made an impact on so many lives. Not many people can say they did that!!!!

Chris Galicki Posted 1 days ago

Mr. Collins has touched the life of every child at the school past, present, and future by allowing them to appreciate the small gifts that life has to offer such as what it feels like for a butterfly to land on your finger, to watch a seed turn into a plant knowing that you planted it. He is a extraordinarily man, person and teacher who has made an impact on so many lives. Not many people can say they did that!!!!

Jennifer Graham Posted 1 days ago

Mr. Collins is such an amazing teacher! There is no one who deserves this award more than he does! Our family loves David Collins! #LCOY

Marie Peterson Posted 1 days ago

Mr.Collins is a teacher who makes a difference!! No one more deserving!

Keshia Posted 1 days ago

Excellent teacher! Very involved with all students in the school, not just the ones in his class.

Ann Sexton Posted 1 days ago

I teach sophomores at Gallatin High School, and Mr. Collins is one of the most admired teachers in Sumner County. My students are always telling stories of lessons they did in his classes. He truly is a life changer!

Tanya Gregory Posted 1 days ago

Mr. Collins is a hard working teacher who helps young minds grow in diverse ways. He attends to their academic, social, and emotional needs in a nurturing way while helping children grow in using higher thought processes. He has a great deal of patience; however, he makes sure that children know and practice self regulation while participating in activities. He uses his knowledge of nature and agriculture to pass on to future generations. I would certainly say that his students receive a priceless education while in his care.

Henry Posted 1 days ago

Amazing person!

Joyce Cox Posted 1 days ago

David Collins is an excellent teacher as well as an outstanding person!

Abbye Wanstrath Posted 1 days ago

Most deserving teacher and human being on the planet!!!

Carlos Loftus Posted 1 days ago

My daughter learned so many academic and life lessons from Mr. Collins. If fact, our entire family was inspired by him. We planted our first garden after having Mr. Collins. His enthusiasm is contagious and he is a true blessing.

Ruth Mckiness Posted 1 days ago

Mr. Collins is very deserving of this honor!

Christi Rosen Posted 1 days ago

Mr. Collins is an inspiration to all that have had the privilege to come in contact with him. He goes above and beyond to teach. Blessed that our community has him! While in his class you learn more than typical classroom things, you learn life lessons!!

Heath Nichols Posted 1 days ago

We love Mr. Collins!

Brandy Fullerton Posted 1 days ago

Mr David is a wonderful man. I have known him all my life. He organizes a summer and winter youth camp that is absolutely amazing! He is a wonderful teacher that my nephew had and loved! He is a life changer in so many ways. So deserving!!

Ellesse Posted 1 days ago

Per our 4th and 1st grader— he teaches us about how to grow a garden. And you don’t see that at other schools. He treats us with kindness and makes us feel special.

Josh Souliere Posted 1 days ago

I have three boys who attend school at Union Elementary where Mr. Collins teaches. I’m thankful they have such a wonderful man to look up to while they are at school. He has impacted so many lives. He is truly a life changer.

Shannon Gehl Lannom Posted 1 days ago

Mr. Collins is both an amazing man and an amazing teacher. His example in and out of the classroom had changed and encouraged lives all over our county. He is well respected by his colleagues, revered by the parents and adored by his students. You can’t meet this man and not be affected by his kindness and infectious sense of humor. He is loved. It is that simple.

Ricky Rigsby Posted 1 days ago

Mr. Collins . Where to start . This awesome gentleman taught all four of my boys in kindergarten. Also BAPTISED all four of my boys during church camp he holds with Hartsville Pike Church of Christ . He has changed so many LIFES and helped so many children understand the value of farming and growing your own food . I do not think any child who has ever been in his class will ever forget anything Mr. C has taught them . Weather it's growing vegetables to the monarch butterfly . Congratulations MR. C. You my friend are one awesome man and I am so honored to have gotten to know you for the past many many years . Prayer for you and your family . Love ya

April Todd Posted 3 days ago

Mr.Collins was my son's first grade teacher at Union Elementary. He went above and beyond to make learning fun for everyone. In his teaching, he taught the children the importance of hard work in daily life. This is something that each child will carry with them through out their lives. Mr.Collins's excitement for science and butterflies has now passed down to my son. He is very deserving of this award and recognition. He is a great role model for all children and adults!

Lori Chaney Posted 4 days ago

Mr. Collins is amazing! Both of my children had him for first grade and he is a family favorite. He teaches these children so much more than school subjects, he teaches them about life. The best part is that he doesn't just teach these things, he lives them. He is the best example for our kids. My daughter raised chickens for the Egg it On program to donate eggs to the food bank. My son loves going to the food bank to pack food boxes for needy families in our community because of Mr. Collins and every time we go, he is there. He has done so much not just for our school and for his church but for the entire community. I can't think of anyone else I know who has touched as many lives as Mr. Collins and I don't know anyone who deserves this award more. He is a true life changer!!

Patty Russell Posted 4 days ago

Mr. Collins was my daughter’s first grade teacher at Union Elementary. Excellent teacher!! I’m convinced he helped set the groundwork for the success she had all through school in Sumner County and now as a freshman Architecture student at UTK. Thanks so much, David Collins. You definitely deserve this award!

Kari Sykes Posted 5 days ago

Can't think of a better person to be nominated, I was prevlidged to be his assistant for many years. I saw first hand the lives he changed, including mine. I learned so much from David, enjoyed my time in his room everyday. He is a wonderful teacher and friend!

Peggy Smith Posted 5 days ago

Mr. David Collins is a life-changer outside of the classroom, as well as inside. His classes have provided fresh eggs for clients of Gallatin CARES. CARES has a food pantry, and when our clients see fresh eggs being delivered, often by David himself, they become very excited. They know they will have eggs that are part of a learning experience for their families. Feeding children can change their lives.

Jessica Stepbach Posted 6 days ago

Mr. Collins is a great man and great teacher. You know he loves his kids. He is a huge part of Union Elementary. He has a heart of gold.

Jean Blunkall Posted 6 days ago

David has been a life changer for many years. I knew David when we were growing up and even as a boy and then a young man he impacted me by even then, by how he lived his life. A Godly man of the highest integrity. A man that students can look up to and should aspire to be like.

Emily Tidwell Posted 6 days ago

Mr. Collins is highly deserving of this award. My son was he is first grade class. He loved going to school everyday. Learning not only in the class, but also learning other important life lessons from hands on gardening and chicken life cycles.

Margaret Taylor Posted 6 days ago

Mr Collins is a very special person as well as an awesome teacher.He is loved by ALL his students and the students parents as well

Tabitha Gregory Posted 6 days ago

Although we have not been in Mr. Collins class at Union. His kindness and great spirit reaches far beyond his classroom. That speaks volumes about him.

Kathy Schmittou Posted 6 days ago

David,from his very first year of teaching had different ideas for his students . I remember our 1st year at old Howard we had nothing in the room. so you gather all the free stuff you can get. One of our grandfathers built a tool bench and David got real tools I was scared to death that they would cut off a finger,put a nail into a hand etc. He taught them how to be very careful and this became one of the most popular centers.This was 45 years ago. He has done so many wonderful things for our students and every year he finds something better. Many of the facility of Vena Stuart had children or grand-children that are products of Davids teaching. There will be far and few who will come up with the things David Collins has taught just because he loved doing it so much and it comes so naturally. He deserves the Life Change Award

Chadd Smith Posted 6 days ago

Mr. Collins is an amazing person and teacher. He has a heart of gold and loves sharing practical life lessons to his students. It was an honor to meet him and i couldn't be more greatful my daughter got a chance to learn from him. It was a year she and I will always appreciate.

Deborah Bradley Posted 6 days ago

Mr. Collins definitely has my vote for life changer of the year. He has helped so many children over the years and went above and beyond what was expected. What a wonderful world it would be if we were all more like Mr. Collins. Thank you Mr. Collins for touching our lives in such a positive way.

Felicia Smith Posted 6 days ago

When I heard that Mr. Collins was nominated for the Life Changer of the year award I immediately started crying tears of joy, He is the definition of a life changer. Mr. Collins is the primary reason my daughter loves to go to school. She has found a love for not only learning, but also gardening, butterflies, etc! She has truly blossomed because of how wonderful he is as a teacher. I could not be more happy that Mr. Collins is nominated and I truly hope he wins. He has not only changed my daughters life, but all of our lives have changed in our household!

Autumn Marshall Posted 6 days ago

David is a marvelous teacher because he encourages curiosity and wonder in the classroom, especially with regard to science education. His garden, his butterfly project, and many other hands-on science lessons help children to use ALL of their senses to learn, and education research demonstrates that retention is greatest when more than just hearing and eyesight are engaged. The most important reason he is a great teacher, though, is his heart for his students. He wants every single child to succeed, to learn in a safe environment, and to feel loved and respected. He is modeling the exact behavior we want these children to live out as they grow to adulthood: he is a responsible adult who loves and respects everyone, and who uses his gifts to contribute to society. He is more than deserving of the Life Changer award!

Amy Grigsby Posted 6 days ago

Mr Collins is a phenomenal man, both at school and at church. I have had the privilege of knowing him for many years. I have never in my life seen a man that than quiet a room of 100 plus kids by simply raising is hand. That's right. He doesn't even have to speak. He care for children beyond what most people can comprehend. He is always thinking of something more and different ways kids can learn. He is not afraid to go after something he believes will be beneficial. He has touched so many lives throughout his work with church and through school. It is difficult to say how much. One just has to smile when you mention Mr Collins.

Jessica Carmack Posted 7 days ago

David wasn’t a teacher of mine but I have known him since I was a child. I know countless others who have had nothing but positive and exemplary remarks about his teaching, as well as how much their children enjoy learning in his classroom. It’s clear to see the type of impact David has made on students over the years. Sumner County (and all schools throughout the U.S.) needs more teachers just like him!

Chelsie Graves (Bell) Posted 7 days ago

He was my kindergarten teacher and was one of few who left an imprint on me! One of my favorite memories was when he would take us out side to work in our garden! He's a great teacher and an awesome person! Love him!

Amy Gann Posted 7 days ago

My daughter learn so much more than just academics in his classroom!

Anita Jacobs Posted 7 days ago

Mr Collins and I began teaching in Sumner County as a kindergarten teachers about the same time. He has always been a wonderful and inventive teacher finding fun and unique ways to reach his students. His love for them and teaching has always been evident. He could have retired years ago but has chosen to continue making a difference in the lives of children.

Randy Bullock Posted 7 days ago

I have had the privilege of teaching Sunday school classes, attending camp, volunteering time to assist those in need and roofing with David Collins. He is one of the hardest workers I know and is always willing to help others any time he is able. He can turn almost any activity into a learning experience. I have learned so many valuable lessons about life from this man.

Mindy Plunkett Posted 7 days ago

Mr. Collins is a wonderful person and teacher. He is very deserving of this award.

Angie Wakefield Posted 7 days ago

Mr Collins is a wonderful teacher that goes above and beyond the requirements of his job. He instills into his students a lifelong love of learning by challenging them to try new things and by making learning fun. He is a wonderful role model who also teaches important life lessons. He loves each of his students. He sees their potential, loves them for who they are and constantly pushes them to be the best version of themselves.

Jill Bolton Weatherly Posted 7 days ago

My experience with Mr. Collins began in 1987 when he was my kindergarten teacher. I can remember always being eager to go to school because he made learning fun. We were not “stuck” inside a classroom all day. He made sure to incorporate the outdoors into our learning environment. We were taught very valuable life lessons from our teacher... things that you couldn’t learn in books. For example, Mr. Collins would always encourage us to try new things... I would have never eaten a turnip green even if my life depended on it, but he encouraged me to do so, unbeknownst to me that it would turn out being one of my favorite vegetables! Fast forward 21 years later, my daughter was placed in his 1st grade class at Union Elementary. He still had the same teaching basis that he used when I had him. He made learning fun for her and she loved going to school. She also was taught life lessons in the classroom that have forever changed her. Now, my little girl is a sophomore in high school and Mr. Collins still investes time into her by allowing her to come assist him in the classroom and garden so she can obtain SAE (supervised agricultural experience) hours for her various FFA degrees. Mr, David Collins has definitely been a life changer in this family for 2 generations!!!

Connie Bryan Posted 8 days ago

Mr Collins role of teaching does not stop when he leaves his classroom. His amazing dedication to helping children learn, grow and become the best possible person they can be is an inspiration to everyone that meets him. My children did not go to Union Elementary but they have been privileged to have him as a teacher at church and church camp. My daughter was one of the members of his mission team that went to the country of Panama 2 years ago and she still speaks of the life changing experience and the great example of God’s love that Mr Collins shared then and demonstrates daily. He has a Servants heart and a love of teaching and truly deserves a lifetime achievement award.

Tammy Lamberth Posted 8 days ago

Very deserving

Jennifer McCay Posted 8 days ago

The video says it all, life changer to so many.

Deanne Seagle Posted 8 days ago

Mr. Collins is a wonderful teacher. My daughter loved working in the garden with him. I have enjoyed going to the Butterfly Launch for the last 3 years.

Sheri Roberts Posted 8 days ago

Mr. Collins is a fabulous teacher and role model. He makes learning fun and treats his students as if they were his own kids. I’ve admired him since I was a kid.

Teresa Schweinsberg Posted 8 days ago

What an amazing teacher and person! When a teacher stays for 44 years, it is because they are passionate about teaching and making a difference in student lives. Mr. Collins has made and is making a difference in thousands of lives, not just students, but parents and coworkers as well. He is a great example of a life changer!

Sandra Lee Hesson Posted 8 days ago

David Collins has been one of the most influential teachers in so many children's lives. Even if they didn't have him as their own teacher, he played an important role in their lives. He sets a great example for all to follow and that is so important today. He absolutely has my vote for Life Changer of the Year!

Leslie Schell Posted 8 days ago

As an elected official, I'm invited to a lot of schools and a lot of community events. However, none compare to the Butterfly Launch at Union Elementary. That is all credited to Mr. David Collins. I have had the great pleasure of seeing this man in his element at Union Elementary School. I have attended several Butterfly Launches, toured the gardens and chicken coops at UES, and heard stories about how great he is from my nephews who attend school there. As we continue to pray for his health right now, I would love nothing more that to see him honored with this award in which he is so incredibly deserving. #LCOY

Ashley Harris Posted 8 days ago

Mr. Collins has been changing lives in our community for over 40 years! He is more than deserving of this award!

ashley tipton Posted 8 days ago

well deserving man!

Tressa Sanders Posted 8 days ago

Mr. Collins, an inspirational educator, is one of my heroes. He is generous and kind. He instills a love of learning in children and adults. I am thankful for his example and guidance.

Dianna Johnson Posted 8 days ago

I had the pleasure of witnessing the enthusiasm that Mr. Collins has for nature and educating and inspiring young people last year. I worked alongside him as a member of the City of Gallatin's 2017 pollinator committee. He passion is contagious, and I can understand precisely how and why the kids respond so positively to him. He is a truly gifted individual and very deserving of the honor of Lifechanger of the Year.

Katie Thompson Posted 8 days ago

He is the winner in my book, hands down!

Stephanie Posted 8 days ago

Working at a childcare facility In town, you hear the children talk about teachers, Mr. Collins comes up a lot. They talk about the activities he does with them, even children who don’t have him as a teacher talk about him. They learn not only educational material but life lessons that will help them forever. All the children love him! He does a lot of hands on actities with the children. He shows a genuine love for the children. What an outstanding role model for all the children to look up too.

Noel Hinton Posted 9 days ago

Mr. Collins is one teacher we remember from our short time in Sumner County Schools at Vena Stuart. He made learning even more fun for our daughter. A kind and gentle man with a heart for students. He was a blessing to us and I wish him every blessing in return.

Vickie Milliken Posted 9 days ago

Very Deserving! Mr. Collins is Awesome! My son, Taylor Milliken had Mr. Collins when he was in Kindergarten. Now I have had Grandchildren that have also had Mr Collins as a Teacher. One of the BEST!!!

Erin spivey Posted 9 days ago

He is the best man I know. My husband and I are foster parents and he is on the foster care review board. He has helped us so much in knowing what steps to take to help our kiddos. We also go to church with him and have been camp counselors at our church camp that Mr.David has ran for 30+ years and has impacted no telling how many people's lives. He married my husband and I because we met at that camp in highschool and he continues to be an influence in our lives.

Glenda Abel Posted 9 days ago

Mr. Collins is a man that leaves a positive energy for teaching. His passion for education and the knowledge he wants to share with his students is amazing.

Noel Hinton Posted 9 days ago

Mr. Collins is one teacher we remember from our short time in Sumner County Schools at Vena Stuart. He made learning even more fun for our daughter. A kind and gentle man with a heart for students. He was a blessing to us and I wish him every blessing in return.

Kathleen McKinney Posted 9 days ago

David Collins is not only an amazing educator, he is a wonderful encourager, friend, and Christian man. He has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children at school as well as at church. I cannot think of a more deserving person than David to win this award!

Rebecca gann Posted 9 days ago

My daughter Hannah and my son Noah went to union I'm glad of the experiences they had at union that they would not have had otherwise

Tammy Lamberth Posted 9 days ago

Wonderful educator even better man

Christie Roberson Posted 9 days ago

This is the most deserving teacher I know. He is much deserving of the prestigious award. You can tell by watching him from a distance of his love for teaching. He is a very dedicated educator.

Cynthia Poole Posted 9 days ago

Mr. Collins classroom originates in a heart full of love for every person he meets. What better nominee could there be? Dedicated and deserving, humility is his signature.

Tonya Graham Posted 9 days ago

When I toured my son's school, I met Mr. Collins and saw his classroom. I fell in love. Since then, he has taught both of my children- one twice. Mr. Collins is not only an amazing teach, but he is a great person. He follows the success of his children from the time they leave his class into adulthood. The education system needs hundreds of teachers just like Mr. Collins.

Sheryl Morris Posted 9 days ago

Not enough words to describe the impact on so many young lives that grow up to be good men and women. 2 generations of my family have had the privilege of having Mr Collins. Everyday practical skills that are no longer being taught that he has taught for 40 years.

Jeff Green Posted 9 days ago

David Collins is a fine man!

Diane Hinson Posted 9 days ago

Great teacher and influence on Children for many years.

Tresa Cummings Posted 10 days ago

David is a wonderful Christian man. As a Sumner County teacher I am very aware of all the great things going on in his classroom and how much he loves his students. As a parent, my children were blessed to spend a week each summer with David. He was the director of the church camp they attended every summer throughout their late elementary and middle school years. He was a positive influence for all the children who attended. Many young people became Christians on his watch thanks to the wonderful Christian example they saw in him. Mr. David Collins is the perfect example of what I consider a life changer. He exemplifies this in the classroom, in the community, and with his own family.

Shay Posted 10 days ago

Mr Collins is a wonderful teacher & man. He is very passionate about the garden, chickens & greenhouse at UES.

Renee Workings Posted 10 days ago

Mr.Collins is a very valuable teacher, father figure and mentor. I can remember in school my cousin would tell stories of Mr. Collins and how she loved his class, and I wished I had him. As an adult, I see kids speaking of not only how Mr. Collins made learning in the classroom interesting, but also gave them hands on experiences that they take with them. He is definitely one in a million as he goes far above and beyond his job in the classroom and I thank him for being such an instrumental part of his, as well as others, lives!

Lance Taylor Posted 10 days ago

As I’ve read the hundreds of comments from current and former colleagues, students, parents of students as well as friends of Mr. Collins, recent and lifelong, i have a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the impact that David has made on so many lives, directly and indirectly, intentional and unintentional As a teacher, he has worked so hard to provide a high-quality education for children, with his first class of kindergarteners now approaching or at age 50. David has kept “up-to-date” on the latest trends and ideas in education (many so in 44 years in this profession) while always holding on to the belief that it’s all about children, putting them first, focusing - truly - on the “whole” child. David has taught current doctors, lawyers, business and government leaders, principals, teachers, farmers, accountants, engineers, parents, and grandparents, all of whom likely remember Mr. Collins as a great man who poured himself into his children...those in his classroom and those in other classrooms. David’s impact as a teacher has reached far beyond his own classroom and school. His children learned in truly genuine and authentic environments, whether in vegetable gardens, butterfly gardens, flower gardens, greenhouses, chicken coops, or nature trails. Mr. Collins was always a strong disciplinarian who immediately forgave misbehavior and gave children second chance after second chance. He praised children who may not hear praises from parents or other teachers, never giving up on the “tough-to-reach” kids while nurturing all children like one of his own. David allowed children to think and learn outside the box, engaging them in meaningful learning experiences that many would never have exposure to had they not been in his class or at his school. As a man, David has been a devoted husband, father, church leader, community icon, and role model for so many, epitomizing the servant’s heart that we all should have. Literally thousands of people have benefitted from the church camps that Mr. Collins has organized and facilitated for so many years as well as from the donations he makes to families, Gallatin C.A.R.E.S and the Sumner County Food Bank from his gardens and chicken coops. He has taught his students and colleagues the value of giving to those who are less fortunate, opening eyes of many to see the less fortunate around them and then do whatever it takes to address their needs. David’s work on a foster care review board reflects his dedication to serving children and making a positive difference in their lives. His participation in mission trips exemplifies the heart of a man who is passionate about positively changing the lives of people beyond his community, State, and, even, country. I know of no person who has served this world in greater and more diverse ways and with a bigger heart than Mr. James David Collins. He deserves this award and so many others. Yet, David will tell you that he already has his rewards, past, present, and one - in the future - waiting for him.

Jen McQuinn Posted 10 days ago

Mr. Collins is a wonderful man and teacher! Our two girls were so lucky to have him as their 1st grade teacher. The classroom experience he provides isn’t something found many places at all! I love they got to go out in the garden and get their hands dirty, help take care of chickens. They LOVED it as well and even taught me a few things!!! We adore Mr. Collins! He is very deserving of being recognized. The McQuinn family

Amy Wilke Posted 10 days ago

We haven’t had the privilege of having Me. Collins as a teacher. We have had the privilege of having him in our school. My girls have enjoyed the butterfly launch he organizes each year for the entire school. He is amazing with everything he does. He has been diligently serving our community and schools for many years. I don’t know of a better teacher who deserves this award!

Pj davis Posted 10 days ago

Fabulous person

Jenny Helm Posted 10 days ago

We love Mr. Collins! #LCOY

Karen Green Posted 10 days ago

Mr Collins is a member of our church & has always been such an inspirational role model for the kids as well as the adults. He shares his wisdom and knowledge from his study of the Bible & his life experiences with plants, animals and insects. He even brought the butterflies up to the church to release them where we could experience it like the staff/students did at his school. I have personally assisted him w/ the 1st-2nd grade Sunday school classroom and the kids just love to hear him talk about stories in the Bible. What an AWESOME Christian example he is & so deserving of this honor!

Nicole Midgetté Posted 11 days ago

My granddaughter is in 1st grade at Union and the 2 years that she has been there we have been so touched by Mr. Collins involvement and love for the Butterfly Launch Union does every year. It is something our family looks forward to! We have learned so much about the Monarch Butterflies because of Mr. Collins. We also love the garden and chickens that he and his classes take care of at the school. Mr. Collins presence at Union Elememtary is part of what makes this such a wonderful school!

Misty Hatley Posted 11 days ago

Mr. Collins is a wonderful teacher!

Sandi Rush Posted 11 days ago

If there ever was a teacher that could be called a life changer, it would be Mr Collins. He taught my son, Ricky Whiticker in kindergarten and had patience even when he would hide behind the door not wanting to go in. Mr Collins was always keeping the kids interested. He is very deserving of this award. Thank you for all you have done and many prayers for you and your family.

Sandi Rush Posted 11 days ago

If there ever was a teacher that could be called a life changer, it would be Mr Collins. He taught my son, Ricky Whiticker in kindergarten and had patience even when he would hide behind the door not wanting to go in. Mr Collins was always keeping the kids interested. He is very deserving of this award. Thank you for all you have done and many prayers for you and your family.

Misty Hatley Posted 11 days ago

Mr. Collins is a wonderful teacher!

Teresa Parker Posted 11 days ago

I have heard great things about Mr. Collins and his work. The children who were privileged to have him as a teacher really loved him. This award would be just a token of what he and his family deserves. Best wishes!

Teresa Jones Posted 11 days ago

Never has there been a better nominee for this award than David Collins. He has the biggest heart for his students and his co-workers. I count it a privilege to have worked with him and along side by him. Not only has his many first graders learned from his teachings, so have I. What an incredible individual!!!!! Who else is known around a school building for pulling teeth without a single tear!!! Who else teaches first graders to spell metamorphosis in the first week of school and then let’s them experience first hand the total process? That’s right. Nobody!!! Hands down, he deserves the life changer award!!!

Sharon covington Posted 11 days ago

Mr. Collins is a wonderful teacher. And an upstanding Christian man. I have had the pleasure of knowing him and trusting him. He has helped with advise for my personal spiritual growth. And the growth of so many young people. I've known him in school, church and church camps, Mr. Collins is someone I respect so much. Never turned away and always there to lend an ear to me when I needed direction. He has defenitaly helped my life and the life of my family. No one deserves this recognition more than he does. In my opinion.

Marietta Gilbert Posted 11 days ago

David Collins has been an outstanding positive influence on thousands of children in the Sumner County school system. He deserves all the accolades that can be given. Our community has been truly blessed to have Mr. Collins.

Jason Holladay Posted 11 days ago

What dedication

Sharron Morris brown Posted 11 days ago

Mr Collins has been a life changer for many generations of our family !

Jenny Helm Posted 11 days ago

We love Mr. Collins! #LCOY

Gayle pirtle Posted 11 days ago

Best 1st grade teacher ever. Fine man and father too.

Karen Bates Posted 11 days ago

Mr. Collins deserves to win! He has given his heart and soul to our community. He has a natural love for teaching and it has been demonstrated throughout his career. You could search the world over and never find another like him.

Gindy Woodward Posted 11 days ago

Me. Collins is very deserving of this award. We are blessed to have him apart of the Sumner Co. school system!

Weslee Schroeder Posted 11 days ago

My child spent the summer before first grade praying that she would get Mr. Collins as a teacher. When she found out she did, she literally cried tears of joy! But that was just the start of a wonderful year with Mr. Collins. He believes in hands on learning and that empowering his students with responsibility in fact encourages them to be responsible. I saw my student jump up excited to go to school and watch monarch butterflies break from their cocoon, be a chicken checker and get the eggs for their chickens, plant new herbs and plants and watch the different stages of a seed and plant, learn about season plants they planted in their garden, and the list goes on and on. We are so grateful we got a year with Mr. Collins and believe he played a crucial role in my daughters hunger for knowledge and education!

Ellie Moran Posted 11 days ago

I attend both the summer and winter bible camp that Mr. Collins organizes for his church. He puts a lot of time and effort into making Bible Camp so much fun. Cannot wait to attend in just a few weeks. Bible study, friends, and fun! Also, I got to enjoy working in the garden at Union Elementary. Another place that Mr. Collins employs his time and effort. Teaching children the ABCs while learning how to provide for ourselves and other people in our community. Not sure there could be a more deserving individual than Mr. Collins to win a LifeChanger award!

Vanessa Woodard Posted 11 days ago

There are so many wonderful things to say about Mr Collins but to me this sums it up quite nicely-When my boys were younger, they preferred to let Mr Collins pull their teeth instead of their parents. The love and trust he has instilled in the children is both remarkable and life changing to many.

Stephanie Posted 11 days ago

Me. Collins put a lot of time and love into the Union Butterfly Garden! It is so special to all of us!!

Scotlyn Kemp Posted 11 days ago

We love him and he is an awesome teacher

Whitley Jo Kemp Posted 11 days ago

He is the best teacher in the world.He cares for everyone he loves everyone.He is a super hero.

Trudy Harrison Posted 11 days ago

Mr. Collins is the true epitome of a LifeChanger in all things he does. He is a man of his word, a man of Christ, a true mentor and a friend to all he knows. He has seen more changes in the school system than I have seen years in my life. But, he still keeps coming back to the classroom because of his love for his kids. Let's rally around this legend as he achieves another milestone in the education world. I cannot imagine a classroom setting without thinking of David Collins.

Cheri zullo Posted 11 days ago

I have learned so much just from teaching in the same school as David Collins! He is a remarkable teacher and person. #LCOY

Kim foster Posted 11 days ago

Mr. Collins had both of my children for 1sr grade. Not an easy grade to teach, yet he was amazing with both of them. Hayden, my oldest, is very academically driven, yet is wild boy. Mr. Collins was stern but supportive of him throughout the year. Hayden grew tremendously under his guidance. Ainsley, my youngest, is the opposite. She has to try very hard to succeed academically but does so with a driven personality and responsibility. She grew just the same with the love and support from Mr.collins. Two different kids with different personalities and he was able to care for and help them in ways they each needed. Very proud to know him, to have my children have a strong supportive teacher. He was definitely a LifeChanger for us!

Melanie Wood Posted 11 days ago

I have taught with this dedicated teacher for the past 15 years. Not only has he taught his students so much over the years, he has also shared his knowledge of gardening with me and anyone else who asks. I can always come to him with my own gardening questions, and he is happy and eager to help. #LCOY

Shara Baulsir Posted 11 days ago

Mr. Collins is a fantastic teacher to all students. To those in his classroom and outside. Always willing to share his knowledge and kindness. My first grade daughter thinks very highly of him, and is eager to share with him anything new she has discovered. He has always accepted her discoveries with an open ear and smile.

Donna Belote Posted 11 days ago

Lifechanger....perfectly describes Mr. Collins. True asset to not only Union Stem Elementary but to our whole community.

Jennifer Watson Posted 11 days ago

I met David just this past year and was so inspired by his passion and dedication to his students and his excitement and enthusiasm for sharing his garden and farming and butterfly reading with all children. He’s amazing! #LCOY

Shelby Brown Posted 11 days ago

I had the pleasure of teaching side by side with Mr. Collins for my year of student teaching. He was the best mentor I could have asked for. He believed in me and pushed me to my limits. I learned so much from him! I am now in my third year of teaching in my own classroom, and I still refer back to the lessons he taught me. He opened my eyes to the world of authentic teaching. He is an amazing educator and without a doubt deserves the life changer award!

Glenna Sandel Posted 11 days ago

David Collins is above and beyond that man you want to teach child and reach the young in your community! He is amazing in the classroom and an awesome asset to our world!

Noelle Staley Posted 11 days ago

Mr. Collins has been a teacher for over 40 years. His love for teaching and learning is evident when you see all of the great things he has done for our school and it's learners. Mr. Collins is exceptional in many ways and is extremely deserving to earn this honor.

Amy McDonald Koch Posted 11 days ago

Definitely a life changer! An amazing teacher who taught my daughter just as much out of the classroom as he did in.

Hayden Braswell Posted 12 days ago

Mr. Collins is a great teacher! He helped make Union a very special school. I loved the garden & greenhouse when I went there.

Lucinda Peterson Posted 12 days ago

I had been familiar with Mr. Collins, and of how fond our community is of him, since I was in elementary school, but it wasn’t until my own daughter, who is now in middle school, had him as a teacher that I came to know personally what an impact he has on his students. Mr. Collins’s class is a safe zone in which curiosity is never squelched. My daughter enjoyed finding odd, wiggly, furry, gooey and otherwise strange things on the ground outside. Recalling that not all teachers are as open to things that might be considered icky, when she would tell me that she was taking them to school I would get a little nervous and ask her if she was sure that her teacher wouldn’t mind. No matter what she managed to take to school, she never came home feeling as if it had been a mistake to be curious and to want to learn about new things and to share her knowledge with others. Like so many other lucky kids, my daughter got to experience the essence of Mr. Collins, and what should be the essence of education-being curious, continuing to learn, and sharing knowledge with others. In our case, my daughter was able to pass along what she learned from Mr. Collins internationally. We shared with friends in Germany the information we learned about monarch butterflies from the butterfly launch put together by Mr. Collins. They were so intrigued that they put together a presentation about butterflies in Europe that we were able to share with Mr. Collins’s class. By sharing his interest in butterflies, Mr. Collins initiated an exchange in which people from different continents learned about each other’s habitats and cultures. Our local park’s butterfly garden, also a product of Mr. Collins’s love of sharing knowledge with others, has allowed me, and I’m sure many others, to inform friends of the life cycles and travels of monarchs as we exercise or take leisurely strolls. These are just a few examples of the thousands of lives touched by Mr. Collins in our community and beyond.

Susan James Posted 12 days ago

Sumner County is blessed to have Mr. Collins and not only his love for his students, but his love for his community as well. This nomination video says it all - he is definitely a LifeChanger!

Elizabeth Jerrolds Posted 12 days ago

I can not think of a more deserving educator!

Leslie Yates Posted 12 days ago

There is not a more deserving teacher for this award than my friend and coworker, David Collins. What he gives the students at our school is by far more than a classroom education! My youngest son had Mr. Collins as his 1st grade teacher. He learned to do Math by using seeds, plants, and weight. He learned to write by writing about his daily experiences in the garden in a journal, which I still have even though he's in 8th grade. I want him to always look back at that journal and see what he learned wasn't just about Math, Reading, and Writing. I want him to remember that Mr. Collins taught him real life lessons that he will always use! Mr. Collins deserves this award more than anyone! Thank you, David, for what you have done for our kids!!

Beth 'Blankenship' Freeman Posted 12 days ago

David Collins was my mentor during student teaching. He taught me so much. He loves his students and has dedicate his life to bettering them. I could not think of a more deserving individual for this award.

vincie Barber Posted 12 days ago

#LCOY David Collins has been a Life Changer for our family. He lead both of my boys at church camp and other church activities while they were growing up and now has my Granddaughter in his class. He has always gone the extra mile in everything with Love, Patience, Hard Work and Dedication. Anyone that Knows David would know that he is the definition of a Life Changer for so many.

Lee Anne Faust Posted 12 days ago

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” (Lily Tomlin) Thanks to David, not only does he give his students much to think about and do, he also shares this gift with our community by teaching us to grow gardens, butterflies, and an appreciation for nature.

Karen Jarratt Posted 12 days ago

Mr.Collins has had a major impact on his school, community, and hundreds of students. He is always willing to give advice and suggestions to other schools developing STEM programs. He is so deserving of this award!

Kimberly Smallwood Posted 12 days ago

Mr. Collins has had a huge impact on the lives of the people he touches. He is a fantastic educator with a passion for his career. He touches the lives of his students in a way that will last a lifetime. Please consider him for this honor. He is definitely deserving.

Vincie Barber Posted 12 days ago

David Collins has been a Life Changer for our family. He lead both of my boys at church camp while they were growing up with our church activities. He now is my granddaughter's teacher. He has always gone the extra mile with patience, love, hard work and dedication to what ever he is involved with. Anyone who know him would say no one deserves this award more than David Collins. He is definitely a Life Changer.

Heather Whitaker Posted 12 days ago

Such a well-deserving man who has dedicated his life to education and the betterment of children! The first time I met Mr. Collins he had brought his butterflies he used to teach at his school, UES, to set them up in a station in the hallway of my school, GES. He is not limited to just teaching his students or just the kids at his school, but instead wants to share all he can with all the individuals he can reach.

Cheri Zullo Posted 13 days ago

Mr. Collins is such a wonderful teacher. He incorporates a sustainable lifestyle with gardening, our greenhouse, and our chickens that teaches students about food and living. This is not your typical curriculum. Students that are exposed to this teaching will hold on to these values forever. For over forty years he has influenced our future! What a legacy he has left!

Bob Shults Posted 13 days ago

David Collins has been a life-changer for two generations when it comes to my family. He taught all three of my children. He loved them, he challenged them, he taught them at their level, and pushed them beyond. David instilled a drive for learning in my oldest child, a love of language and music in my middle child, and a love of science in my youngest. The "life-changing" came in stages with them. It's like baking a cake. The ingredients by themselves aren't much, but put them together with just the right heat, and a delicacy emerges. What about the second generation? That would be me, the dad. When I went back to school and pursued my own teaching degree as a 35 year-old, David was my quiet encourager. His belief in his profession- that it was the most important one on earth- spurred me on. 19 years later, I still believe it.

Angie Shumate Posted 14 days ago

When I think about Union Elementary and the influence the school has had on my son's life, I often think of Mr. Collins.

Mitzi Howell Posted 15 days ago

David Collins has such a special way with young people. He has a gentle spirit, yet commands respect. He has been the leader of our church youth camp for 30+ years. He has encouraged so many people young and old to learn and grow every day.

Erin Harris Posted 15 days ago

Mr Collins has always been a great fixture in the local schools! He is always will he help anyone that is in need of help. His work teaching children about butterflies is unmatched.

Tina Fandel Posted 15 days ago

He is such an amazing teacher!

Crystal Siltman Posted 15 days ago

Mr. Collins is everything a first grade teacher should be and so much more. Loving, kind, tender, involved, dedicated, and I could on and on. His heart is genuinely devoted to his kids, year after year. His smile is warm and comforting to his students and everyone in his community loves him dearly. This friend of mine is so very deserving of this honor. Thank you for taking my thoughts into consideration.

Hattie Hunter Posted 15 days ago

Mr.Collins is my teacher this year! I love going to school now! I love the outdoor stuff we do!

Imelda De La Rosa Posted 15 days ago

Where do I even begin with how this man is a life changer? He is by far, one of the hardest working men I know. Not just inside the classroom where his passion for teaching kids is evident, or the walls of the school where so many kids (even those that didn’t have him as a teacher) greet him lovingly, but beyond! Beyond our school grounds, where he works so diligently in our garden and greenhouse and the chicken coops. Beyond our school, he is a Legend! A man who donates freshly grown produce items to the local food bank, to the local Sr. Citizen home and to even neighbors surrounding our school. Fresh eggs are definitely shared with the organizations mentioned above and our school families. He works beyond what is required, even during breaks where he serves others less fortunate with his church and church family. In his 44 years of teaching, so many lives have been changed! You need only greet him once and you know he is a genuinely, kind, selfless man. He teaches his students so many fundamentals that have been gone from the classroom for many, many years. Students that had him in the past are bringing their children to our school, in hopes that their child will have the same experience thay had in a classroom led by Mr. Collins so long ago. Though standards and other things have changed over the years, he has changed as needed, but stays true and strong to those students that sit at a desk in his classroom! Mr. Collins is a lifechanger, one that truly deserves the honor of the Lifechanger of the Year Award!! He has definitely changed my life for the better by knowing him!! He has taught me to serve the community selflessly, he has taught me that your best is always the better way to go. Mr. David Collins gets my vote for LifeChanger of the Year!!! I hope he gets yours too!!

Mark Hunter Posted 15 days ago

I could not think of a more deserving person of this award!!

Tiffany Martin Posted 16 days ago

Such an amazing person and teacher! Has always put others before himself and considers all his students like children of his own. He is such an inspiration to all!

Aretha Johnson Posted 16 days ago

He is a very well deserving teacher who has taught for the past 44 years and I am one of his past students #LCOY

Angela Rouse Posted 16 days ago

Mr. Collins taught two of my children and we would all agree that he deserves the Life-changer award! He has made a difference in our family!!!

Tiffany Posted 16 days ago

My kids and I love Mr. Collins! He is always making a difference in the kids lives.

Ashley Loftus Posted 16 days ago

#LCOY

Kelly Koch Posted 18 days ago

Mr. Collins is a huge asset to our school and our community. He has poured his life and talents into teaching and making a difference. It has been a blessing to work with him this year. He is definitely a lifelong life changer!

Frances Gillespie Posted 18 days ago

Wonderful teacher! Always looking for new ways to create and support students learning of knowledge and the world!

Frances Gillespie Posted 18 days ago

Wonderful teacher! Always looking for new ways to create and support students learning of knowledge and the world!

IvieAnn Anderson Posted 18 days ago

Mr. Collins allowed me to work with his students during my senior project. We worked in the greenhouse and garden, I saw his passion for teaching and agriculture! I am pursuing a degree in Agriculture Business to be a STEM Coordinator. STEM education is very important. It allows teachers like Mr. Collins to enhance learning through hands-on activities and real life concepts!!

April Ward Posted 19 days ago

Wonderful teacher!

Allen/Gina Wheeley Posted 19 days ago

God blessed us all with this wonderful man. He’s one of a kind and is loved by many.

Reid Smith Posted 20 days ago

Mr. Collins started teaching at Union elementary when I was in kindergarten. He instantly changed the culture of Union in a positive way. He started a garden that every student loved to help out in. I remember Mr. Collins caught a raccoon one night and brought it to school the next morning and let all the students look at it and gave us a lesson on capturing wildlife and safely releasing them. Every time I come back and visit Union, I always make it a point to see Mr. Collins and so do many of my peers. Even my parents make a point to go see Mr. Collins when they come back and visit. Mr. Collins has singled handedly changed more lives at Union Elementary in his 15+ years at school than all the teachers there combined. Even students that didn’t have his class learned something from Mr. Collins. Ask anybody from the city of Gallatin about Monarch butterflies, and they’ll tell you anything you want to know about them. That’s because of Mr. Collins. If anybody has ever been as deserving of this award, it’s Mr. Collins. He’s the definition of a life changer.

Diane Hinson Posted 20 days ago

Mr. Collins is an awesome teacher. He was my granddaughters teacher and she loved him.

Charlie Smith Posted 20 days ago

He is the best person in the world. He is the best teacher I have ever had because he made us very hands on students with not just nature but the whole school system. When I went up to my uncle Judy’s garden he would ask me what things where and since mr.collins taught me how to identify plants I knew what things were and how to say their names . Overall Mr.Collins has not only taught me about nature and plants but has taught me how to be a great person in the whole community.

Amy Barnett Posted 20 days ago

Mr. Collins is a wonderful man that not only teaches the state standards but teaches about real life. He relates daily lessons to important topics in science and agriculture. Children learn about plants, animals, insects, water and life cycles hands on in the garden, greenhouse, and chicken coops. A definite asset to our school system and community!

Jennifer Parker Posted 20 days ago

Mr. Collins is not only a life changer at his school but in his community with children and adults of all ages. He worked during his summers extremely hard with teenagers at his church’s summer camp. Always giving if his time and energy.

Rachel H Payne Posted 20 days ago

David Collins taught all three of our children in first grade. More than a solid education from books, he also taught them a lifetime of valuable lessons and experiences unparalleled like the hatching of baby chicks, harvesting of peanuts and asparagus, morals, values and work ethic. One would be hard pressed to find another man as selfless and humble who has helped beautifully shape so many children across our region. The mold has been broken. There will only ever be one David Collins, but oh the people he has inspired across decades to try and be like him!

Becky collins Posted 20 days ago

David Collins is a master educator who changes the lives of his students, as well as other teachers. He willingly shares information and techniques with anyone who asks. He has guided many pre-service teachers in their practice experience and, through them, touched the lives of countless more students. We have collaborated for 20 years on STEM projects in our classrooms, doing science in kindergarten and first grade long before it “was cool” to do so. Even after 39 years in my own classroom, he teaches me new things. He has changed countless lives in many positive ways! And now ‘his school children’ are changing lives for the better because of what he taught them, both academically and through character education.

Angela lee Posted 20 days ago

he is an amazing teacher

Kathleen Barrett Posted 20 days ago

He is a fantastic person,educator,father and husband. He is always busy preparing for his students and also all the students in the school to enjoy the garden. Spends countless hours in the Butterfly garden.

Beth Bennett Posted 21 days ago

Such a gracious and caring man who teaches young kids real world lessons. We are so lucky our son got to have him as his first grade teacher!

Beth Curtis Posted 21 days ago

You couldn't have selected a better nominee! Mr. Collins has the biggest heart, he cares for each of his kids so much! He loves watching the kids learn and grow. He definitely makes a positive mark on each child's soul, Mr. Collins has a light that shines within and you can't help but love him!

Anna Posted 21 days ago

Mr. Collins is an outstanding teacher, as well a person! He is very deserving of this!

Tessa Posted 21 days ago

Definitely deserves this award! #LCOY

Sarah Thomas Posted 21 days ago

Mr. Collins has expanded Union Elementary STEM's education beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic. He has brought his passion of gardening and incorporated learning these academic skills into the garden, greenhouse, and animal care. His real life application of skills teaches more than books and pencil/paper ever will. Mr. Collins is truly a life changer for generations of Sumner County people.

Donna Sparkman Posted 21 days ago

Very deserving.

Haley Posted 21 days ago

Me. Collins is very deserving of this award! What a great asset he is to Sumner County schools!

Linda B Posted 21 days ago

Amazing gentleman and educator!

K Mink Posted 22 days ago

Wonderful man!

Carrie Park Posted 22 days ago

I have been very blessed to be able to teach along side Mr. Collins. He gives his all for his students and for his school. He IS a LifeChanger for sure!

Veronica Ent Posted 22 days ago

Mr. Collins is an exceptional teacher. His love of learning and dedication to his students is obvious to anyone who observes his interaction with them. My granddaughters attend Union and both know & love Mr. Collins. He has taught them many practical lessons and has inspired them to try new things. His impact is immeasurable. We are blessed to have had him in the lives of our little girls and Union Elementary is blessed to have him as a part of their faculty.

Tiffany McCaslin Posted 22 days ago

Best teacher my son could have had. Caring, patient and leader. Great mentor!

Susan Groves Rogers Posted 22 days ago

David is truly a one of a kind teacher. Students get a hands-on approach in learning. He values the experiences rather than the traditional classroom curriculum. An engaged child is a happy child in Mr. Collin’s class. He is a legend in our county, and I am privileged to work with him everyday! Mr. Collins has a servant heart always giving more than the average person in time. He worked tirelessly in helping gain the funds for our school’s agricultural campus. Every weekend, evening and summer you will find Mr. Collins working in the garden, greenhouse, and hen coop. His students, as well as the school get many opportunities to get their hands dirty and learn the process.

Mary Shoulders Posted 22 days ago

#LCOY Mr Collins taught my daughter in first grade. She loved him, and still does. He gives so much of his time teaching the students from the books to the garden to the volunteer work on the weekends. He demonstrates what it means to be a teacher who cares about our children.

Rob Reasonover Posted 22 days ago

I’ve known Mr. David almost my whole life and have witnessed and experienced the many ways he changes lives in and out of the classroom. His most important attributes are timeless and still have the greatest impact on others: patience, respect, and love.

Ben singleton Posted 22 days ago

He wasn't my teacher, but wouldn't have experienced the butterfly launch or the garden without him! Definitely a life changer.

Robert Posted 22 days ago

My now 14 year old had him as a teacher when she was in 1stgrade, I cannot say enough about what a wonderful person and great teacher Mr. Collins is.

Cecilia Garcia Rodriguez Posted 22 days ago

Mr. Collins, You might not remember me as I sat in your classroom over 25 years ago, but I will forever remember you and the Lastig impression you left on me as A small child. I walked into your classroom knowing not only Noone but with a very limited vocabulary as my primary language was Spanish. I remember vividly how you helped me through my journey in learning English and getting situated in a classroom setting. I remember you introducing me to the class, making me feel special and no different from the others, I remember the penny drive, sitting down at a computer to work on my English and most importantly I remember your compassion. I was very blessed to have you as my teacher and I am so excited to see you are continuing to do great things. You are an amazing person and you are serving your purpose on earth as a teacher. Congrats, one of many of your proud students.

Mickie Flores Posted 22 days ago

This amazing teacher has a reach that is far beyond his classroom and touches every child in the school.

Sherri Gibson Posted 22 days ago

Mr. Collins is a man of many talents. He is basically a one-man show with our outdoor classroom. While fulfilling his classroom duties, he involves the entire school in the garden and greenhouse activities. Even more importantly, he loves our kiddos...and they love him right back! Mr. David Collins has earned this award...he is a positive life changer!

Nicki Bynum Posted 22 days ago

Mr. Collins is one of a kind. He works so selflessly to make his school and classroom full of hands on learning.

Tessa Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is not only a LifeChanger for all those he’s impacted at school but also at church camp. #LCOY

Angie Boone Posted 23 days ago

The most deserving person I can think of for this award. Thousands of lives have been touched by Mr. Collins. He is the most dedicated, selfless, compassionate person I have ever met. My life has positively been changed by his presence in it.

Jackie Redmon Posted 23 days ago

This world could use more people such as this man.

Kathy Pryor Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins taught both of my children in kindergarten. We developed a friendship and have maintained this friendship to this day. My children treasure the many life lessons that he taught them. His love for teaching and learning has changed the lives of many children through the years. He cares for every child that enters his school and desires to teach life lessons not just the state curriculum. Every child will remember those life lessons long after they leave his classroom and will always smile when they hear Mr. Collins name. Thank you, Mr. Collins, for your love and encouragement.

Melanie Posted 23 days ago

My niece loves Mr. Collins! I know he has made an impact on her at Union!

Kristin Russell Posted 23 days ago

There are no appropriate words to describe the influence Mr. Collins has had on the students and residents of our county. His generosity, compassion and love are boundless. He is the true definition of a Life Changer.

Kaitlyn Jackson Posted 23 days ago

Mr.Collins was more than a life changer. He was so much more to the kids, parents , and staff of Union. He was always someone you could talk to about something he was amazing at gardening and agriculture. He was overall an amazing man, definitely deserves this award!!

Elisa Posted 23 days ago

Wow

Eva Jane Johnston Posted 23 days ago

I have known David for many years and he has always been WONDERFUL!!!!!

Leslie Yates Posted 23 days ago

Not only is he a coworker, but he gave my child something in 1st grade that he could not have gotten from any other teacher! Mr. David Collins deserves this award more than any teacher I know!! #LCOY

Katie Haynes Posted 23 days ago

This man helped shape me into the woman I am today.

Brandon Creasy Posted 23 days ago

He is a wonderful man and a driven professional that puts the students ahead of himself.

Niki Oldham Posted 23 days ago

Mr.Collins deserves this award more than any other teacher I know. He has dedicated his life to teaching students “outside of the box” and has made lasting impressions on those he has taught. He teaches with such passion and enthusiasm but with great reverence as well.

Karen S Duke Posted 23 days ago

David Collins is the most dedicated, inspiring, and giving man I’ve had the privilege to know. He has been dedicated to the education of children for 40+ years in Sumner County. His love of nature and growing things has inspired many of these students to work in the school garden or gather eggs when it’s so hot they complain that it’s too hot outside to play at recess. David’s giving spirit goes far beyond the many hours spent in our garden or greenhouse on weekends and vacations but he also gives tirelessly of himself to the youth at his church. He plans all the youth activities and camps at Hartsville Pike Church of Christ in Gallatin, Tennessee. Through all his many achievements, David Collins has changed the lives of many young and old.

AmandaRoss-Gregory Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is the best!! Completely deserving of this award.

Pat Julian Posted 23 days ago

I went through school for years with David..There is not a better human being on earth than this man...He is most deserving of this award and any others that may be bestowed upon him...

Sonja Richardson Posted 23 days ago

He is a very special person and an outstanding teacher.

Connie Russell Posted 23 days ago

Praying for you and your family. Thank you for all you do for the kids!!

Lindsey Bradley Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is an incredible teacher, and one of the kindest, most caring people I’ve ever met.

Guadalupe Mora Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins was my kindergarten teacher at Vena Stuart, he has definitely impacted my life in such a positive manner. His impact did not stop with me, his student, but also my family.

Beth Peveler Posted 23 days ago

I have experienced Mr. Collin’s teaching methods as both, a parent of one of his students, and now as a co-worker. I once told my son that he would learn things from this man that he would carry with him for the rest of his life. Things that books cannot teach. Things you learn from being hands on in your environment. I assure you, he did not disappoint. My son is now in the fourth grade and still refers to things he learned from Mr. Collins in the first grade and I predict he will still do so into middle, high school and even college. He has left an impression on him and so many others. I am not from the Gallatin area, so I did not have the pleasure of having Mr. Collins as a teacher; however, there are lessons he has taught me as an adult working alongside him that I have put into practice in my own classroom. You cannot be in his presence and not be changed for the better.

Quinton Creasy Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is an incredible man and works harder than anyone I know! His dedication to his students and love of the school is obvious in everything he does. From mamaging the school garden, to the annual butterfly launch, Mr. Collins goes above and beyond to bring life-changing experiences to students.

Lisa Yates Posted 23 days ago

What a great thing to be such a great teacher and be nominated! You are awesome Mr. Collins!! You are truly a life changer! God bless you!

Katelyn Henderson Posted 23 days ago

#lcoty

Ann Roberts Posted 23 days ago

We like the eggs from his chicken project.

Shelley Swinehart Posted 23 days ago

Well deserved nomination and hopefully award winner! Mr. Collins directed my church camp. Now he was my son's first grade teacher who took the time to do a devotional for him and his friends. A great role model and true teacher. He"s a Life Changer!

Kathryn Kisner Posted 23 days ago

Years of changing lives of young children. No one more deserving. #LCOY

Chasity Robison Posted 23 days ago

We love the dedication Mr. Collins gives to our children. There is no one more deserving of this award than him.

Amy Hickson Posted 23 days ago

Mr.Collins truly is a life changer. He has this wonderful ability to find the gift in every child. No matter whether that gift be, animals, agriculture, sports, or academics, he takes the time to know the child. And even after your child is gone from his school of learning he remembers! He will stop and talk to the child wherever you may see him and question what goal that child is currently working on. He is a wonder in the classroom but so much more outside. Anyone that come to know Mr. Collins truly is the one to be blessed.

Sherry Fulkerson Posted 23 days ago

#lcoy

Elaine Cardoza Posted 23 days ago

Wonderful teacher, & great person! It takes a special man to teach young kids. Such a good role model and mentor!

Carlos Loftus Posted 23 days ago

#LCOY

Jenny Singleton Posted 23 days ago

One of the many great Union teachers. ?? I'll never forget his class. From growing all kinds of plants in his garden to watching caterpillars grow into butterflies and having a migration party for them. So much love for Mr. Collins!

Margie Mannon Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is a great role model. He has spent his whole life making the lives of everyone he comes across better. I cannot see a butterfly without thinking of him. The world is a better place for him being in it.

WayneVantrease Posted 23 days ago

Nobody does the work that David does for his students! The knowledge that his students get carry them through their entire lives! Not only classroom work, but nature, manners, life experiences are just a little of what he teaches. I’m proud to call him a friend and so proud that he teaches two of my grandchildren. Praying for him daily!??

S.Kittrell Posted 23 days ago

The kind of teacher that creates a love of learning - not testing.

Sharon Haynes Posted 23 days ago

My son had him years ago, he was the best teacher I have ever run across. Great teacher

Karen Abbondanza Posted 23 days ago

Best nominee!!

Christy Willis Posted 23 days ago

My oldest daughter had the privilege to be in Mr Collins first grade class at Union Elementary when it was the “pilot”year round school in sumner county. He sets the bar high for the children in his class and they reach it because he knows they can. Through out their years at Union, his guidance continues with personal examples of kindness, leadership, and loving your neighbors which fosters these young men and women to believe in theirselves.

Jessica Shrum Posted 23 days ago

Best man for this award. Very deserving of this.

Bill Wares Posted 23 days ago

What a way to start a child’s school years...with 1st grade teacher Mr. Collins. He was one of the Best if not the Best teacher my son (Alex) ever had. He enlightened children in an interesting and fun way...from the release of the Monarch butterflies to the growing of his vegetable garden. He trul

Danny Sullivan Posted 23 days ago

I have had the privilege of knowing Mr. David Collins for many years. I served as the Primcipal of Union STEM from 2008 to June of 2017. Mr. Collins is one of the best teachers I have ever worked with and the number of lives that he has touched over the years is countless. David has toughest multiple generations In his over 40 years serving the students of Summer County Tennessee. #LCOY

Connie Wade Posted 23 days ago

David Collins is also very active in his church. He heads the summer and winter Bible camp for several local congregations. He is a very well known and iconic member of our community. He is definitely a life changer!

Anna Stephens Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is one of those teachers you will remember your entire life!

jennifer brooks Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins does a wonderful job

Angie Alexander Posted 23 days ago

Most deserve no teacher ever!

Cindy Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins was my granddaughter's 1st-grade teacher. He is an amazing man and wonderful instructor. Whether in the classroom or at a restaurant eating with his family, he always has time for her to come speak with him and listen/answer any questions she may have. Very welcoming and encouraging to all students and staff at Union.

Kyle wanstrath Posted 23 days ago

Mr Collins is one of the best teachers I've ever seen. On the last day of school when my son was in first grade both students and parents were crying because of the way mr Collins affected us.

Anne Smith Posted 23 days ago

I have know this wonderful man and teacher for 43 years! He was t he best then & the best today! May God belting back his health to continue to bless his knowledge to more young minds!

Elaine Donoho Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins has touched so many lives during his career here in Gallatin! Starting with our kids and own to our grandkids and he seems to remember each and every one!!! He deserves every award he can get!!!

Brandi Pettis Posted 23 days ago

Such an amazing man!!! I can only imagine how many lives he has touched!

Krissi Carr Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins had not only been amazing at the school he teaches at, but he has been amazing to us at our preschool in the Gallatin community. He helped us start a garden, he brought us caterpillars so that our students could see the life cycle of the butterfly, and he helped us with a butterfly launch! He is an amazing person!

Lynn Dyer Posted 23 days ago

David Collins has been a co-teacher of mine for over 35 years. I have witnessed his caring attitude toward every child that has come through his classroom. He demonstarates the true culture needed in the classroom for children to succeed. We have spent many hours preparing for special events like the Butterfly ?? Launch to teach children in different ways. He has diffinately been a life changer!

Audrey Blankenship Posted 23 days ago

My daughter is a student of Mr. Collins. The impact he has made on her in such a short amount of time is beautiful to see. Her love for butterflies and wanting to be "a farm girl" all stem from his teaching in and OUTSIDE of the classroom. We love Mr. Collins!

Lauren white Posted 23 days ago

Wonderful teacher

Kelly may Posted 23 days ago

He has made a huge impact on my daughter.

Debbie Teeples Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is one of the most dedicated teachers I have known. He was my oldest and now my youngest granddaughters 1st grade teachers. He is nature and common sense driven. Most kids today have no idea where their food comes from. He takes the time to show these children that food first is planted, tended and gathered. You would be surprised at how many children know nothing about our food source. They have the opportunity to be hands on from learning about gardening, gathering eggs daily and even learning the cycles of the Monarch Butterfly. I haven't found a child yet that has not been excited about their year with Mr. Collins. He makes learning fun. #LCOY

Nicki Bynum Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is one of a kind. He works so selflessly to make his school and classroom full of hands on learning.

Rhoyce Sloan Posted 23 days ago

This gentleman has certainly been a life changer for our community! He taught both my children and helped them to learn so much!

Lisa Hodges Posted 23 days ago

What a great gift to our children, grandchildren and our community this great educator Mr. Collins is.

Shannon Jacobs Posted 23 days ago

He impacted my family. He is impacting a community, a school and our future generations. He gives kids a love for school that most kids do not have. He teaches them so much more then math and spelling

Sherry Parker Posted 23 days ago

I’ve never met him but I’ve heard wonderful things. I wish my son would’ve had him as a teacher!

Zoe Doyle Posted 23 days ago

Both of my children had the pleasure of being students of Mr. Collins. He nurtured them in so many ways, and thanks to his gardening in the classroom, he got them to do things I could not: eating broccoli, sweet potatoes, and asparagus! We love Mr. Collins, and there is no one more deserving of this award than he!

Greta Parker Posted 23 days ago

Me Collins has been a staple in raising 4 of my children. He touched every single one of their lives in the classroom, on the playground, in the hallways and of course in the greenhouse and the garden. I can not think of anyone more deserving than this man. Fantastic choice! His unconditional smile and passion for teaching is something that simply cannot be measured. He truly is a role model for all educators.

Leigh VanderWielen Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins has a heart of gold!

Jennifer Graham Posted 23 days ago

I can think of no one more deserving of this honor than David Collins. To say that he is a life changer is an understatement! He has touched countless lives in his over 40 years of teaching. His students learn so much more than just what is in a text book, they learn hands-on, real life experiences. These children are learning about giving back to their community and serving other people. Life lessons that will take them beyond the walls of any classroom. Mr. Collins is an absolute treasure to Union STEM and to our community. He is loved and admired by everyone. I am so thankful he had a part in my children's education. I urge you to strongly consider Mr. David Collins for Lifechanger of the Year!

Hannah Young Posted 23 days ago

Mr.Collins is an amazing teacher! The programs he has established like the butterfly launch and gardens have made for such a unique experience at the best school ever!

Janice Dorris Posted 23 days ago

I have been retired for 13 years, and David could have retired several years ago, but his heart is with teaching. I taught,Chris, David’s son and became friends with the family. He is an inspiration to all who know him. We served on committees together while I was teaching. I have never know any teacher who is always striving to make learning mean something. Teaching is more then being able to pass a test, and David Collins is the best at keeping learning fun. He is an extraordinary teacher,leader, father,husband and friend to many. No one is more deserving of this honor then David Collins.

Katherine Hunter Posted 23 days ago

Mr.Collins is a WONDERFUL educator and friend!! My daughter is in his class this year, and we couldn't be more thrilled. She loves going to school, and she is progressing enormously in her math and reading!!

Susan Hampton Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is the definition of a life changer! The students at my school beg to be in his class each year.

Angie Holleman Posted 23 days ago

He is a wonderful teacher and person. He loves the kids he works with year after year. He does so much more than he is required to do as an educator.

Sarah Vaughn Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins was my Kindergarten teacher in 1997-1998. In my opinion, he is a life changer every year. I took my first steps without crutches at age 5 because he believed in me. Keep up the good work, Mr. Collins! Thank you for the lessons you teach that go far beyond any grade level.

Stacy Baker Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is the best with a true caring heart for the kids!

Robert Sherman Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is one fantastic teacher. He is constantly looking for ways to enhance the education of his students. He is involved with the entire community helping to advance the education of all students . Few teachers can match his ability to bring out the best in his students. A good Christian man who is dedicated to making the time spent in his classroom bring the student to a life of learning and succeeding.

PJ Davis Posted 23 days ago

Dedicated amazing man. As a grandparent and community partner I stopped hm in the hall to ask him questions about how to raise butterflies. He was patient kind and so knowledgeable. He changed my world with his attitude towards outsiders in the school. He treats everyone with dignity and touches so many in the school and community.

Katherine Sullivan Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is an INCREDIBLE teacher. He is one of the most dedicated and passionate teachers I’ve ever seen. The lives he touches are permanently impacted in a way that will stay with you for a lifetime. Mr. Collins is the MOST deserving of the #loty award!

Dorothy Dixon Posted 23 days ago

Absolutely the best at anything he attempts to do! He has change so many small lives in his career!

Lisa Yates Posted 23 days ago

What a great thing to be such a great teacher and be nominated! You are awesome Mr. Collins!! You are truly a life changer! God bless you!

Danielle Smith Posted 23 days ago

I have known David Collins for over 15 years. From the day we met, he has inspired me to be a better teacher. His amazing gift with children is evident from the moment you see him with any group of children. They cling to his every word. My daughter was blessed to be in his class and begged to stay after school so she could continue working with Mr. Collins in the garden. Even though my boys weren’t in his class, he still knew them and worked with them almost daily. His love of educating children has moved him beyond the walls of Union. He works with our high school students and started a joint effort between the high school students and the first graders to continue their agricultural education. He k owe no limits to education. He sees a need and he works to fulfill it. Personally as an educator, I look to him constantly. He reminds me everyday that teaching isn’t about test scores, teaching is proving life long lessons for our students.

Mary Crider Posted 23 days ago

I have worked with Mr Collins for years. He is a remarkable individual that loves his job and his students. He gives them more than head knowledge. He gives them real life experiences that they may never get to have without him.

Angel Harrison Posted 23 days ago

We love Mr. Collins is an amazing teacher who shares his love for the outdoors, raising chickens, growinga garden with his students and the other kids in the school! He goes out of his way to put on an amazing butterfly launch every year in the Fall!

Donna Belote Posted 23 days ago

So deserving, David Collins is one of the finest.

Dana Pirtle Posted 23 days ago

David Collins has been teaching the love of learning to thousands of children and parents in our hometown for decades with the love and discipline of a good father. His projects with children from gardens to raising chickens to his legendary butterfly launches have given children an education beyond that in books. He has been a shining example of teacher, father and friend to many children and parents throughout his career. He is truly a life changing man with a servant's heart.

Bethany Crain Posted 23 days ago

Best Teacher ever! Has changed so many kids lives over the years! Teaches them the important life lessons that really build their character! Deserves to win!!!

Heather Posted 23 days ago

After my soon to be 1st grader had a horrible experience in kindergarten, he was placed in Mr. Collins class for 1st grade. From learning to spell metamorphosis, butterfly launch, gardening, and teaching my student in a unique way. My child learned to love school and what school was about. Now my student will be a senior next year and he can still spell metamorphosis, love monarch butterflies, loves to garden, and has continued to love his experience in school all because Mr. Collins. It was this teachers love, patience, kindness, etc....That makes him great and makes his students have a special place in their heart for school, community, and love they have learned from this amazing teacher!

Tammy Lamberth Posted 23 days ago

Awesome person and educator

Mark Wilson Posted 23 days ago

David is a life changer in his work at school, but more importantly through his Faith and example!

Jennifer Springer Posted 23 days ago

Mr Collins touches so many kids with all that he does. Even kids who did not get the opportunity to have him are still influenced by him. His butterfly launch, garden, chickens, and love for the kids goes beyond so much more then being a teacher....what he does is life changing

Denise Beaty Posted 23 days ago

Mr David Collins is a Life Changer for many, but is a life changer for my son as a first grade student in 2009-2010 and his years since having David as a teacher. He gave my son confidence and ignated a fire for nature and for learning by making classroom experiences both relevant and fun. Mr C's dedication to teaching the next generation about the importance of sustainability through core subjects using the outdoor school garden and chicken coop as his outdoor classroom was a huge part of who my child is. My son learned the importance of hard work and dedication, aka grit, from Mr Collins and his impact will forever be apart of my child's character and outlook on his role to help the Earth and use goods to help others. Furthermore, his dedication to teaching students and adults about the importance of pollinators and the process of pollination to our world is another example of going above and beyond what our state standards state and take learning to a whole different level through this project and the previously mentioned project for his first graders. His efforts to encourage his students to learn about the life cycle of monarchs by harvesting them in the classroom and hosting a schoolwide monarch migration launch each year is life changing not only to all the students who are a part of these activities in the classroom, bbutnto the community, and ultimately to the world as thousands of monarchs must've pollinated thousands upon thousands of plants along their migration from middle TN to Mexico and/or Canada over the many years of the Monarch Migration at Union Elementary. Mr Collins will forever be a part of who my child is and whom he will become, but his impact to our community and our world goes way beyond my child. He is a definite life changer and deserves to be honored as a Life Changer of the Year. David Collins has touched more lives with his dedication to showing others love and the importance of contributing to their community and their world. Each morning after saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag, Mr Collins leads his students in singing "America the Beautiful". To me, this is a testimony of a man with a servant heart doing his part for a land he loves and his trust in the future generations of our world. David Collins is a Life Changer indeed!

Toshua Douglas Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is an excellent teacher who loves what he does! Very compassionate about teaching and also that the children are learning.

Denise Hunter Posted 23 days ago

He is an amazing first grade teacher at my daughter's school, Union Elementary. He also goes to our church & organizes our church camp every summer & winter. He has definitely had an impact on the lives of many young people!

Baylee Green Posted 23 days ago

Devoted to changing the kids’ lives across Gallatin and anyone else around him by setting a great example!

Aretha Johnson Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins was my Kindergarten teacher many many years ago. He is well deserving of this honor as he is very loving, caring and generous to all who come in contact with him #LCOY

Kathy Vantrease Posted 23 days ago

David Collins is a teacher who make children believe they can do or be anything they choose. His patience and love for children is always there. He is an amazing man, teacher, and colleague.

Wanda Pulliam Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is known all over Gallatin. Every child (and parent) wants Mr. Collins for a teacher. He always seems happy and patient and the children always learn so much in his class. I'm sure he could have retired some time ago but he has more energy than young teachers. He has so many projects going through the school. Everyone knows Mr. Collins at school and throughout our city. I believe he's the best and most energetic teacher I've ever known!

DeAnn Demonbreun Posted 23 days ago

Great teacher. He brings ideas and lessons to the kids in a very engaging way. He is loved by all.

Ashleigh West Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins is the best of the best! He is so dedicated to what he does at all times! Union elementary is one lucky school to have him!

Paula Crossland Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins LOVES his job. When you love what you do, it’s not a job. That’s evident with Mr. Collins!!

Kristen Scott Posted 23 days ago

Mr Collins was my kindergarten teacher over 20 years ago, as well as both of my brothers. His impact in my life is felt even now, and his is still a name that comes up in all of our fond memories. He is an amazing teacher, and an even better man!

Lisa Anderson Posted 23 days ago

He has spent countless hours to give his best to his students.

Lisa Anderson Posted 23 days ago

He has spent countless hours to give his best to his students.

Jennifer Mitchell Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins has personally had a huge impact on my daughter as her first grade teacher! He is a life changer not only for all the students he has taught over the years but also for the entire community. You can find him volunteering at the local food bank, helping kids attend church camp or working in the butterfly garden at the local park just to name a few. I hope he is chosen for this award because he is a LIFE CHANGER for so many!!

Libby Rominger Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Collins was my 1st grade teacher and goes to my church! He’s touched so many life’s! He’s been the director of the HPCC church camp for many years!! He’s helped me on my journey with God and school throughout the years...I’m now in 8th grade and still use things he’s taught me. He’s one of the most caring people ever and I strive to be more like him. He’s always helping others and was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had!!! He’s changed so many life’s through God and being a teacher!! Mr. Collins is truly a life changer!! #LCOY

Leslie Allen Posted 24 days ago

Mr. David Collins is ‘that teacher’ - you know - that teacher that your child always remembers!! The one that teaches outside in the garden, in the classroom and launches Monarch Butterflies! Every elementary school should be blessed with a teacher like Mr. Collins.

Keshia Posted 24 days ago

Excellent teacher and wonderful role model.

Bill Weaver Posted 24 days ago

David has always put the kids first and taught them things they would never have learned without him.

Angie Posted 24 days ago

Great teacher and encourager.

Caroline Wigger Posted 24 days ago

David Collins is truly deserving of this award. He is a positive influence on the kids with both academics and life skills. He instills a love for learning in students at an early age, and motivates them to strive for success. Not only is he a great teacher, but he is a wonderful colleague. The very first time I met him, I was a brand new teacher. New to the school, and all around nervous and excited about my upcoming journey. He was working in the garden, but he walked over to welcome me. He made me feel at home immediately, and we chatted about school, vegetables, and everything in between. After a full day of getting my new classroom together, I came back to my car, and hanging on my door was a sack full of fresh green beans. It’s the little gestures and moments in life that mean the most. Mr. Collins has the kindest heart, and deserves recognition for his dedication and passion, as an educator. This man genuinely touches the lives of students, colleagues, parents, and other members of the community on a daily basis. David Collins is, without a doubt, a life changer. #LCOY

Terri Brimm Bentley Posted 24 days ago

Mr. David Collins is an incredible human and the most fabulous teacher

Bobby Rominger Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins amazes parents with his ability to use the garden and greenhouse for every aspect of his classroom. Students count different plants or vegetables then add the totals together. He then has students write about what they did in the garden for another lesson. All the while he teaches them about science but so many other lessons are incorporated into this ranging from math to spelling.

Amanda Hunter Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins is a wonderful teacher and person. My son is now in 6th grade and still talks about all of the amazing things he learned in Mr. Collins first grade classroom.

Lori Lee Posted 24 days ago

He was a teacher when I was in Kindergarten and I love him then. My sweet son had the pleasure of having him as well. The main thing he wanted him to leave him with was confidence and to speak his voice. What a wonderful teacher and friend.

Nicole harris Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collin's is a well known name at Union and has made a difference in all the children's lives even the ones that he doesn't teach! He gives the kids a chance to learn while finding a passion for the earth and animals through the school garden. I highly recommend him for this award.

Tina Fandel Posted 24 days ago

He is a wonderful teacher.

Annette Carpenter Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins is a wonderful, kind and all around outstanding person. He always goes the extra mile with his students, and definitely tries to find a creative approach to keep their interest.

Rachel Souliere Posted 24 days ago

There is no none more deserving. Mr. Collins has impacted the lives of so many.

Lisa Owen Posted 24 days ago

I cannot say enough good things about Mr. Collins. Very deserving!!!

Elizabeth Boling Posted 24 days ago

As a parent I have never met a teacher who cares so much about not only his students but anyone he comes across. My daughter, Therese, who is now in 4th grade had Mr. Collins as her 1st grade teacher. She learned more then just what was in books, she learned that life is all around. From gardening and using the land to provide to setting butterflies off to protect a species. As a teacher he instills life lessons. He is tough but has a heart in the classroom and outside. He knows every child (even the ones he never had in class and he has taught for longer then I have been alive!) Just that fact that my family would see him while out to eat and he would just come sit and remember not only my girls name but mine and my husbands and be able to remember specific traits of each my girls and us(And he only had one of my girls as a student). His impact on anyone he meets is honorable but his humble character makes him one of the most incredible people in this world.

Tammy Legge Posted 24 days ago

Wonderful teacher, wonderful human being!

Christie Roberson Posted 24 days ago

No one deserves this more than Mr. Collins. He not only teaches in the classroom, he teaches in the school garden, he teaches when he is feeding his chickens and collecting eggs. He is loved by all. This award is so well deserved.

Craig Rooks Posted 24 days ago

Both my daughters had the priveledge of learning not only academic, but useful life skills under this excellent educator.

Dianne Harris Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins is loved by all the students and staff. He does such a wonderful job teaching the children where their food comes and maintains the gardens and chicken coops. His work with the butterfly launch is incredible.

Sarah Barie Posted 24 days ago

#lcoy

Ashley Loftus Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins is a fabulous teacher. he is such a blessing to our school. He had a unique way of reaching each child and truly inspires young minds to work toward greatness.

Stacy Porter Posted 24 days ago

There is no other teacher that deserves this award/honor more than David Collins. His dedication to teaching and to his students is unparalleled. He IS a life-changer.

Lana Holleman Mullins Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins has been touching the lives of all ages for as long as I can remember. Truer than true is what you get with this man. Love and Prayers!

Shawn Braswell Posted 24 days ago

Best teacher ever!

Tracci barnes Posted 24 days ago

A wonderful teacher!!! Thebkids love him!!

Elizabeth Bednarcik Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins goes way above and beyond what is asked of him. I wish every school had a teacher like him. He is a true blessing to every child at Union Elem School.

AmyJohnson Posted 24 days ago

Mr Collins is a treasure!!!

Michael miller Posted 24 days ago

Simply an amazing educator!

Tara Dunn Posted 24 days ago

My children have experienced things that wouldn’t be possible without Mr. Collins. I couldn’t imagine UES without him! #LCOY

Sherry Thomas Posted 24 days ago

Most amazing, loving, and caring man that I have ever met !

Stacy Sealy Posted 24 days ago

David Collins is not just a great teacher but a gifted one. He gives so much of himself to the students he teaches and has brought such incredible experiences to the school in which he teaches. Lives are being changed forever because he teaches. #lcoy

Karla Moran Posted 24 days ago

I have had the honor of working closely with Mr. Collins for nearly 10 years. The difference he has made in the lives of our school, children, and parents has been amazing. It's not secret that he could have retired years ago. He enjoys coming to school each day and making a difference in the lives of our students. We are lucky to have him on our staff!

Brittany Hansen Posted 24 days ago

I cannot think of another human being on the planet that deserves this award more than Mr. David Collins. While neither one of my boys had Mr. Collins in 1st grade while attending Union Elementary, he has still touched both of their lives in ways that only someone as special as him can. Mr. Collins is just that kind of a person, that kind of a teacher. He cares for ALL of the kids, whether they are in his class or not. He is a teacher at heart, in his inner core, and a special one at that. He is the kind of teacher that every parent dreams of having for their child and hopes that there is a school full of. I can say for certain that my children’s elementary school experiences would have been completely different if not for Mr. David Collins, and not for the better. Mr. David Collins is the walking, talking example of a “life changer”, the epitome of that very phrase.

Mary Farrell Posted 24 days ago

Wonderful teacher!!!! Well deserved!!!

Jennifer Kidd Butler Posted 24 days ago

I've known Mr. David Collins for years and he is very deserving of this award. He has changed, touched, and impacted many people's lives, being the teacher that he is. I hope he gets the Life Changer award. He truly deserves it.

Kara Henry Posted 24 days ago

Wonderful educator and even better tooth puller. Mr Collins is amazing.

Elizabeth McCormick Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins was my husband's Sunday School teacher and our oldest son' first grade teacher. When Jackson was graduating from high school, it was Me. Collins that he wanted to tell that he was going to college and hopefully the Army. He is just simply so loved!

Lisa Green Posted 24 days ago

There's not another person around that impacts everyone's life, young & old. He is a fine man!

Amy salyers Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins was insturmental in my boys’ elementary years!!!

Jessica Shrum Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins was my kindergarten teacher and my son had him for first grade. I have great memories of being in his class. All the children love him and everything that he does for our school. #LCOY

Sarah Alexander Posted 24 days ago

I have had the pleasure as a parent and employee at Union to witness Mr.Collins at work. Not only the students in his class but throughout the school love him. He gives his time and talents freely. He encourages and brings the best out in his students and most every one who encounters him. He offers ways for others to give back to their communities either through his many gardens or his monthly visits at the food bank. He never misses an opportunity to teach and touch lives. He helped shape Union STEM into the incredible school that it is today. He not only teaches reading and math but genuine life lessons that shape children to be their best.

Tina Starnes Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins has devoted 44 years to teaching and changing children’s lives. From butterfly launches to lessons in the garden. Mr. Collins is one of a kind!

Eisha White Posted 24 days ago

This man has touched so many lives. He is a true example of a life changer!

Christie Fitch Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins has definitely touched many students over the years. He is the best there is!

Cindy Posted 24 days ago

#LCOY David Collins

Mende Taylor Posted 24 days ago

David Collins inspired my son, Landon, to achieve great things in school. In 1st grade, Landon was challenged to make the academic top 30 at Gallatin High. 11 years later, Landon did just that and remembered what Mr. Collins challenged him to do and be. My son learned so much about hard work in the classroom and in Me. Collins’ garden, a work ethic that has served Landon so well through his life. Mr. Collins has changed lives of students, other teachers, and children in foreign countries through mission trips for over 40 years. He deserves this award and more!

ALysa Posted 24 days ago

Truly deserves this award. One of the greatest men I have ever known and a wonderful teacher! #LCOY

Beth Allen Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins is the best and keeps our greenhouse, garden and chickens running smoothly, all while running a classroom as well!

Susan Hinson Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins' teachings go far beyond the classroom! He truly has a gift for teaching, and has made a lasting impact on the students he has taught!

Jean Hesson Posted 24 days ago

This is the most deserving man. His impact on the lives of children will be felt for generations.

Rachel Holleman Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins is truly a one of a kind teacher. He has touched so many kids during his teaching career!

Alison Turner Posted 24 days ago

Two of my children have had the pleasure of being in Mr. Collins’ 1st grade class. He has an amazing amount of patience and love that he lavishes in every student. Every morning his children gather around him to tell him their most important information of the day. I am always amazed how he can acknowledge each one with a touch, hug, kind word and still get them calmly ready for the day’s lessons. He is adds so much to our schoolwith his willingness to share his knowledge with every child, be it in the garden, collecting butterflies for every classroom, or just a kind word in the hallway. He is loved by so many.

Amanda Hunter Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins is a wonderful teacher and person. My son is now in 6th grade and still talks about all of the amazing things he learned in Mr. Collins first grade classroom.

Cindy Brazel Posted 24 days ago

So deserving

Melissa Jaggers Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins taught my daughter, Riley Jaggers, and he left an indelible impact on her life. He laughed at her corny jokes and encouraged her sense of humor. She had a loose tooth that she wouldn’t let anyone touch — except mr. Collins, who pulled it for her! He is an amazing educator that has changed thousands of lives!!

Shannon Schmidt Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins is my daughters first grade teacher. I have seen her go from hating to read to being excited to read just in a couple of months. Mr. Collins love for his class goes deeper then most teachers. He makes sure they leave his class with not only book knowledge but always some life skills. Mr. Collins is a life changer for sure!!

Carolyn Neal Posted 24 days ago

What a wonderful teacher and a great person!! He is deserving of this award.

Cheri Zullo Posted 24 days ago

Wonderful teacher and man. He had brought many exciting programs to our school.

Jennifer Arnold Posted 24 days ago

I have worked side by side with David Collins at Union STEM for the past 10 years and can think of no one that deserves this award more. He is a true life changer, not only for the students who are lucky enough to be in his class, but for anyone who crosses his path. He is selfless in using his passion of agriculture to help children grow and become life long learners. He has a servant’s heart and works countless hours to ensure the success of Union’s garden, greenhouse, chicken coups and more. He is simply the BEST!

Janel Holt Posted 24 days ago

I have worked with Mr. Collins at Union S.T.E.M. for 13 years. He is wonderful at collaborating with other grade levels in the garden and greenhouse. The children love his hands-on approach to learning. He is definitely a life changer!

Landon Taylor Posted 24 days ago

Great teacher and even better man. Put up with me in the first grade, and that by itself is a lot! Dedicated teacher that puts his students first.

Sherri Braswell Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins is truly a life changer! I have worked with him for 9 years and he works tirelessly for the students at Union STEM. He also serves on a foster care board for children & serves on mission trips on his breaks from school. I cannot think of anyone more deserving for the Life Changer Award.

Carrie Park Posted 24 days ago

Mr. Collins has a gift for teaching. He provides hands on learning experiences for his students that show his dedication and love for his students. He works tirelessly in the garden over the summer and over breaks. He not only teaches the students how to grow the plants in the garden but he also teaches the students the importance in giving back to those in need. #LCOY

Emily Cron Posted 24 days ago

I know Mr Collins outside of school and he is a wonderful man who truly impacts everyone he comes in contact with. He’s a great example to all!

Cindy Posted 24 days ago

You rock...

Christi Rosen Posted 24 days ago

Very well deserved. Has changed many lives during his career!

Kelly Tabor Posted 24 days ago

A wonderful man who truly loves to work and encourage the youth

Jean Hesson Posted 24 days ago

There is no more deserving educator. He definitely has changed countless lives!

Lance Taylor Posted 24 days ago

Mr. David Collins has positively affected the lives of over 1,000 students in his class for over 44 years and as many others who were not in his class. He is a tremendous teacher and role model for students. His students learn hands-on by working in the Union STEM vegetable garden, greenhouse, chicken coop, flower garden, and butterfly garden. Food produced from his garden and chicken coop are donated to Gallatin CARES and the Sumner County Food Bank. David is such a giving, nurturing teacher; a true LifeChanger.