LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Heidi Allen

Position: Music Teacher
School: Bradford Elementary School
School District: Bradford Elementary School
City, State: Bradford, VT

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Heidi Allen was nominated by Lucas Barrett, the parent of one of her students.

"Above all, I think that the willingness and the courage to keep on trying develops best if there is someone we love close by who can lend us some of the strength we do not yet have within ourselves. I don't mean someone who will do a task for us, but rather someone who will share our times of trying just by being around and being supportive, someone who can sustain the belief that we can succeed even when we doubt it ourselves. We all need quiet, caring cheerleaders like that -grown-ups as well as children." - Fred Rogers

This quote perfectly captures why Mrs. Allen is a LifeChanger in her community. She's a dedicated music teacher serving an at-risk population in Eastern Vermont. Her defining trait is unconditional encouragement. She acts as a caring cheerleader for hundreds of children, many of whom do not have a primary cheerleader in their family or close circle of friends.

When budgets were tight and some students were interested in starting a school rock band, Mrs. Allen took it upon herself to find and apply for grants to get band equipment. She won a grant to purchase drums and electric guitars! Only a few months into her program, she was encouraging her group to perform in front of the whole town during a local vendor sales event called Midnight Madness. Mrs. Allen leads by example, and while her students performed at this event, she displayed a confident, proud smile playing electric guitar alongside them every step of the way.

Every year, Mrs. Allen puts on a holiday concert and a musical play where she collaborates with her colleagues in multiple grades and disciplines to create a learning experience that kids and parents remember. She is also quick to carve out opportunities for individual students with musical interests to experiment and perform.

"This past year, I watched my daughter approach Mrs. Allen for a chance to sing the national anthem at the morning assembly," said Barrett. "Her encouragement, guidance, and selflessness to find time for my daughter was amazing. It is Heidi's encouraging attitude, dedication, and selfless approach to her work that makes her a LifeChanger in our community."



Comments (23)


Liz Kingsbury Posted 8 months ago

Congratulations Heidi! Always willing to go above and beyond, a very talented, passionate, kind educator!

Virginia Fuller Posted 8 months ago

Heidi is a joy to work with. Her positive, encouraging attitude toward students is a joy to behold. She critiques from a positive position and encourages students to build on basics. She’s patient and understanding with young people while expanding their knowledge of various musical instruments and selections. She always seems to find ways to expand young people’s love of music and adults’ enjoyment of school’s musical presentations. She is an excellent music teacher. Many thanks to her for her patience with students as they learn

Josh Danforth Posted 8 months ago

Thanks for all you do, Heidi!

Laura Marsh Posted 8 months ago

My children go to another local elementary school and I am constantly comparing the music programs, by far Mrs. Allen goes above and beyond for her students! She strives to make every year better than the prior one. I always look forward to her musical performances and plays. I’m just jealous that my kids never got to experience her music class! Keep up the amazing work Heidi!

Kimberly French Posted 8 months ago

Not only does Heidi do what other elementary music teachers do, she also gets instrument donations so equity issues don’t stop children from joining the band. She collaborates with the MS/HS teacher to build their program and encourage a life long love of music. She has been a mentor to children (including my now adult daughter) as they have moved on and she continues to influence their lives in positive ways. She encourages children to take risks and the pride that us parents feel when we see our children succeeding outside of their comfort zone is enormous. She is simply a gift to all in the community!

Pat Benjamin Posted 8 months ago

Heidi Allen is the best.We have a 5th grader who really enjoyes Heidi, her encouraging words, her ideas that help the children at BES (Bradford Elementary School) make their ideas come alive. Heidi is a wonderful part of a team at BES....We look forward to more musical productions and events. Thanks Heidi, Madi and Pat

Bill Torphy Posted 8 months ago

Heidi, I am so proud of you. You so take what you are given and make it more. So many children have found self respect because of you. Your good legacy will go on for ever. - Dad

Emalee Sprague Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Allen taught me to play piano! She is great!

Roseann Emerson Posted 8 months ago

I drive school bus for the school district that Mrs. Allen teaches in. I think one of the things that amazed me the most was when she decided to put on musical/play and I watch students that in other schools in another situations would not of had the opportunity to be able to participate. She literally thought of everything, many students couldn’t stay after school because of transportation and she made sure she took care of that, she encouraged families to be involved in supply snacks for those children after school. I literally saw children who no one connected with on the school bus, who finally had the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities… Have a voice, they found they had talent, they created friendships. This is just one of the things that I’ve seen Mrs. Allen do for her community and her students. I’d like to add that she spent countless hours of her own time on weekends and in the evening setting up props, and making sure that every student and I’m sure that there was more than 30 of them had a specific genuine role in this production. Families that had never felt comfortable attending school functions made it out to see this. There’s nothing like it, I will never forget it, and I will never forget hearing other students yell out to us doing that would normally sit alone on the school bus to please sit with them.

Jim Jadul Posted 8 months ago

Way to go Heidi -

Dianne Cabral Posted 8 months ago

Mrs Allen is the hardest working teacher I know!

Bob McGowan Posted 8 months ago

Heidi Allen is the best!

Sam Drazin Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Allen goes above and beyond every day for her students at Bradford Elementary School. Much deserving of this recognition.

Jessica Mathias Posted 8 months ago

Music is such an important part of life and Heidi goes out of her way to make sure that music is not just an option for all of her students, but an opportunity!

Katie Hahesy Posted 8 months ago

Heidi has always been a shining star- one of the brightest I’ve ever known! Her love and dedication for others is unparalleled! Heidi is such a deserving person- and the last one to see herself as such due to her very humble nature. I couldn’t think of a better nominee.

Carol Owen Posted 8 months ago

As one of her colleagues at Bradford Elementary School, I can verify that everything Mr. Barrett said about Heidi is very, very true! She does so much to excite the students about music and theater and has even opened doors for faculty members to dust off their instruments at home or try out a new instrument. Our school “rocks” because of Heidi!

Gail Trede Posted 8 months ago

It has been an absolute pleasure and honor to work with Heidi in her commitment to all children within the school and throughout the community. Her tireless effort and enthusiasm for creative expression through the arts is contagious! What a wonderful testimony and deserved recognition to one of Bradford's dedicated educators.

Jane Lastrina Posted 8 months ago

Heidi is a longtime friend and it was evident even in high school that she was headed towards music education. So proud of all her successes and can think of no one more deserving of this award.

Megan Dubuque Posted 8 months ago

Heidi puts so much thought and effort into teaching our students music. It is truly remarkable to walk into one of her music lessons to see 7 and 8 year olds playing Ukuleles. Her teaching has no limits. Heidi has also gone above and beyond to support second graders learning of music while in their outdoor classroom. She's motivated and certainly passes her love for music onto our students.

Marge Audet Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Allen is that ray of light that we all need in our lives. Thank you for that!

Josh Posted over a year ago

Thank you for all you great work with Bradford students!

Amanda Kleintop Posted over a year ago

Both of my girls LOVE Mrs. Allen and all she does for their school. We are so lucky to have her!!

Gloria E Fox Posted over a year ago

Good luck you deserve it