LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Angel Thurston

Position: English Teacher
School: Triad Math and Science Academy
School District: Charter School
City, State: Greensboro, NC


Angel Thurston was nominated by a student who wished to remain anonymous.

From the beginning of her class, Ms. Thurston demands the best from her students. She makes sure they have everything they need from basic school supplies to food at home. Anybody who knows her knows she makes sure "Duke Power" is set up.

There are about 20 students in her school who can't eat lunch for a variety of reasons. Ms. Thurston makes sure everyone who needs a meal has one every day. Even when she was out for surgery, her students were her priority. She feeds anyone who needs it! Her classroom is like a home. She reprimands like a mom, corrects and edits like an English teacher, respects her students as young adults, keeps secrets unless they are harmful or illegal, and always gives her students some parent/teacher insight.

"We know she loves us and loves what she does," said her nominator. "She has this weird balance, she shares her weaknesses and struggles, and she asks for our help when she can't spell. She owns her mistakes and she makes her students laugh. When nobody understands and has your back, she does. She never wants attention, but deserves it."

In one day and one class, ten people will come to Ms. Thurston for assistance from other classes or for teachers, break downs, even supplies. She never says no, and it's rare she doesn't have what a student needs. Uniforms, socks, underwear, sandwiches, etc. Her nominator has witnessed her taking her own shoes off and giving them to a student.

Talk to any parent, any student, any teacher, or any one person in her school, and they'll tell you she has touched them and that she loves them. She holds everybody to a high standard, even the students who nobody else expects anything from. Ms. Thurston celebrates everything. She spends her money to celebrate her students with the "sho challenge," the "try it bet," and other teaching activities she makes up. She always practices students' names so she gets them right. Her student population includes many people from abroad.

"I know that without her, many of us would not know our value as black men and women or as people," the nominator said. "I know she makes me feel like the best person in the world when she looks at me. For some of us she has taken better care than our families have of us and it's just normal for her. She presses on."


Comments (11)


Gabi Spiridon Posted 7 days ago

Mrs.Thurston- a true model, a WONDERFUL and an AMAZING person. She inspires every day and truly cares about those around her. Thank you!

Paul Stevens Posted 2 months ago

We can call her generous, selfless, courageous, ambitious, stubborn, and relentless. But what do you call someone who is all of that in order to benefit others. You call that person an Angel. I know because it's on Ms. Thurston's driver's license. It's cool when you can live up to your name.

Era Matkins-Barnett Posted 2 months ago

Teachers are more than teachers. Thank you Angel for all your hard work and dedication to our youth. It's people like you that lets them know they are important and do have a future to work hard for. Great Job.

Mya Green Posted 2 months ago

Ms.Thurston always thinks of others and puts them before herself. She does whatever she can for whoever she can.

Rhonda Lang Posted 2 months ago

I totally agree with the nominator. Ms. Thurston is a caring teacher that goes above and beyond to meet the needs of her students academically and socially. She "adopts" her students and deals with each one as if they were her own. She treats them all the same yet manages to meet each of them where they are. She works with students on their academics whenever they need it. She allows them to take refuge in her classroom from the cruelties of teenage life when needed but especially during lunch where she provides lunch for many. During that lunch period she may even slip in an educational movie that subtly brings awareness and fosters discussions and growth. She has even run groups on Saturdays with other staff members for students to come in and talk about their own struggles. She invites parents and community to come as guest speakers so students can gain insight into how to handle various situations they are facing. She has created a safe atmosphere where wisdom can be passed down. And I have seen first hand when she reaches out for help to meet the needs of her students in times of homelessness or in need of food. And she does all of these things out of pure goodness of heart no matter the status of her own health. It is certainly time for her to be recognized. She is an inspiration to all who meet her.

Kendal B. Posted 2 months ago

Ms.Thurston has gone above and beyond for many of her students. She is one of those teachers that are like your at school mom, we all admire her and love her. She has done so much for all of us. And her kindness should not go unnoticed.

Shaundra Roach Posted 2 months ago

Congrats Angel! You deserve it....any teacher that cooks lunch for their students every day is a life changer!!

LaToya Griggs Posted 2 months ago

Angel Thurston is my sister, I am not bias because she is my sister I am bias to her because of the woman that she is. Angel is the definition of strength! She has overcome so much in life, I have been with her thru so many surgerys. She conquered each one like a queen. She is an inspiration to everyone she meets and it is an honor to call her my sister.

Clayton Posted 2 months ago

You are one of my favorite teachers at TMSA you helped make English 1 interesting and fun

Jessica Langley Posted 2 months ago

I've seen Ms. Thurston interact with her students. As stated by the nominator, Ms. Thurston goes over and above for students. She is definitely made a positive impact on her students.

Crystal Cavalier Posted 2 months ago

Yes Ms. Thurston goes above and beyond.