LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Tammy Masopust

Position: Counselor
School: Beech Hill Elementary School
School District: Dorchester County School District 2
City, State: Summerville, SC

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Tammy Masopust was nominated by an anonymous colleague.

Ms. Masopust makes an impact on students' lives every day. She consistently goes beyond what is required and asked of her for students, as well as her school and district. She was the primary voice who began teaching staff about "growth mindsets" a few years ago and continues to be her school's lead for this initiative. Ms. Masopust is often teaching students from kindergarten to fifth grade about their neurons and how they can grow their brains.

Her office is viewed by students, parents, and staff as a safe space where they can be truly heard and assisted with whatever troubles they may be facing. She frequently shares new information she discovers with coworkers at her school, as well as parents and other counselors in her district. She even presented about "growth mindset" at a state conference to increase awareness among South Carolina's educator population.

"She is viewed by many of the other counselors within our district as a great leader because of her vast knowledge on a wide range of topics," her nominator said. 

Her hard work reaches well beyond the students. She leads weekly mindfulness meetings for interested staff, and provides an open door policy to staff after school hours so they can speak to her about whatever troubles they may be facing.

"Tammy does not enjoy bringing attention to herself, but she is the type of employee any employer would love because of her hard work and determination. She's the kind of colleague anyone would want to have because of her willingness to assist others in any way that she can," her nominator said. "Her passion is to make an impact on the lives of the students in our community, and she works nonstop to ensure she does that every day. There are many talented counselors out there, but few could honestly say they work as tirelessly as Tammy Masopust."

Comments (21)

Laura Hattabaugh Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Masopust is an extremely valuable resource for our students, faculty and community. She is a patient, giving, kind and is always willing to help any Beacon in need. She works endlessly looking for ways to continue to educate parents and our staff. Mrs. Masopust is a role model not only to our students, but to our staff as well. She is a wonderful advocate for our students, making home visits and working hours past the school day to ensure the needs of our students are met. My students and I look forward to her classroom guidance lessons as we are all captivated by her presence, knowledge and calm pose. This honor is well deserved and I am honored to call her my colleague!

Glenna Broughton Posted over a year ago

I have worked with Tammy for many years. She is a role model to our students and our staff. Tammy is the first to help with anything that a school member needs. She is essential to our learning environment. She has taught all of us how to have a growth mindset. Tammy is an icon at our school. She makes a difference in the life of our students and our staff each and every day.

Haley Foster Posted over a year ago

Mrs Masopust is a wonderful counselor. She is very thorough with her classroom lessons.and always remain calm no matter what is going on in the class. She always put the children first and will do whatever it takes to ensure they succeed.

Madison Hines Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Masopust is one of the kindest and most giving people I have ever met. I have watched the great impact she has on my students in class presentations and as my grade guidance counselor, helping my students get through difficult personal situations. Her calm and comforting presence is so important for my kindergartners with a diverse array of needs. She's not only helped my students, but she has been a comfort to me during tough situations in my classroom and my personal life. There is no one more deserving of this honor!

Addison Seitz Posted over a year ago

I am 13 years old now but back in elementary school Mrs. Masopust was the best. She helped me through some hard times and taught me things that still help me today. She is so kind and very easy to talk to when you need some support getting through difficult times. I am so thankful that she was there for me. I couldn't imagine what me life would have been like with out her.

Eric Seitz Posted over a year ago

Tammy goes above and beyond to support our entire school community on a daily basis. She truly goes the extra mile to make sure ALL children, teachers, and parents have the tools they need to lead a healthy successful life. Her kind natured personality and extraordinarily HUGE heart make Tammy a perfect candidate for the life changer of the year award. She has changed the mindset of our school community and is a BIG part of the successful school culture of BHES. Tammy is such a blessing to work with. Well deserved Tammy!!!

Peggy Derrick Posted over a year ago

I have never worked with a more selfless dedicated professional in my years as an educator. Mrs. Masopust spends many hours beyond her school day solving family crisis's, visiting homes, organizing collections for needy families during the holiday season, and working to make a difference with her colleagues. Tammy helps to create a safe nurturing environment for students and faculty members at our school with her loving-caring presence. Mrs. Masopust has advocated for positive thinking for students, parents, and teachers through her Growth Mindset and Mindfulness initiatives. She is a life changer!

Stefanie Posted over a year ago

Tammy brings peace and comfort to everyone especially during difficult times. She is making a difference in our community, school, and individual lives. Tammy gives everything she can to help others. I admire Tammy, and I am beyond thankful that she is my colleague.

Paula Luciano Posted over a year ago

Tammy has been my colleague for over 10 years. She has always been a kind and gentle person always striving to do what's best for not only the children in our school but us as teachers. She is constantly striving to bring the most current researched based practices to our school and takes the time to get the commitment of not only admin and staff but also our students and parents. She works tirelessly to educate parents and teachers through book studies and after school events on her own time. A couple of years ago she went and researched growth mindset and brought it to our school. She has transformed our students and staff into thinkers and learners who are always looking forward trying to grow and if they don't get it right away they know that they have strategies that will help them reach those goals. Strong academics are not reserved just for those who are naturally gifted, they are available to all with a willing mindset and the grit and determination to get them there. It is the greatest feeling to not hear "I'm not good at math or I'll never get it" because that negative self-talk has been replaced with "I don't have it yet" "let me try another strategy", "let me ask for help". Without her diligence and drive to be better we would not be where we are today as a school. You'd think someone who brought that much positive change would stop there right? Well, always looking for more she brought the practice of mindfulness to our school to help the school deal with anxiety, focus, and calming techniques. She is always there when someone needs help even if it isn't her job or even if she's busy. She makes the time to read and research. She takes the time to help that child who is struggling. She takes the time to help the teacher who needs a kind shoulder to lean on and to listen. Her gifts are never ending and her desire to help all that she meets is second to none. I am so proud to call her my colleague and friend.

Megan Seitz Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Masopust is a hero to our students, parents, and staff! She never turns anyone away when they need help and is always willing to go the extra mile in any situation. She is calm and wise in her efforts to serve all of us at school. We are blessed beyond measure for this wonderful lady!

Letitia Uyak Posted over a year ago

Tammy is a wonderful asset to our school population including staff. She is supportive and always there for a shoulder to lean on and to give advice. If she is ever flustered you would never know behind her beaming smile. The students are always happy to see her and enjoy sharing with Tammy. I'm grateful we have such a wonderful counselor at our school.

James Helton Posted over a year ago

Tammy is my school counseling partner at Beech Hill. She took me under her wing when I accepted the position in the 2016-2017 school year and is consistently my go-to whenever I have questions or when I just want another pair of eyes to look over something I have put together. She is extremely dedicated to our school and to the students and families that compose it, while also being a support and confidant for any staff members who may help from time to time. She helped introduce the growth mindset initiative at our school and we have seen great success in our students transitioning from fixed mindsets to the understanding that there is always room for improvement. This has also been a great learning opportunity for our staff as we are always trying to look at the current state of our lessons/programs/events and see what we can do to make them better. Tammy has also started sessions she has named "Mindfulness Mondays" where she leads groups of our staff in mindfulness activities to help them de-stress and center themselves for the week ahead. The Monday sessions have been coupled with classroom lessons on mindfulness to help our students from Kindergarten through 5th grade understand the concepts of mindfulness and put them into practice in their daily lives. Tammy is a vital part of our school's success and she is changing lives throughout the building and community.

Lolli Haugh Posted over a year ago

Tammy has been instrumental in bringing growth mindset into our home. My boys have made leaps and bounds in handling challenges and the parent book study she conducted provided me with the tools need d to parent them with growth mindset. She has also been a comforting source at the school in overcoming obstacles and growing pains with our son and his coping skills. He is a new child after working with her and having more tools in his toolbox! We love Mrs. Masopust!!

Johnnie Whitaker Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Masopust has been a delight in our home. I know that sounds kind of strange but my son is 5 years old. We are lucky if we get a recap of what he's had for lunch that day. However, there are two people at BHES that we don't have to wonder when our Henrik see's them. Mrs. Masopust is one of them! We were pleasantly surprised when he came home and enthusiastically told us of his first encounter with her and he even pronounced her name correctly. He gave us a play by play of what she had taught him that day about how to calm down; he uses it daily. One hand on his heart, one hand on his belly, and just breathe! This is a true testament of her ability with children. For the entirety of our lives with our precious son, every time he needs to calm down it will be her face we see and her words that we hear. It will be a practice that he passes to our grandchildren; something he learned in a wonderful meeting with a wonderful woman. If that's not the definition impacting a life, I'm not sure what is. I am beyond ecstatic that she will be our guiding light for our sons stay at BHES. Guiding light is truly the best way to describe her.

Regina B Renfroe Posted over a year ago

Tammy is one of the kindest, gentlest, most respectable individuals we have ever met. She is truly gifted in how she talks to and relates to children. We have had the priviledge of meeting with her and one of our children and the way in which she handled the issue, was so knowledgeable and spoke to our child was admirable and much appreciated. She treats both children and adults with respect and truly listens. I always hear a positive recap from my children when she has visited classrooms to talk about Growth Mindset, body safety, etc. She is a blessing to all she interacts with.

Rene Wyatt Harris Posted over a year ago

To say that Tammy Masopust is a guiding light at our school is an understatement. Our school mascot, the Beacons, focuses on leading the way in all areas of adventure and exploration. But it also conveys the notion of safety as the lighthouse guides vessels home and provides sure footing. We know about beacons and the power of light on communities and on the world. Tammy epitomizes the classic and perfect beacon for countless children and adults who are blessed by her gracious spirit, helpful hands and creative passionate joy for living. As the principal of a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School, I am fortunate to be graced with a talented and dedicate staff, loving and supportive parents and the most adorable children on the planet. Our school, though not perfect, is a great place to come to teach, learn, play, work and grow. I have witnessed our learning community evolved not only into a place of academic excellence and learning, but also into a place where everyone is a teacher, everyone is a student and everyone embraces the ideals of the whole child. I view the transformation to be the single most important factor in our growth as a school and hub of our community. Without hesitation or doubt, Ms. Masopust has been the catalyst for this snowball. A model lifelong learner, Ms. Masopust is in constant pursuit of ideas, strategies and resources to strengthen our school family and empower our stakeholders to drive their personal passion and learning. This is done in a variety of ways. As a member of the LIVE Lighthouse League, she promote healthy living and mental fitness. For several years, Tammy has coordinated the activities of our backpack buddy program making sure our students in need receive food and supplies over the weekend. She cares deeply about the children we serve and wants to ensure that their weekends are safe with ample resources to meet their nutritional needs. Tammy also leads a mindfulness initiative for our school working with students and teachers to promote positive thinking and awareness acuity. For our Red Ribbon focus, Tammy challenged herself to push the envelop and move beyond the typical "silly socks" or "crazy hats" days for saying "no" to drugs to a more meaningful and relevant agenda which called for self-reflection and service learning actions. Working in concert with her other school counselor, they also changed the format of career development to be more comprehensive and inclusive of diversity in career options as well as definitive profiles. Throughout our building, there are icons of her influence with student work related to choosing kindness or being grateful. In addition to these initiatives, she remain vigilante in promoting the precepts of Dr. Carol Dweck's Growth Mindset. This initiative has taken on a life of its own in the form of student-led conferences, soft skills competitions and goal-setting/journal-writing student documents. To say that Tammy has changed a life is clearly evident at our school. Like a master conductor, Ms.Masopust orchestrates all these activities and still manages to meet with parents, teachers and kids when counseling or an ear or a shoulder is needed; teach monthly classroom guidance lessons; coordinate the logistics and requirements for state testing and follow all the guidelines for school counseling in our district. She is a rare member of our staff. She models hard work, yet is so gracious when others fail to reach their full potential. She is everything that you would want in a school counselor. I am so proud and grateful that she is a part of our school and that our children benefit from her talent, tenacity, and temperament. She changes lives: daily, permanently, and for good. Rene Harris, Proud and Grateful Principal

Debra Aylmer Posted over a year ago

Tammy is the little sister and I am the big sister. I was supposed to be the example and role model but it turns out that was her place all along. She has always been the one to seek out new ways for people to recognize their own excellence, to be the quiet strength in a crisis, and open the paths of love and kindness in dark and scary places. I am not surprised that she found herself as an elementary school counselor. This is a natural setting for her; helping students see their worth, fight their personal dragons, and succeed in life. As well as being a guiding light for her colleagues. Tammy has done all these things for me and thus making me a better person for being her sister.

Demi Belanger Posted over a year ago

Tammy Masopust has certainly worked diligently towards the betterment of all students at Beech Hill Elementary. She is also there when the need arises, and is in tune to the students' needs at all times. I have always had a resolution from an issue when she is assisting. Her nurturing spirit, in addition to the passionate, motivating strategies she uses, usually has an end result that is a positive conclusion to all parties concerned. Just recently, Mrs. Masopust inquired about a need for my students this year to participate in the coaching of the Acting Right model for a few minutes each week. She really made an impression on the students with the practice of breathing activities. The class used the strategies during our morning community exercise with the Acting Right model. In conclusion, I truly understand the reason for Tammy Masopust's nomination. Well deserving honor for this educator!

Danielle Lepore Posted over a year ago

Ms. Masopust goes above and beyond for her students! My daughter Joeye struggled with social anxiety at a very young age and many times did not want to leave my side to go to school. Certain life circumstances made her worry all the time but Ms. Masopust gave her a safe place she could come and share what she was going through. One particular time was while my mother was suffering from breast cancer. It was a very scary time in our lives and the advice and comfort that Ms. Masopust gave my daughter changed her whole outlook on life. This happened years ago but it’s something I will never forget and will be forever grateful for.

Jess Williams Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Masopust has made a profound, positive impact on my life both professionally and personally. She has shared with me her wealth of knowledge of growth mindset and mindfulness. Beyond just knowledge, she has given me countless of strategies to use with my students, and even my own children, daily. These strategies help children cope with and adapt to the stresses of everyday life. Mrs. Masopust has a loving and generous spirit. There’s no obstacle that prevents her from helping the children and adults in our building and beyond our walls. She is truly a beacon of hope that exudes an unwavering, refreshing sense of calmness, when we need it the most.

Jackie Leggette Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Masopust is a guiding light at Beech Hill Elementary School. Her grace and attitude exude kindness and respect for all of her students and colleagues. She hurries along trying to reach as many lives as possible throughout the day.... not knowing her impact goes well beyond her belief. Tammy is also responsible for bringing a new way of thinking to our school that has changed lives. Her interest and passion for the theory of Growth Mindset has opened doors that many didn't even realize were closed. Our students now understand that difficulty and mistakes are a path to success! We love you Ms. Tammy! I can't think of a more deserving person to win an award such as this one.