LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Laurie Chang

Position: Special Education Teacher
School: Ali'iolani Elementary School
School District: Hawaii Public Schools
City, State: Honolulu, HI

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Laurie Chang was nominated by her colleague, Margaret Miura.

Ali'iolani Elementary School is not just a place where students go to learn and adults go to work. This special place is full of LifeChangers. Everyone on campus takes on many roles regardless of the title on their name tag: student, teacher, administrator, custodian, cafeteria manager/worker, and staff. One such person is Mrs. Chang.

"I have personally observed how she works with parents and plans lessons for groups of students of varying grades and learning abilities/levels," said Miura. "She is an ideal representative of our school; in addition to being an effective teacher in the classroom, she truly cares for each student’s education and overall well-being. She seeks new and innovative ways to reach all students. If I left it at that, I can definitely say that she has changed many lives."

There is much more to Mrs Chang's story, however. As Ali'iolani Elementary moves into Year 2 of the accreditation process, Mrs. Chang has been instrumental in compiling multiple drafts of the school’s Self-Study Report. This role can be challenging at times, but she is always well-composed, even in tense situations, and fair and tactful when meeting with students, parents, teachers, or other stakeholders.

When something needs to get done or there is a problem that must be addressed, she is someone who is willing and able to do what it takes. You can count on her. One cannot help but admire her passion, professionalism, and high quality of work. She is a LifeChanger in and out of the classroom because she exemplifies personal and professional excellence.