Position: Special Education Teacher
School: Frontier Middle School
School District: Frontier Central School District
City, State: Hamburg , NY
Laura Klein was nominated by her colleague, Amber Chandler.
Mrs. Klein is an invisible force. You have to literally investigate to find out how she's orchestrating entire fundraisers, supporting students who are also hiding from the spotlight, and forming relationships with those hardest to get to know. She's behind the scenes, clearing the path for others' success while taking none of the credit.
"She's so good at this ability to make things happen while simultaneously spotlighting others that she is oftentimes overlooked, leaving her exactly where she wants to be: in the shadows. However, I've been lucky enough to work with Laura for the last several years, and she can't hide from me!" said Chandler.
This year, in her role as Student Council Advisor, she has already orchestrated a number of initiatives, including
She promotes school spirit--again, from the shadows, by organizing Halloween costume contests, encourgaing everyone to wear red, white, and blue to support local sports teams, and helping plan most of the school dances.
"The only way I can keep up with all the amazing things Laura is planning is by following the Student Council Twitter feed," said Chandler. "Getting credit is not why Laura does what she does. She does what she does because that is just who Laura is."
The thing about Mrs. Klein is you never see her stressing out about all of the events she is pulling off. She works tirelessly, quietly, and humbly, always bringing out the best in others. As a co-teacher, she has created a learning environment where students can be real with her and each other. She's so kind, compassionate, and ready to speak freely with students to encourage them on their life journeys, not just as a teacher.
Mrs. Klein's students never leave her. She has been invited to former students' weddings and baby showers. One student literally credited Mrs. Klein for saving her life because she had no doubt that Mrs Klein loved her. In the course of a career, most of us have a few students who remember us, if we are lucky. Mrs. Klein's always do.
"A real LifeChanger is someone who makes it about the other people, allowing Laura Klein to be invisible in plain site," said Chandler. "I hope that this award would allow her, for once, to feel the way she makes others feel every day."