LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Laura Klein

Position: Special Education Teacher
School: Frontier Middle School
School District: Frontier Central School District
City, State: Hamburg , NY

Support Laura

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

  • her school's very first "Socktober" event (collecting 450 pairs of socks for the homeless);
  • raising $175 for a student who is doing his first ever Polar Plunge, and
  • running out of snowflakes for the "snowflake flurry" to raise money for the Giving Tree that she also helps organize.

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."


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Comments (15)


Debby Schruefer Posted today

I have had the privilege to work with Laura and have always been amazed at how much energy, effort and time she puts forth each and every day. Her positive attitude is infectious. Laura is an outstanding teacher, mom, wife and overall person.

Kim barrt Posted 1 days ago

Laura puts everyone before herself! I've asked her time and time again why do you keep doing all you do ? Should you slow down a bit? She always shrugs with the answer It makes the students happy! She strives to create a fun and spirited culture for our students ! SHE develops relationships with her students that not only helps them academically but socially and emotionally as well! She devotes countless hours outside of work on charity work and events as well. Even with all of her devotion to frontier and volunteer activities she still manages to give 110 percent to her family and friends!

Shannon Posted 1 days ago

If there is one word that encompasses Laura’s whole being, it’s compassionate. In every ounce of her life she is dedicated to making sure that her students, friends, and family are always surrounded by compassion. I’m proud to call Laura my colleague and friend. She embodies every bit of what this award is about.

Kathleen Posted 1 days ago

Laura is a wonderful asset to our school and community. It is a privilege to work with her.

Kathy Woods Posted 1 days ago

Blessed to call Laura a colleague and my friend. Always the first to volunteer to help or organize. More importantly she is the teacher that as always willing to go the extra mile for her students. Well deserved Laura!!

Julia Bermingham Posted 2 days ago

I was fortunate to work on a team with Laura and watch her interactions with students. Every child was successful in her eyes. She focused on a student’s strength and always worked to build them up from the point they were at. She’s an amazing human being and a gift to FMS.

Madi Posted 3 days ago

She was a great advisor in student council at the middle school and made sure everyone felt included and a part of the frontier family. She has managed many fundraisers and worked so hard to make them successful. She really is changing the frontier students lives.

Zoey Chandler Posted 3 days ago

Miss Klein is a life saver! She is always so accommodating to students needs and is there for whoever needs her. She is willing to work as hard as she can to get through to somebody, or to help somebody. She is truly a life changer to me. I am Glad to know her!

Tracy Wessel Gray Posted 3 days ago

Knowing Laura for nearly 3 decades now I have seen everything from her upbeat positive attitude, willingness to help others and her care and concern to make a difference in the world. I am blessed to know and love her in so many ways, all of which have Ben described and more. Laura is more than deserving of this award and thank you to the powers to be for making it happen. Whom ever comes in contact with Laura are truly blessed to be in her presence with her love for others and laughter. Congratulations, Laura! I’m so very proud of you but not one but surprised!!

Sharon Sano Posted 3 days ago

I am in awe of how much my daughter does outside of her "teacher and mom" duties. Not only has she done the above, she has been an active supporter and volunteer for Make a Wish in Western New York and WAIT House in Glens Falls, New York, (which is 5 hours from her home). She began "Bald for Bucks" at her school in hopes of raising $5,000 and raised $25,000 the first year. Last year her school was the #1 fund-raiser for "Bald of Bucks". Laura also started a fund-raising campaign to collect items for local food pantries called "Souper Bowl" in hopes of collecting 300 items and collected over 4,000 the first year and 3,000 the next. I have also seen her anonymously pay for meals for veterans when at restaurants dining with her family. I am beyond proud of her as she makes the world a better place whenever she has the opportunity.

Susan Siskar Posted 4 days ago

Amber, you did a wonderful job describing Laura Sano Klein and what she brings to the table ?? I, too, had the privilege of co-teaching with Laura and wholeheartedly agree with everything you said about her. She makes everyone feel at ease and accepted. She does so much extra and seems to do it effortlessly. Laura is definitely a life changer.

Lisa McCarthy Posted 4 days ago

Laura does so much for our students- Creating a gift giving make and take for our students to painting the student bathrooms to create positivity in every space in our building! These are just a few of the many great experiences she brings to our building. Laura is an amazing educator!

Mary Regula Posted 4 days ago

Every word of Amber Chandler’s testimony is true! Laura Klein truly is a Lifechanger!

Jennifer Hennigan Posted 4 days ago

I completely concur with this assessment of Laura’s character and effectiveness as an educator and all around amazing person! People like her need to get recognized as such as they are forming the future of this country in a loving and positive way!

Kate Posted 4 days ago

Every word is true! Mrs Klein is so dedicated, our school would be lost without her guidance.