LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Kathleen Petri

Position: Alternative Education Teacher
School: Kearney High School
School District: Kearney Public Schools
City, State: Kearney, NE

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Kathleen Petri was nominated by an anonymous student.

"When I started at Kearney High, my motivation was at an all time low. I was failing all my classes, missing school, and didn't have much hope for my future," said Petri's nominator. "Eventually, my difficulties in school landed me in AE with Mr. Keim and Mrs. Petri across the hall. Eventually, I had Mrs.Petri as an AE teacher, and she helped me in ways that go above and beyond the call of duty as a teacher. She not only helped me to find motivation and my passion for learning again, but she was also there for me in times of emotional difficulty."

"Halfway through my junior year, my dad passed away suddenly from a heart attack. This marked a real turning point in my life," the nominator continued. "Mrs.Petri was very supportive during this time and even came to my father's funeral to be there for me in my time of grieving. She also worked with my foster mom to devise a plan to allow me to catch up on all the credits I had missed and be able to graduate, something I considered an impossible dream. Throughout my junior year, she continually worked with me, supported me, encouraged me, and helped me to turn my academics around. Thanks to Mrs. Petri, I am currently a senior who is now on track to graduate with mostly A's and B's."

"This is my story, but you could ask any student who she has taught and I can promise you would hear similar stories." the nominator concluded. "You could ask any of Mrs. Petri's coworkers and hear them expound upon her constant positivity and compassion for students, especially those who others have given up upon or who have given up on themselves. When I saw a flyer for this award at the Teach Rock event, I knew instantly who to nominate - the teacher and friend who has helped me to learn to dream, hope, and work for a better future for myself and the world." 

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