LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Kirsten Nelson

Position: Administrative Assistant
School: Burke Town School
School District: Caledonia North Supervisory Union
City, State: West Burke, VT

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Kirsten Nelson was nominated by her colleague, Niki Rapkowicz.

"Kirsten is one of the most unique and genuine people I know," said Rapkowicz. "She is kind, funny, professional and competent. She is admired and respected from all levels within this community."

Ms. Nelson is the face of her school. She is the first person parents, staff, and students see when they walk in the office. She has a welcoming, warm personality that she takes to another other level. Ms. Nelson genuinely cares about everyone who is a part of her school community. She remembers names, how parents/students are involved in the community, and fully contributes to the safe space of her school. If anyone were to use the word trust within the school, Ms. Nelson's name and face would come to everyone's mind.

Ms. Nelson wears many hats, from being a support on the crisis team and interacting with students who appear to be having a tough day, to participating with students in school activities. She is truly committed to her role at school, but is also full-heartedly committed to her community.

"Coming from a previous place that had core human kindness values as part of their company motto, I was pleasantly surprised that Kirsten naturally exuded these values," said Rapkowicz. "I noticed this from the moment I started working with her. Kirsten has a way of making you feel welcomed and comfortable from the minute you walk in the door."

"Kirsten deserves to be recognized everyday for just being who she is," said Rapkowicz. "I truly consider her a LifeChanger, not because she has superpowers or because she continuously goes above and beyond on both a personal and professional level. It's merely because all these qualities are natural to her, and she is so humble about the incredible person that she is. She makes you want to be a better person. To me, that's a LifeChanger! Simply put, there is nobody else like her, and she is without a doubt irreplaceable!"

Comments (5)

Stacy Rice Posted over a year ago

"Where is Kirsten....? I need her to help me.... Oh, she is in first grade painting their faces for their class reward.....!" Kirsten Nelson's face lights up when she hears that another classroom has earned a classroom reward. She tracks down that teacher and volunteers her lunch time to help in any way that she can. Kirsten Nelson told me during her interview that she wanted to be "that person". She wanted to get to know every child in the school and their families, to establish a relationship with them all, make each child feel comfortable and their parents reassured that they were in excellent care each day they spent at the Burke Town School. She told me she wanted to do this for many, many years. I am so fortunate to have such an amazing woman working with us each day. She tackles any challenge and is able to balance the demands of her job with being a mother and a wife. Kirsten is able to manage her own responsibilities and create systems where all staff have easily accessible, efficient information so their focus can be on their students, families and school community. Kirsten has a genuine relationship with every child, their family and each and every staff member, she changes lives of children every day.

Amanda Burger Posted over a year ago

I have worked with Kirsten for a number of years and I cannot express enough how helpful she has been. She is friendly, competent, and always willing to answer questions and help in any way she can. I can often be forgetful and Kirsten never complains when I ask her the same questions numerous times. She plays a huge part in keeping our school running smoothly and works hard to be positive and supportive of the staff, students, and families.

Morgan Moore Posted over a year ago

Kirsten is undoubtedly a life changer, and deserving of this award! She goes above and beyond to manage and organize so that Burke Town School can be a welcoming and supportive place for students. Kirsten is friendly, even when balancing many tasks and always problem solves with you to make things happen. Kirsten also participates in after school clubs, driving students and chaperoning cross country and mountain bike club trips for our students. She makes so much happen and is a true life changer!

Sara Lewis Posted over a year ago

Kirsten is a wonder woman! She does everything to run the school with incredible grace and flawlessness. She helps organize events (including my concerts & talent shows), field trips, purchase orders, sub coverage, attendance, buses, name it, she does it! And always with a smile and amazing organization. We rely on her as a total rock for our school. We would fall apart without her!

June Leggett Murphy Posted over a year ago

Hands down, Kirsten is deserving of this award. What doesn’t Kirsten do? From the moment she started at our school, she took the initiative to create organizational systems that have helped the office (and the rest of our school) run smoothly. Her energy and positivity radiate through everything she does from answering phones, greeting parents, answering questions from students, fielding multiple phone calls, scheduling, communicating daily announcements, co-leading the school wellness initiatives, assisting teachers with paperwork, field trips, budgets, and being an all-around team player. She has an amazing talent of multi-tasking like no other with professionalism, a sense of humor, and positivity. Without a strong foundation and tight organization, a school cannot function to its potential. Kirsten is the person who stepped in and built our foundation allowing our school to stand stronger because of what she has put in place. Kirsten is a clear choice for this recognition.