LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Donna Coan

Position: First Grade Teacher
School: Dawes Ave. Elementary School
School District: Somers Point School District
City, State: Somers Point, NJ

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Donna Coan was nominated by her principal, Doreen Lee.

Mrs. Coan saw a need in her students this year, when her district redistricted, and Dawes Avenue Elementary became a K-3 school. Students needed a better start to their day in regard to nutrition, hygiene, and mindfulness.  Mrs. Coan volunteered to start and run a morning program for students to give them a better start to their day. Students eat, do their hair, brush their teeth, and get positive attention before the school bell rings. This program has made a difference in many students.

"Mrs. Coan is to be commended for giving up her free time to help young learners in our school," said Lee. "She has made a connection with these students as she assists and mentors them. Students have less discipline problems throughout the day, and they have a mindset to work hard and do their best all day long."



Comments (6)


Kathleen Zinski Posted 26 days ago

While everyone else discusses the underprivileged children in our schools Donna Coan does something about it. Taking those students under her wing Donna has helped them gain confidence as she supplies them with personal hygiene products and conversations about pride in appearance and attitude. Her colleagues have chipped in and the school nurse helps too. But Donna gave of her own time to welcome students into her room before the start of school and she has made a difference. Kudos to you, Donna for making a difference in these young lives.

Tammi Posted 2 months ago

No task or job is too much when it comes to Donna. She is not only an AMAZING teacher, but an AMAZING mentor and friend as well! She goes above and beyond for her students and has so much compassion for all of them!

Chris Wildman Posted 2 months ago

I have known Donna for 20 plus years. She’s a great person who cares for her family and friends. I know that she gives all she can to her teaching and her students.

Jennifer Wildman Posted 2 months ago

I have been friends with Donna for 25 years. Throughout her time spent teaching K-3 in Somers Point, she has always been a caring and engaged advocate for her students and their families. I’ve witnessed her spending plenty of her own money and time to make the days and lives better for her school family. Whether it be classroom supplies, organizing winter coat drives, collecting clothes for a family in need, etc., Donna does T need to be asked for help. She recognizes a need and jumps to action. She remains passionate about education and dedicated to improving and enriching the lives of her students.

Michelle Baltz Posted 2 months ago

I had the pleasure of being Donna Coan’s teaching partner this year. She did a wonderful thing for the children who needed some extra love and support in the mornings. Not only did she help meet some of their basic needs, but she helped them gain self confidence and motivation. Thank you, Donna!

Michele Barbieri Posted 2 months ago

I’ve known Donna since she was in grade school and always knew she’d make a huge impact! When my daughter was in grade school I expressed to her how she struggles with comprehension but couldn’t seem to find the right fit to help her! Donna said “bring her to me”. Donna tutored her with patience, love and understanding and for that and other reasons we adore her! It doesn’t surprise me that she volunteered her time to come in early and help her students! She is a Life Changer!