LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Judy Bremner

Position: Teacher Grant Facilitator
School: Broward County School District
School District: Broward County School District
City, State: Coral Springs, FL

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Music that Describes Judy

Judy Bremner was nominated by her friend, Dawn Valli.

Ms. Bremner was a teacher at Sawgrass Springs Middle School in Broward County School District from 2005-2018.  On February 14th, 2018, her world changed forever. During the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas, Ms. Bremner's school, a middle school that fed into the highschool, had also gone on lockdown. She had been barricading students behind the lab tables in case the shooter entered her campus, which was nearby.

Even though the shooter was finally captured, the panic was not over.  There were children who were missing. One of them was a student who Ms. Bremner had taught the previous year. As the list of the deceased children and adults was revealed to the public, Ms. Bremner collapsed upon hearing his name. The student had lost his life helping fellow classmates escape. After the initial shock had worn off, Ms. Bremner sprang into action.  She contacted a neighbor and friend of the student's parents to find out if they wanted the local VFW to attend his funeral in uniform, since he had wanted to attend West Point. This young man was a true hero. 

At that point, Ms. Bremner decided she had to make a change in her career path, because this could never happen again. Although her decision to leave the classroom was bittersweet, she now serves in a role that can protect the lives of all students in Broward County.  She now works for the District as the Broward STOPS Violence Grant Facilitator.  In this capacity, she has facilitated the “Start with Hello” and “Say Something” curriculum to thousands of students in Broward County. Start with Hello teaches students to recognize social isolation and how to eliminate it by making connections. Say Something teaches students to recognize signs and signals of potential violence, especially within Social Media, and take that information to a trusted adult or report it anonymously through the SaferWatch, Fortify Florida App, or the Silence Hurts Hotline.  

Since its implementation, the SaferWatch app has received 325 tips, with 11 of those tips containing information about potential acts of violence, which led to five arrests. The app has also had reports regarding three students who were contemplating suicide.  This serves as proof that the programs are working. Ms. Bremner is clearly an ambassador for change when it comes to helping to solve the issue of school violence.  She and her team, consisting of the Student Services Department, Grants Department, Office of School Climate and Discipline, and Mental Health Team at Broward County, are making headway in the fight for safer schools.  

When asked why she left the classroom, Ms.Bremner's response was, “Because everyone has their ‘Peter,' and I vow to carry on his legacy. Something positive HAS to come out of all of this.” 

Comments (8)

LeCorey Beavers Posted 8 months ago

Judy co-authored, (and was awarded), a $500,000 grant that will fund age-appropriate targeted training and youth awareness for elementary schools. Violence prevention curriculum will be presented to primary students from youth ambassadors at elementary schools in Broward County in a peer-to-peer training model. Violence prevention techniques will be perpetuated through prosocial clubs that encourage youth leadership in raising awareness and expanding education to prevent self-harm and harm to others. Judy currently works in the Student Services Division of Broward County Schools at 1400 NW 14th Ct Ft Lauderdale, FL 33311.

Natalie Kroope Posted 9 months ago

In the past two weeks, Broward County School District was awarded three million dollars in grant money from grants that Judy co-authored with the Grants Department. One of the two grants awarded is going to ensure there are more Mental Health Positions within the District and the other is to hire a Program Director who will implement a grant dealing with teaching students about Social Isolation. Judy is definitely making headway in her endeavor to make schools safe places!

James Cady Posted over a year ago

I've known Judy for several years. A professional above and beyond when it comes to helping others. Younger generations look up to her as a role model. Peers follow in her steps. A future leader in a quest to support health and safety for all

Roberta Posted over a year ago

Judy motivates everyone in her fitness classes. She inspires us to work hard on our exercise and challenges and inspires us all. This is why I would like to nominate her as a "life changer".

Julia Kline Posted over a year ago

Yesterday, Judy received word that the grant she wrote for her District, “Safe Fleet/United Against Bullying” was awarded. This money will be used to ensure there is more programming about awareness of bullying and how to prevent it.

Pamela McChalicher Posted over a year ago

I can think of no one more deserving for this award. Instead of relying on others to make change, Judy decided she needed to make a career change and be part of a revolution to protect the lives of students. In her new role, she works with numerous schools to keep our children safe. Within her first year, violence (measured by disruptive behavior) decreased in 12 of the 16 schools. Her dedication to student safety is like no other. I wish schools had more advocates like Judy.

Linda Forand Posted over a year ago

Judy is always thinking about others. She is a Market Partner for Monat hair care and arranged for the company to donate $7500 worth of toiletries to the homeless students in Broward County.

Megan Regnier Posted over a year ago

Judy is an incredibly dedicated educator committed to making schools a safe haven for children and teens.