LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Tracie Lane

Position: Librarian
School: Cardinal Ridge Elementary School
School District: Loudoun County Public Schools
City, State: Centreville, VA

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Tracie Lane was nominated by Rachel Bracken, the parent of a student.

"I first met Ms. Lane during the summer, when my family moved from Texas to the DC area," said Bracken. "Our rising first grader was both nervous and excited to start a new school, so we did a lot of research to see if we could help him figure out what to expect - registering at the school, joining school Facebook groups, following them on Twitter, etc. Ms. Lane posted a request for volunteers in the community Facebook group to help rearrange the library for the new school year, and I went in to see what I could do. Over the course of the next few hours, I learned about all that Ms. Lane had done and planned to do to encourage growth in the areas of diversity and equality within her library and among her students. I was impressed, but her goals seemed ambitious."

"Well, I learned a lesson that day: never doubt the tenacity of a passionate teacher," said Bracken. "Over the next year, I watched as Ms. Lane added book after book to her library to ensure every child in the school saw themselves in the books they were reading, from children who are English-language learners, to boys who love the color pink, and everyone in between – children of all races, ethnicities, and abilities, children in every possible kind of family structure, kids with every kind of interest, etc."

Ms. Lane created a student maker-space out of what seemed like thin air, but was really built from hard work and dedication. She wanted to make sure her students had every opportunity to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) and beyond, collaborating with her fellow teachers to gather supplies and technology resources.

"As a PTO parent, I was privy to her incredibly professional proposal for technology funds from the mid-year fundraiser and was once again blown away by her ambition, this time completely convinced of her inevitable success," said Bracken. "As the year went on, I started familiarizing myself with the community around me, and I realized how involved Ms. Lane with every aspect of our community. She participates in school board meetings to support diversity initiatives, works with local equality organizations, and collaborates with her fellow teachers to fight for the tools and resources needed to support her colleagues and the children they teach."

Ms. Lane is a beloved member of her community - at the county and school district level, at her individual school, and within the entire state of Virginia for her work and dedication to students across all walks of life.

"We live in an area where what happens within our community often has an impact felt across the country, and Ms. Lane takes that charge very seriously, while also managing to have a tremendous amount of fun with the kids she works with every day," said Bracken. "Like every teacher, she doesn’t restrict her work to just the daytime, but creates many evening events with her team and participates in so many others. For example, the annual Reading Night Event she and her fellow teachers put together is a spectacular, fun-filled occasion and a great start to every school year. It's complete with tents and flashlights where kids can read 'under the stars,' hear authors read their own books, play word games, explore maker spaces, and perform plays from their favorite stories."

"In short, Ms. Lane makes sure that every child who comes through her library doors knows there are books they will love and relate to," said Bracken. "She opens up worlds of wonder by fostering a true love of reading. I know from observation that her work is not born from rainbows and fairy dust and is instead likely fueled by sleepless nights, caffeine, and the occasional band-aid. It always seems, however, to look like glitter and wizardry to our children. And that is, in itself, its own kind of very special magic, isn’t it?"

Comments (29)

Rupali Shah Posted over a year ago

Tracie always convey a nice guidance and support to all students in library.I wish her all the best of luck and may all her dreams come true !!

Danielle Henry Posted over a year ago

Over the past two years working with Tracie I have witnessed her change the lives of students everyday. She has worked tirelessly to upgrade and update the Cardinal Ridge library to turn it into a welcoming and relevant space for the entire school community. She continues to champion for all students to see themselves and their experiences reflected in the library. I consider myself extremely lucky to work with her everyday and assist to implement her vision for our students! Cardinal Ridge is very lucky to have her on our team!

Lori Vollmer Posted over a year ago

Tracie has done a lot of work to make the library a great place for the students to be. She has integrated technology into her library lessons and the students seem to really enjoy their time in the library. As well, Tracie has gone out of her way to support staff and help provide staff with things they may need for their classrooms. Congratulations Tracie!

Amy Pernick Posted over a year ago

Library is my little scholar’s favorite class each week- we are so fortunate to have such an active and invested partner in learning for our kiddos! Good luck Ms. Lane!

Tammy Stone-Conrad Posted over a year ago

Cardinal Ridge is tremendously fortunate to count Tracie as one of their own. She is one of the most creative, dedicated, open-minded (and hearted!), generous, inclusive, wise, curious and adventurous people I have ever known. We miss her at her previous school but are happy to hear of her accomplishments!

Susan Raddant Posted over a year ago

Tracie's dedication to her kids is so moving. I cannot express my support for her nomination enough!

Chhavi Anand Posted over a year ago

So so happy to have her as part of Cardinal Ridge community. So passionate about making the library more fun and enjoyable for the students!

Lisa Serio Posted over a year ago

My sister Tracie is the most creative, passionate and committed person I have every had the privilege to know. Since we were kids she has displayed this unwavering commitment to helping others. It makes me tremendously proud to see her receiving the recognition she deserves.

Jilanne Hoffmann Posted over a year ago

When I asked Tracie how she raised funds for her library, I was astounded. Her book fairs are legendary! She's an amazing educator and thoughtful human being who creates an inclusive environment for learning.

Patricia Reid Posted over a year ago

I have known Tracie for a very long time. From when she was a single mother fighting to get what was the best for her children. I watched her winning advocacy for her children and gaining the educational accreditation to back her advocacy up. She has boundless energy and a loving passion for children. Although I don't get to see as often as I'd like, she is a fundamental part of my history and family. I need no proof to know that she is a thoughtful, compassionate and extremely productive member of her community and school. You could do no better thing than give her the recognition she so richly deserves.

Tonya LaFaber Posted over a year ago

Tracie Lane is a passionate and creative educator. Her students are her priority and it shows in all aspects of her life: from the dedication she puts forth in her job to her personal life, where she will pause in her shopping when she finds the perfect addition to her library, to look, discuss and then purchase items to take to work. She adds to her library with the purpose of encompassing and celebrating the diversity of get students. She is an amazing individual.

Kerri Hays Posted over a year ago

Tracie has passion and is an advocate for each scholar at our school. She has amazing innovative ideas and the boldness and tenacity to see them turn into reality, which is always what is best for our children at Cardinal Ridge. It is a pleasure to work with her.

David Palanzi Posted over a year ago

Tracie is a dedicated professional who advocates for all.

Marcia Sommerkamp Posted over a year ago

I can’t think of a more deserving person than Traci to win this award! She dedicated her life to supporting her students and family, including her friends. She gets my vote!

Danyelle Posted over a year ago

Tracie and I have been friends for a number of years. Watching her keep kids engaged in books during an age of video games is amazing. She can turn a library into a magical place that draws people in! Everytime we talk she is picking up, moving, or dropping of books for her "babies" to enjoy. She deserves every bit of the high praise she gets.

Amanda Posted over a year ago

Tracie is dedicated to providing her students with an inclusive space with numerous opportunities to nurture a love of literacy and openness to the world. She is more than deserving of this award.

Cathie Lane Posted over a year ago

As Tracie Lane’s mom, I am so proud of her nomination as Life Changer of the Year. Tracie has always been passionate and committed to the careers she has chosen throughout her career growth, but she has truly found her calling in her current position as Librarian at Cardinal Ridge Elementary. It seems as if Tracie’s every waking thought is laser-focused on what she can do to improve each and every child’s learning experience and potential. Tracie explores and utilizes so many aspects of learning through reading with related activities. Her enthusiasm and concrete results making projects happen make me want to be a child again so that I can crawl into one of her reading tents under the stars with a flashlight and fall in love with the supreme pleasure of opening a book to a new adventure, an explosion of wonder at the world and beyond, and an appreciation of the diversity and boundless new perspectives reading can bring into anyone’s life at any age. Tracie makes things happen. Never say something is too hard to accomplish—she will always find a way forward using her boundless energy, resourcefulness, and “can do” spirit. Others may think about what would be a nice resource for the school library; Tracie considers it, develops the idea into a project, pulls together a team, solicits donations, hauls things wherever they need to be, and astonishes everyone with another new twist on learning that encourages and supports our children to be whomever they want to be, go wherever they want to go, and experience the universe within the interesting and creative spaces of the Cardinal Ridge library. Once again, after seeing the results of Tracie’s and her team’s hard work over the past summer, I just wanna’ be a kid again at Cardinal Ridge!!

Jill Weglarz Posted over a year ago

Tracie is one of the most dedicated, uplifting, compassionate, and joyous women I have ever had the pleasure to know. Her students are lucky to be able to benefit from these qualities, and I know that she believes that she gets back just as much as she gives. Go get ‘em!

Carolyn Monroe Posted over a year ago

Best wishes!

Michael Posted over a year ago

I've never known a more dedicated and passionate advocate for their students. Ms. Lane is an example for her colleagues and a hero to her students.

Carin Walker Posted over a year ago

Ms. Lane is one of the most dedicated and fun teacher I have the pleasure of knowing. She takes the extra steps (or miles) to make her library a place where everyone can feel welcomed and included and have fun.

Audrey Hasle Posted over a year ago

As a parent and volunteer in Tracey's past, I have first hand knowledge of what a wonderful and amazing person she is professionally and personally. I am so glad to hear of her influence spreading far and wide and hope she knows how much we miss seeing her daily! Good luck Tracey! You deserve this recognition and so much more!

Michelle Posted over a year ago

As your friend I have been privileged to see this from the other side. Your imagination working to create the magical library. I love this so much!! Here’s to hoping you nail this my friend!!

Mitzi Nickle Posted over a year ago

After reading about Tracie on Facebook I can only say WOW! My kids are all adults so they never had a chance to learn from her, and that is really too bad. I think she would have provided quite the learning experience for all three of them.

Carolyn Monroe Posted over a year ago

Good luck, Tracey! Super excited for you!

Phyllis Green Posted over a year ago

Ms. Lane sounds like a compassionate educator, dedicated to making all of her students feel welcome and accepted, while fostering a love of learning! I hope she wins!

Danielle Posted over a year ago

Sounds like an amazing individual!

Deborah Morbeto Posted over a year ago

It’s so uplifting to read a tribute like this and I fully support Ms. Lane’s nomination. We often forget that it’s not just our children’s teachers who help shape their school experiences.

Chhavi Posted over a year ago

So so proud that you are part of CRE community. Congratulations!!??