LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Kristi DeArmond

Position: Fifth Grade Teacher
School: Goshen Elementary School
School District: Visalia USD
City, State: Goshen, CA

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Kristi DeArmond was nominated by her colleague, Lori Olvera-Clarkson.

Since COVID-19 hit, Ms. DeArmond has continued to diligently teach her students. Currently, she tutors many students after hours via Zoom to ensure they are getting the best possible learning experience. She is constantly making a difference in the lives of her students.  

Before COVID-19, Ms. DeArmond opened her classroom before school each day to help students who needed it.  For many students, her classroom became a hangout spot to simply talk and play games.  Ms. DeArmond connects with her students, and it shows. Students feel safe and loved by Ms. DeArmond.  She held  “homework club” for those who fell behind on classwork and for those who wanted help with homework. She also differentiates class work and homework for those who need it.   

This dedicated teacher sends 3x5 cards home so parents can write encouraging messages for their child to read during state tests.  Her students have scored high on state tests for  the last 3 years.  Last year, she was named Educator of the Year. She is a humble, grateful educator.

For the past eight years, Ms. DeArmond has helped coordinate Expanding Your Horizons. This STEAM conference for young girls is held on the campus of College of the Sequoias.  She demonstrates leadership qualities and leads by example. She also attended many technology classes over the summer and became a site tech trainer for a staff of over 30. Ms. DeArmond works endless hours, not only for her students, but for her staff.  She has been a BTSA mentor teacher for the past nine years. This year, during COVID-19, she is mentoring two teachers.

"It is with the highest regard that I nominate Ms. Kristi DeArmond for the LifeChanger award," said Olvera-Clarkson. "It is an honor to work with this esteemed colleague, who thinks of others before herself.  She has truly changed the lives of thousands of students in her 18 years of teaching."


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Comments (12)


Rose Pothier Posted 2 days ago

I have known Kristi DeArmond her entire life as I am her aunt. I do not recall a time when Kristi did not want to be a teacher. My Mother, Kristi's Grandmother, was a teacher although not formally educated, who taught children with physical and mental challenges. Grandmother tutored Kristi from a young age and was impressed with Kristi's exceptional intelligence of not only traditional subjects, but also those associated with teaching and caring for persons with physical, mental and emotional challenges. As Kristi matured, and commenced her work as a teacher, we would speak and I was delighted that she always held the students and their best interests and education in the highest regards. While I have not worked with Kristi and cannot speak directly as to her accomplishments as a teacher, I can attest to her heart and gift of compassion for others. She is, without a doubt, dedicated to her students beyond her personal interests which makes her so valuable to those lucky to be selected students for her classes. Kristi is a life-changer in the lives of the students in her care. They are never forgotten or left to flounder with Kristi as their teacher and Shepherd on the Education Road while in her care and supervision. I strongly urge those who may not have had the pleasure and life-changing experience of meeting and talking with Kristi to take the time to do so. As experienced by her students, you will never be the same!

Donna Born Posted 3 days ago

Kristi is a very dedicated and enthusiastic teacher. She is a very compassionate and caring person and it shows in how she takes care of “her kids”. She has very high standards for herself and projects those standards to her classrooms, striving to make even the lowest of her kids reach their highest potential. She rarely takes time off for herself and I’ve witnessed this first hand during her visits to see me, her mom, in Oregon. She is always concerned about how the year went and what will happen in the next year. During this summer’s visit, she spent a lot of time on the phone attending zoom meetings and conversing with her colleagues about how they were going to structure the new “COVID-19” internet only school year. She attended trainings and tried to avail herself of all the knowledge she could find in order to be able to provide the best learning experience she possibly could for her kids. I am positive she has been a life-changing gift to all her students. She’s awesome!

Debbie Cardoza Posted 5 days ago

Mrs. DeArmond is one of the most dedicated, compassionate and gifted educators that I have had the privilege to work with. I was fortunate to serve as Mrs. DeArmond’s direct supervisor on two different school sites and after my retirement from education I have been blessed to call her my friend. For 11 years I have watched her demonstrate courage, compassion and the ability to engage ALL children in learning. She NEVER gives up on a child! She has high expectations and follows through with those expectations. No child is ever alone in their learning. Mrs. DeArmond routinely spends all hours of the day and night tutoring children. And pre-COVID she never hesitated to do a home visit to assist a child in their learning. One of Mrs. DeArmond’s greatest strengths is her ability to see each child as an individual and her willingness to employ a variety of successful instructional strategies in order to assist each child to be successful. Mrs. DeArmond also works well with her peers and has counseled and coached numerous new teachers. She does not take this responsibility lightly and is one of a handful of educators I have known that follows through with the hard work needed to ensure her mentees success. Kristi seeks out opportunities to engage with her fellow educators and has opened up her classroom to others, even when it was not easy. Mrs. DeArmond is also that teacher you can always count on to jump in and try new strategies. She takes the extra time and effort to participate in staff development and is always an ACTIVE participant. I could always count on her to take what she had learned in staff development and take the risk in the classroom to try out something new in order to increase student learning. Children who are fortunate enough to be assigned to her classroom have no choice but to learn. She showers them with love and support (and did I say she never gives up?). And now I have grandchildren who LOVE to spend time with Mrs. DeArmond. They can always count on her to have something fun to do when she visits. During this pandemic, she even supported my daughter with a home learning schedule, online resources and activities to engage them. What sets Mrs. DeArmond apart from other educators is that she walks the walk and talks the talk. She is by far one of the most dedicated individuals that I known in the 25 years I spent as a formal educator. She absolutely deserves this recognition and if I looked up the definition of “Lifechanger” in the dictionary I would certainly see her image. Mrs. DeArmond is truly a “Lifechanger”!

Leah Boragno Posted 6 days ago

Kristi is an invaluable member of our Goshen Staff. She demonstrates what an exceptional teacher is. Her love for her students and her excellence in teaching her students more than just subjects makes her the perfect person for Life Changer of the Year!!! I am blessed to be able to call her my friend and colleague!!!

Cheryl Henry Posted 6 days ago

Ms. De Armond is a very compassionate and caring person. She works extremely hard to ensure that her students understand concepts and are growing as learners. This includes keeping parents informed. Kristi is willing to share her wealth of knowledge with other teachers. She is very deserving of this recognition.

Walter K, Baggs Posted 7 days ago

Kristi has always been one to adjust to a situation and advance. I have seen this her entire life, as I am her father. Her GIFT is her ability to feel and see the need, whatever that may be, then try and correct it.... This is the definition of a LifeChanger

Claudia Garcia Posted 9 days ago

Ms. De Armond is deserving of this award and more! Ms. De Armond is by far one of the nicest, hard working and most amazing teacher that I've known. Not only is she a great Teacher but also a great mentor to other teachers, a great friend and a great coworker. She goes above and beyond for her students and others. A person like Ms. De Armond is what the world needs in this difficult times.

Beth Robertson Posted 9 days ago

If there is a way to support a student and their family, Kristi will find a way. She is not only concerned about their growth in the classroom but also their growth as a person. Very deserving of this award.

Victor Carrillo Posted 9 days ago

I first saw Kristi’s compassion when it came to a student dealing with homelessness, and at an IEP meeting she was the most well informed and prepared general education teacher I have ever seen. In both cases her focus was on the student and what next step they needed to take in order to grow. This is such a well deserved award!

Sarah Van Dermyden Posted 9 days ago

I have had the great privilege of assisting Kristi with Expand Your Horizons for the past two years. It has been one of my favorite things to do. As a primary teacher, it's been such a wonderful experience spending time with past students as they explore the wonderful world of STEM. She is truly a teacher to admire and learn from.

Vickie Ruiter Posted 9 days ago

Ms. De Armond is a very dedicated teacher. She puts the needs of her students first. She is indeed a life changer.

Lisa Fesperman Posted 10 days ago

Kristi is an awesome and dedicated teacher. I had the privilege of being her book buddy last year and I learned so much from her. I witnessed the love and respect her students have for her. She is definitely the perfect candidate for this honor!