LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Katy Tedford

Position: Family Engagement Specialist
School: Olgethorpe Avenue Elementary School
School District: Clarke County School District
City, State: Athens, GA

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Katy Tedford was nominated by her colleague, Margaret Mixon.

Mrs. Tedford is the Family Engagement Specialist at Oglethorpe Elementary School. She always goes above and beyond her duties to ensure that her students and their families feel welcomed. She is an active member of several teams and committees such as the Parent Teacher Organization, Dual-Language Immersion, and the School Improvement Leadership Team.

When new students arrive at her school, Mrs. Tedford brings them to their new classrooms with their families and introduces them to their peers. Many of the students speak Spanish as their native language. Mrs. Tedford is fluent and able to translate when needed. She puts in countless hours after school, helping with events such as the Fall Festival, Night of Culture, Family Bingo Night, and Step Team practices. She also sponsors and coaches the "Girls on the Run" program.

"Mrs. Tedford is my personal hero because she has provided so much support to me this year," Mixon said. "I started an after school Step Dance Club to give students the opportunity to creatively express themselves through dance. More students than expected signed up to participate, and Katy volunteered to stay after school with me at our weekly practices."

"She has been such an inspiration to the students, encouraging them to do their best," Mixon continued. "She has committed to supporting me at our Step Team's off campus competition performances. I feel so honored to work with someone as selfless as her."

In addition to the activities she is involved in, Mrs. Tedford also organizes fundraisers and activities that enhance the school culture and provide experiences and materials for students. She is in charge of the school uniforms and care closets, which would not be possible without donations from community members. She also organizes the "PAWS" Christmas tree, which anonymously provides support for families in need during the holidays.

"Katy is one of those 'heart of gold' people who is always there for others, no matter what kind of day she is having," Mixon said. "I believe she deserves this award, and if you were to ask other teachers and staff at Oglethorpe Elementary School, you would receive the same response from them."



Comments (38)


Giovanna Posted over a year ago

mrs tedford is a wonderful person who is devoted and dedicated to her work and always strives to do what is best for the OAES community looking for the best and how to support in different situations, she is an excellent worker

Tanethgia Davenporr Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Tedford has been amazing, my girls started pre-k this year and things weren't very easy with getting uniforms etc. But Mrs.Tedford helped as much as possible. Also recently me and my girls were involved in a bad wreck so a good fundme page was set up, and mrs.tedford happy shared and reposted to try to get my story out there. She is so amazing in everything she does

Mandy Makin Posted over a year ago

As a parent, I appreciate people who truly love our school. Katy gives her all to Oglethorpe. She is committed to making it a safe and welcoming place. I know that if I have a question, I can turn to Katy and she will help. It has been great to watch Katy take on so many roles at our school and the school community is better for her efforts.

Claudia Gamez Posted over a year ago

Excelente persona que ayuda a en todo a la escuela, estudiantes y padres de familia suerte!!!

Happy Farber Posted over a year ago

Katy is an amazing asset to our school. She is our parent involvement school specialist. She not only communicates with the parents, but has people donate coats and school supplies for our students. Last week she spent many extra hours preparing our school for its 17th annual Culture Night. The event was a huge success with parents and children all leaving with full stomachs, smiling faces, and great memories of spending time with family, friends, and teachers. If it were not for Katy, none of this would be possible. This is just one example of what Katy does for our school. She performs above and beyond her duties on a daily basis. Our school is blessed to have Katy as our parent involvement specialist!

Emily Biscoglia Posted over a year ago

Katy is a powerhouse of energy and ideas. I have served on the PTO board with her for the past two years was amazed this year by her commitment and energy. I asked Katy to help me with the Haunted House at our annual Octoberfest Festival. She did so much more than what I expected. She worked all day selling tickets, blowing up balloons, organizing tables, setting up the festival and making the haunted house. She ended the night dressed as a clown and performing for the entire night in the booth. This type of commitment and energy is not an exception. I know I can count on Katy to help me communicate with a Spanish speaking parent, find some supplies for a student who needs them, make sure outside activities occur and are beautiful, well planned and well attended by all of our parents. Our school is a more welcoming and well run place because of Katy's input and participation. She deserves this award and then some!

Deirdre Sugiuchi Posted over a year ago

Katy goes out of her way to make sure that the needs of our students, families, and teachers are met. She is always willing to help out. She works after hours to create a positive climate. Her positive attitude is an inspiration to the entire community.

Amanda Allen Posted over a year ago

Katy is such an asset to OAES. She ensures that each student, parent, and faculty and staff member has what they need to be successful. The love she has for our school clearly shows in all that she does!

Jessica Black Posted over a year ago

Katy seems to be the lifeblood of OAES. She can answer any question (in Spanish or English), knows where everything and every kid is and appears very sincere in her dedication to the kids at Oglethorpe. She untangles chaos and usually makes me laugh! Thanks Katy!!

Scarlett Dunne Posted over a year ago

Katy is an amazing employee. She ALWAYS has the students and families best interest at heart. She is very hard working and really cares about Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School.

Stacia Fuller Posted over a year ago

As a parent with an upcoming student at OAE, I am so grateful to have someone like Ms. Tedford available. I hear so many compliments about her and our school. Thank you, Katy, for being ready and willing to lead our village! You seem to be the perfect liason and counselor. It is people like you that help our community take part in public education, and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Meagan Moye Posted over a year ago

Katy, is amazing at her job. I have never seen someone so dedicated to help others. She works day and night to make sure our families have what they need.

Kathleen Falke Posted over a year ago

This has been our first year at OAES and I have been so impressed by the community initiatives organized by Ms. Tedford. We are so fortunate to have her as part of our school. Congrats!

Andrea Tillman Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Tedford is an excellent candidate for the Lifechanger of the Year award! She serves as a positive role model for all students and is often seen encouraging students to do their best. She makes personal connections with students, teachers, and families making OAES a better place for everyone. I cannot adequately express how important she is to our school!

Lisa Devaney Posted over a year ago

In addition to her regular responsibilities, Ms. Tedford has provided support on many occasions to our special education team as we try to communicate thoroughly and effectively with our families who are native Spanish speakers. She is so conscientious in this role, determined that parents understand clearly their rights and their child's learning profile. She is a tireless advocate for diverse learners, and models and teaches parents how to perform this role themselves for their children. No matter how long it takes, Ms. Tedford patiently keeps on interpreting and translating until she feels certain that parents understand and are empowered. She exceeds expectations every day, which inspires her colleagues and our students to do the same! I could not do my job without her!

Leigh Anne Lindsey Posted over a year ago

Katy Tedford is a rockstar at OAES. She goes above and beyond to make sure the needs of our students are met. She communicates with parents so that students have warm, clean clothes as well as food to eat. She kindly makes parent phone calls to translate for teachers, sits in on conferences, and so much more. She worked tirelessly to ensure that our Octoberfest was a huge success, and she's currently working on our school yearbook (among other things.) She is one of the hardest working people I know, and she should be the Lifechanger of the year, without a doubt.

Taylor Solomon Posted over a year ago

As a new staff member, Ms. Tedford has been a huge help during my time at OAES. She has been such a welcoming and thoughtful co-worker and I feel I can speak for my team as a whole when I say we truly appreciate her support.

H Dean Posted over a year ago

Katy Tedford is an amazing asset for OAES. She works hard to support the students, our student's families, the teachers, PTO and the rest of the school staff. She continually goes above and beyond her duties. She is kind, thoughtful and helpful. We are all proud of her and so thankful to have her at OAES!

Megan Makin Posted over a year ago

Ms. Katy is such an asset to our OAES family. She goes above and beyond with all of her duties, even taking on jobs that aren't hers. She has so many talents that she is able to share with her school family and community. I know that I can always count on her to help me with anything from translations for students or parents to helping a student get a new backpack. She has a huge heart and we are so lucky to have her in our school. Congratulations to you, Katy! You deserve it! Thank you again for all that you do to make OAES a wonderful place!

Molly Massey Posted over a year ago

Katy truly goes above and beyond! She does so much for our school and puts in so much extra time. She loves her job, our students, and our entire school.

Mai Whigham Posted over a year ago

Katy works hard to provide ALL of our students, parents, and staff support in all aspects of the day. Whether she is helping a child with clothes, helping a parent navigate the community to meet their needs, or working with the staff at OAES, she is always actively engaged! She works day and night to make it all happen! We could not do it without her!

Diane Wehunt Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Tedford is one a very conscientious, caring, and nurturing member of OAES. She is friendly, caring, and a hard worker. She makes our school a better place for students, parents and staff. Even with a family, she finds time to put in long hours to provide to organize fundraisers, events and school celebrations. She is very deserving of this award. Good job Mrs.Tedford!

Dylan Tedford Posted over a year ago

Katy Tedford is absolutely amazing at what she does. And she doesn’t limit that to her title as Family Engagement Specialist. She puts 100% into everything she does. The children and their needs are her number one concern and she will go the extra mile to ensure anyone in need receives help or attention. She will genuinely help anyone that she can and Wishes she had more time to give! Aside from her position, aiding with the Dual Language Program, translating for events and documents, and so on, she does things such as tutoring children in Spanish, and even tutoring Spanish speaking students in English. Katy truly impacts the lives of children and others on a daily basis and it shows through her actions.

Sarah Goodwin Posted over a year ago

Katy plays an invaluable role in our school. She helps build the family-school partnership which is critical for student success. Katy not only helps teachers and parents connect but she provides parents with academic and community resources. Also she has truly helped our school connect with Spanish speaking families. Katy is kind, hard working, and will help out in anyway she can! I am proud to call her an Oglethorpe Wildcat!!

Erica Malcom Posted over a year ago

Katy does so much for our students and families. She puts in many hours of extra work to make sure our kiddos are well taken care of. Her pride and dedication does not go unnoticed. Katy is always looking for ways to better help our community.

Kate Orozco Posted over a year ago

Congrats Ms.Katy! You do so much for our school!

Pam Shearer Posted over a year ago

Katy Tedford is a life changer and a game changer. She takes the time, SO much time, to get it done, whatever the IT may be. She reaches out to families with help needed whether it's a coat or a connection to a needed service. Her energy is amazing, and she is always at every event, sometimes the first to arrive and often the last to leave. She cares about each child and every staff member and makes time to listen to their concerns. Our school is a brighter place because of Katy Tedford.

Jeanna Wheeler Posted over a year ago

Katy is the most dedicated and hardworking family engagement specialist, mother, and friend-and those are just a few of her many roles both in and beyond OAES. I whole-heartedly believe she deserves this award!

Morgan Jones Posted over a year ago

Congratulations, Katy! You consistently share freely of your time, talents, & skills. Each of us (students, staff, & families) is positively impacted by what you do for our OAES community. I'm proud & thankful to call you a colleague & a friend. Thank you!

Celina Dorfman Posted over a year ago

Here are the reasons for her to be named for this position: she is kind, giving, encouraging and emotionally supportive not only for our students but for their families as well, and she goes out of her way and gives of her time (for example, to decorate classrooms or help with Step Club etc...). For these reasons, I believe that Katy Tedford deserves the honor of this award. Celina Dorfman

Cara Simmons Posted over a year ago

Our school is a better place with Katy as our Family Engagement Specialist. I got to know her when I served as president and she served as treasurer of our Parent-Teacher Organization. She goes above and beyond in all that she does and is always willing to put in the work to complete projects. She is one of the most hard-working, giving, caring, and supportive people that I have known in my life. She brings a positive energy to the school that is infectious. You want to do better and more when you see her.

Camille Staley Posted over a year ago

Katy works so hard to make sure that all students at OAES feel safe and welcomed, and that they have everything they need to come to school ready to learn every day. She cares so much about the children and I think her unconditionally loving and caring spirit embodies this award!

A Metcalfe Posted over a year ago

My child is part of the dual language Immersion program at OAES. Mrs Tedford is very involved in this - attending and translating at meetings. She is always approachable and helpful.

Angela Powell Posted over a year ago

Katy Tedford is so very deserving of this honor! Katy spends very long hours caring for the students and families of our school community. This year, alone (and we're only a semester in), she has created a useful care closet for our students, consisting of school supplies, clothing, book bags, shoes, jackets, and more. She keeps us parents informed every week of what is running low so that those who can contribute may do so in the most effective ways. She keeps an eye out for our students who show up to school with difficult circumstances and physical needs and discreetly takes care of them, from washing dirty school clothes to making sure they have meals to get them through the weekend. Katy has been amazing at seeking out and partnering with business and individuals in our local community to invest money, time, supplies, and even their own spaces in support of getting our students and families what they need. But it doesn't stop at physical needs with Katy Tedford. She is an ever-present encourager of all our students. My daughter, a Kindergartner in her second year in the school's Spanish-English language immersion program, lights up when she sees Mrs. Katy in the hallways or at educational parent-child events. Katy is genuinely connected with each of the students (and parents, too) she runs across in the course of her day. In short, if there's a physical, educational, social, or emotional need on our campus, Katy is the person to call. If she can't meet the need herself, she will make it her personal mission to find the people who can. It is an honor to have Katy in our lives and to be a part of her outstanding efforts to impact the lives of our students, our families, and our local community.

Robin Grundstein Posted over a year ago

Mrs Tedford is an amazing part of our OAES family. Everything she does she puts ?? effort in. She cares for the students and teachers so much and it shows in everything she does! Being a parent of two OAES students I can see on a regular basis how much Katy does. From working late for Octoberfest to translating for DLI and everything in between, she is a very hard worker. I hope Katy wins this award as she is someone who totally deserves it!

Lyndsay Goeckeritz Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Tedford is one of the hardest working OAES employees I have ever seen! Mrs. Tedford goes above and beyond for all of our students, families, and staff by providing items in need, fundraisers, events, and pure love. Go Mrs. Tedford!

Julie Hinkle Posted over a year ago

As "Ms. Katy's" school neighbor, I can attest to the loooooong hours and extra efforts she puts into her work. She is inspiring every single day and always has our families' best interests at heart.

Marilyn Murphy Posted over a year ago

Felicitaciones Congratulations Katy is an indispensable member of our faculty. Our staff, students and families are enriched every day by her contributions. We are so proud to have her as a member of our OAES staff!