LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Hedy Elliott-Gardner

Position: School-Within-a-School Teacher
School: Lincoln K-8 School
School District: Peoria Public Schools, District 150`
City, State: Peoria, IL

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Hedy Eliott-Gardner was nominated by her superintendent, Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat.

Ms. Elliott-Gardner has dedicated her professional career to working and teaching students in the most need. She is a LifeChanger. Her gift as a teacher lies in her compassionate understanding of her students' unique needs. Her understanding and attention to students’ social emotional needs builds a strong foundation of trust. This foundation in turn allows her students – whether elementary and middle school children or incarcerated and homeless adults – to focus on the essential skills they need to turn their lives in a new direction. 

Even in the best of circumstances, children in middle school grades can be challenging. The physical, mental and emotional growth during ages 11 through 14 is nearly as dramatic and challenging as the toddler years. They are not yet adults, but often parents and adults, even educators, expect these young people to manage life’s daily challenges as skillfully as adults. When poverty, chronic physical or mental illness, substance abuse and family disruption add to their challenges, academic achievement becomes very difficult.

"The school-within-a-school concept advocated and managed by Mrs. Elliott-Gardner has been a successful answer to this challenge for Peoria Public Schools," Desmoulin-Kherat said.

When middle-school students with a history of behavior issues are separated from the high-energy, raucous environment of a typical middle school and able to learn in a calm, quiet atmosphere with limited outside stimuli, their academic progress is enhanced and measurable.  Mrs. Elliott-Gardner makes this change possible for two dozen students at Lincoln K-8.  Her students learn in a quiet classroom.  She establishes a rapport with students of trust and compassion. Her classroom is a calm, quiet place of respite for students who have often experienced lives of continual chaos.

Mrs. Elliott-Gardner has also taught GED classes at the Peoria County Jail and currently coordinates an Adult Literacy program through the Peoria Park District.  The Moonlight Coalition Adult Literacy program is another way Mrs. Elliott-Gardner is a LifeChanger. 

Comments (114)

Chuck Fabish Posted 9 months ago

Hedy, Hopefully this makes it's way to you at some point. I have just finished the Karzen book, Playgrounds to the Pros, and I was wonderfully happy that he contacted you. Our paths have had similar paths over the years, and I can't think of any one in education thaI I admire more than you. Thank you for all that you have given back to those in the greatest need. All the Best, Chuck Fabish

Gene and Peggy Lear Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Elliott-Gardner is an excellent teacher. She is the kind of teacher every student should have as they go through their academic career. She has changed the life of our grandson. He simply idolizes her. Through her he is realizing his full potential. Where once he was very shy and withdrawn, he is now an actively-involved leader in her class. Mrs. Elliott has changed our grandson's life. We owe her a debt we can never repay. Gene and Peggy Lear

Archissa Harris Posted over a year ago


Dr. Tanya Patton Posted over a year ago

I have known Hedy since 1998, and she has been giving to the Peoria Community every day since we met! She works with the youth, senior citizens and others on improving their lives! I am exhausted just thinking about the work she puts into every thing that she does! E, you certainly deserve the Life Changer Award! You work every day to improve the lives of those around you, even if it's a sacrifice to you!! Wishing you well!

martin williams Posted over a year ago

Way to go Hedy

kamillia alexander Posted over a year ago

Good luck!!

April Cremer Posted over a year ago

Hedy is do deserving of this honor. I hope she wins.

Robert Polk Posted over a year ago

What a great lady. She deserves it!!

Richard Bolden Posted over a year ago

Best wishes

kale young sr Posted over a year ago

she is great.

Leah Royer Posted over a year ago

Good luck

tiffannie ross Posted over a year ago

good luck

Joshua preciado Posted over a year ago

she is my lifechanger and help with my work and my life

willie woods Posted over a year ago

good luck

Khennedy Adkins-Dutro Posted over a year ago

Hedy is pretty much my second Mom. I've known her for as long as I can remember and she has been such a kind, intelligent and remarkable.;)

Sterhlyng Posted over a year ago

Hedy Elliot is a great teacher,mom,and person. She takes care of me like I'm her child. :D

Gia Gardner Posted over a year ago

She is a great mom, wife, and most importantly an amazing teacher.

DeAndre Jackson Posted over a year ago

Good luck

Howard Posted over a year ago

I have known Hedy since H.S. and she has been a wonderful caring person since I met her all those years ago.

Shalonda Knox Posted over a year ago

Hedy, Is a small mighty force. It is staggering how the efforts of one person, one particular person, can truly make a difference in the lives of so many. Definitely deserving.

Roxy Posted over a year ago

She inspires all that meet her

Amelia Posted over a year ago

Oh my gosh! This lady literally changed my life! She encouraged me everyday when I decided to obtain my GED. She had faith in me that I didn't have in myself. I am now a college student with a great future ahead of me and none of this would be so without this lovely lady! Love her!!!

Erica Baird Posted over a year ago

Hedy has taught GED classes Outside of the classroom for years to try to give people a second opportunity to have a great life! She is passionate, nonjudgmental, caring and uplifting! She helps people who feel like everything is over see that there is always a second opportunity to have the life you wanted...

Erica Posted over a year ago

She is definitely a passionate life changer!??

kristi hasty Posted over a year ago

Hey Elliot has been a great influence for all of my children. She is tough when she needs to be, compassionate and truly caring. She encouraged her students to be everything they want be and will do anything she can to make them be their best! I couldn't think of anyone more deserving!

Rabian Hancock Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Hedy is a wonderful person! She goes far and beyond to help others. She is very deserving of this award.

Tonya Parker Posted over a year ago

All around phenomenal person.

Carol Christian Posted over a year ago

Hedie is an amazing person! She helps any student that needs it. Her work with adult education is remarkable and she continually strives to make a difference in everything she does. Her work with the annual walk to support Haitian Hearts program is tremendous. She has helped teach students to care about others less fortunate then themselves. She is an inspiration!!!

Deb Lancaster Posted over a year ago

Very deserving nominee! Hey heart is overflowing for her students! And the community in general.

Paris Williams Posted over a year ago

I can spend hours talking about this wonderful woman. She was my 4th grade teacher and after words became a second Mom. I went from spending hours in her classroom after school to being part of the family, literally I would spend days at her house. She has been such and inspiration and deserves this award and so much more. I have never someone who goes above and beyond of the youth in their community. This woman will not stop!

t faulkner Posted over a year ago


Terella Moore Posted over a year ago

Ms.Hedy is a very sweet person.One who is good at and loves what she do Teach.Im very glad to have met her. I wish you the best Ms. Hedy!!!! Congratulations! !!!

Rob Hanauer Posted over a year ago

There is nothing to say beyond what others have already said about Hedy. She is very dedicated to helping others in Peoria. I'm thrilled that our paths crossed. She has my vote!

Kayla White Posted over a year ago

She’s the best.

Gloria D. Williams Posted over a year ago

Great Teacher.....Great Friend....Loves her students....Gives so much of herself to ALL she meets... I Love , love This women..What a Blessing to this City and Community." Congratulation Hedy"...You "Rock"....

Mark Barbier Posted over a year ago

Hedy is a Rock Star!!

Johnson Bryant Munchy Posted over a year ago

I fully support and nominate Hedy Elliot-Gardner for her hard work as an educator and the development of her students not only in the classroom but also in life.

Mark Barbier Posted over a year ago

Hedy is a Rock Star!!

Tim Sack Posted over a year ago

Hedy is the most caring person I know. She has the passion to work with children and young adults to help them succeed in the classroom and in life

Julia Posted over a year ago

Great person!!!!

Tajmah Shaffer Posted over a year ago

If there’s one person who deserves this award, it’s Mrs. Elliott-Gardner. I had the pleasure of watching her early in her career and even though I was never one of her actual students, she showed a genuine love for all the kids she came across. I wish her the best of luck!

Rebecca Nau Posted over a year ago

thank you for all you do!

Terry King Posted over a year ago

I went to school with her... I've worked with her, and I want to let anyone and everyone know.... That not only is she a great teacher but what makes her teaching great... Is that she literally cares and when you find a person who have that type of dedication who cares about people... Who go out their way to make sure individuals have the tools they need to better themselves, as far as education is concerned and the environment the students is coming out of, makes no difference to this wonderful teacher.... Because she is color blind in a world that is not! She doesn't care where you come from in a world that does! The only thing this teacher is committed to is her students , and how dedicated they are in meeting the goals they want to achieve ! I know that our response to Hedi Elliot may determine if she wins this Life Changer of the year ...if it is a award , ceremony , or both ! In my eyes she has already won it by her dedication to the students she teaches and helps out on a daily basis ! I want to congratulate you Hedi because you are a life changer whether you get this reward or not. The proof is not who responds to this...its how you're doing, what you're doing. being a dedicated teacher and caring person who gives !

trina king Posted over a year ago

Very good teacher. Has impacted many lives. Very deserving of this award

Valarie Burrows Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Elliot-Gardner, is amazing. She is one of the most outstanding teachers I have ever met. I first met her when she taught at Roosevelt. I later worked with her as a Co-op student at Garfield, while I attended Peoria Alternative High during 2009. She gave me the best advice a teacher could give, she always was so encouraging, and uplifting. She's always smiling and positive. Her positive energy gives off to everyone around her. She's a phenomenal teacher. I couldn't think of anyone more deserving of this award, than her! Congratulations!

Jevarion Scott Posted over a year ago

Such a kind hearted person , your truly genuine and love what you do . I’m forever grateful that we crossed paths and you’ll forever get my vote .

Wayne Cannon Posted over a year ago

Hedy is much deserving of this award. She has been changing the lives of students in Peoria, and is an advocate for those who are invisible. Great job Hedy!

Elena Gabor Posted over a year ago

I’ve worked with Hedy and a few others to create a music program at Proctor Center for children in the neighborhood. I have yet to meet someone so deeply caring and hard working. She brings light and positivity in peoples’ lives. She makes miracles happen in the lives of those she helps.

Shataqua Kenon Posted over a year ago


Tashay Robinson Posted over a year ago

This is by far the sweetest teacher I've ever encountered, she is well deserved of this award.

Janice Parker Posted over a year ago

She’s absolutely deserving of this award!

Cami Kellerstrass Posted over a year ago

This wonderful soul has made a positive difference in the lives of everyone she touches. Most definitely a Life changer!

Heather Schopp Posted over a year ago

I taught with Hedy at Harrison School and saw firsthand her exceptional love and devotion to her students. Anyone who has been in her classes has indeed had a wonderful gift.

Tye Elliott Posted over a year ago

Hedy has dedicated her entire life to lifting people up and helping them realize their potential. As her brother I may be biased, but can’t imagine a more deserving candidate . Congratulations to all of the nominees and thanks for all you do

Kennady Singleton Posted over a year ago

Most amazing teacher ever ??

Robert Clinton Posted over a year ago

Hedy is veri dedicated to her students. She always goes the extra mile to let her students know she cares about them. She is well respected by her peers and by parents.

Brooke Posted over a year ago

Growing up, I have seen Hedy interact with everyone the exact same. It doesn't matter if they are white, black, green, or purple, she has a desire to make their life better. Hedy selflessly devotes her time and energy, along with her hilarious attitude, for the benefit of others. She has changed countless lives for the better and is still changing them to this day! Pretty sure Hedy is a walking advertisement for free self-help. :)

Chelsea Posted over a year ago

Hedy is a great woman all around! Truly inspiring how compassionate she is about education, her students, and her community.

Ken Johnson Posted over a year ago

She has always had a passion for helping others.

patrick bott Posted over a year ago

Good Luck Hedy

LaQuoia Fulce Posted over a year ago

Ms. Elliott is definitely a teacher to remember! She was my 3rd grade teacher from 1998-1999. She touches the heart of everyone who she comes in contact with. Very genuine woman who loves to teach and help others! A true angel in disguise. I just love her!

Molly Lavin Posted over a year ago

I met Hedy through my daughter a few years ago. I always seen how dedicated she was to her job and to help the young people in our community. But this year when my daughter and I had to make the hardest choice ever for her to drop out her senior year. Hedy was there and within months my daughter had her GED, Hedy gave my daughter the encouragement she needed and was always there for her the whole way through. I can’t thank her enough for everything she did for us! She goes above and beyond for each and every student she works with. She’s an amazing teacher and truly is a life changer for many young people in our community!

Anthony Bigger Posted over a year ago

Amazing lady

CHRIS HAZE Posted over a year ago

She's a terrific human being and has always done so much for so many!!!

Donna Crowder Posted over a year ago

She exemplifies to fullest extent what it means to be a life changer!!! Hedy is such an awesome teacher with a big heart for everyone.

Shanika Foster Posted over a year ago


Shawn Stever Posted over a year ago

I don't see Hedy very often but when I do I am always struck by the compassion she has for people. She is a very positive person who is involved in so many things that I am not aware of, speaking to her tireless quest to make a difference. Hedy has always come across to me as a very quiet leader who just gets the job done with the attitude of, It's not about me. What a breath of fresh air.

Demarcus Wells Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Hedy Elliott is very deserving of this award she has been a huge help in her community for a very long time. She takes teaching to another level she loves her students and it shows in the classroom. Some people just have a gift to teach, and she most definitely has that gift. I've got first hand experience she makes learning easy and fun. Her reach runs further than just the classroom she has literally saved lives by helping misguided kids, and pushing them and showing them a better way. I know this because I was one of them.

Julie Craghead Posted over a year ago

I met Hedy during my first year of teaching at PPS 150. She was an invaluable asset to me as a new staff member. As the year progressed I saw her in action as a teacher as well as in her role as the "GED Ninja" at the Proctor Center. She amazes me with her enthusiasm and undying support for everyone in her program. She is a supportive cheerleader to all and an inspiration to anyone who would like to make a difference in the lives of others. Another role that she plays is the coordinator of an annual walk to support Haitian Hearts program. She continues to come to the schools to organize this event even though she is no longer at our building. I sincerely cannot think of anyone who is more deserving of this accolade. Hedy is a life changer like no other!

Angelique E. Laswell Posted over a year ago

She is an amazing person. Always upbeat and encouraging. My husband never finished school because at a young age he became homeless and they did not have the programs that they have today to help students be able to stay in school. He was forced to drop out and make it on his own. When he lost his job after working there for over 24 years, he didn't know what to do. He realized that without his GED he couldn't even get a job at McDonald's to support the family. He started looking into where he could go to get his GED, but every place was full and he didn't know what to do next. We started asking around and someone gave us Mrs. Elliott-Gardner's phone number and told us that if anyone could help it would be her. It was not easy for my husband to admit that he never graduated and even more difficult for him to reach out for help, since he was in his mid forties. When he called her, she immediately put his mind at ease and made him feel comfortable. She gave him all the information he needed and helped him get enrolled into the GED program. She has called multiple times to see how he is progressing and always gives him words of encouragement. He now has only one more subject to complete before he will have his GED. My family and I are so grateful for all that she has done for us and I am grateful for all the help she has given to my husband. She deserves this recognition and so much more! She truly is changing lives and we feel blessed to have had her be a part of changing ours!

Christine Hickman Posted over a year ago

Self less! Caring! Connected! These are just a few of the adjectives that characterize Hedy. I have had the privilege of working with Hedy on union issues as well as helping with a GED program. She gives 200% to her students, peers and her family. We are so lucky to have a teacher who works tirelessly for families on the South side and East Bluff.

Carl Cannon Posted over a year ago

Heady Elliott is the most amazing educator I have ever met! I am a career law enforcement professional who primarily worked in the Federal Prison industry. I quit my profession so that I could partner with people like Mrs. Elliott who are the BEST at keeping Men, Women, young adults and children out of prison. Hedy deserves this recognition and so much more. She is the pillar of teaching, compassion, caring and RESULTS! Simply said, Hedy Elliott, "Saves Lives"!

Mary Hudson Posted over a year ago

Have you ever met someone that you don't remember how or when you met. However you feel as though you have known this person all your life. That is how I feel about Hedy. I do know we had to meet doing some type of exercise function. I retired from Caterpillar in 2009. I taught land and water exercise classes for a few years. Then I started working with Hedy. This has become a journey like no other journey. I call my position, Secretary of Hedy. She is a true educator. You say, what does she teach? I would say she teaches, English, Math, Geography, Spanish, Speech, Listening,respect, caring, happiness, sharing, how to move on and to keep going. Hedy believes in her heart that anyone can learn no matter your age or gender and that there is always something to be learned. She has worked hard in order to gain resources that have enabled her to use those same resources to help others achieve their goals. Hedy teaches in and out of the classroom. She always encourages her students and friends to be involved in the community. Hedy is one of those persons whose mission in life is to make this world a better place for everyone and everything until the end. Plus, before you know it you will be on that train too.

Kathleen Gondeck Posted over a year ago

I work in the same school building as Mrs. Elliott-Gardner. I am in her classroom occasionally, helping out with technology. The students are on-task and well-mannered. Mrs. Elliott-Gardner is a positive influence on those around her. She often shares an encouraging word and is strong believer that an education is invaluable for all.

Brandon Nigon Posted over a year ago

For most of my life I have been the beneficiary of the hard work and goodwill of people like Ms. Hedy. So after starting my career in Peoria I was eager to do anything, no matter how small, to start paying back this awesome debt. I've always had a great respect for those who teach and my job is far from the classroom, so I thought tutoring would be a great way help out. I did not anticipate how difficult it would be to find an opportunity to do this. That is until I got in contact with Hedy and the Moonlight Coalition in which she runs. Just days after contacting her I was working one-on-one with a young adult looking to pass the math portion of her GED. I see the difference this program makes in the progress I see every week, but this program has also changed my life for the better. Hedy has given me an incredibly efficient way to help that just wasn't possible before. I'm convinced that there are quite few who have impacted so many people in this community, with the amount of personal attention for each, the way Hedy has. All this and I've come to learn that the way in which I know Hedy, the Moonlight Coalition, is only a small part of how she changes so many lives.

opheliabell Posted over a year ago

I just started attending her G.E.D program and she seems to be very sincere about what she does. She makes me feel like this is possible and I'm excited to proceed!

Margaux Thompson Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Elliott was my eighth grade social studies teacher. My mom kept up with her and I always loved hearing about what she was doing. Later, I decided to pursue teaching as my vocation and she has been an excellent guide and mentor! I would love to be like Mrs. Elliott one day and help educate the community!

Herman Johnson Posted over a year ago

I've Known Hedy as long as I've been coming to the GED program. When I got here the subjects were harder than I thought. I said "I can't do this." She said "If you give me 5 days and I show you that you can, will you stay?" She took me from a 4th grade math and reading level to the level of a high school junior. I don't know how to put what she means to me in words. She is a person you will never forget. When you meet her you know you are in the midst of someone who cares.

Quintarius Beck Posted over a year ago

Ms.Hedy was the teacher i had since a kid an thank her alot for she done for since i been G.E.D she helped me get a job at Proctor Recreation Center an she a wonderful the teacher you ever have so thanks for Everything!!! Ms. Hedy

Denzel Pickett Diggins Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Elliot is one of the realist women I have ever met in my life!She has been there for me not only through my G.E.D. class but personal issues also.Not going to get in details, But I love this lady as if she were my second mom.

Kathy Morton Posted over a year ago

I have the privilege of working with Hedy Elliott-Garder at the Moonlight Coalition Adult Literacy program and have known her as a teacher in the public school system for several years. Hedy is a champion of all her students. She does not accept "I can't do this." from any of her students. Students strive to reach her high expectations due to the amount of respect that they all have for her. Hedy is a leader in the community and a great asset to the field of education. I can't think of anyone more deserving for this award.

Michael H. Posted over a year ago

ms.Gardner has helped me with obtaining my G.E.D, at 24 with very encouraging words and actions. I can definitely say she has been a blessing in my life. very kind hearted. as well as a wonderful teacher, and person in general we are blessed as a community to have such a caring, and motivating person in our lives! It is because of Ms.Gardner I have had the courage to further my education. thank you Ms.Gardner!

Ann DeVore Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure of working for Hedy for about a year now. I absolutely love the Moonlight Coalition for Adult Literacy program. Hedy is such a kind and caring individual. She spends tireless hours working to make people be the best that they can be! She gives endlessly of herself. You can always see a smile on her face and have a good laugh with Hedy! Hedy deserves this award! Go, girl, go!! Love you, Hedy!!

RAMON DAVIS Posted over a year ago

MRS..ELLIOT is a very inspire person ,I knew ELLIOT for 10 years she been a big help in my life she support me far help me get my G.E.D. SUPPORT ON Job resoure .she my t\favor teacher no matter who you is take her of day to help and support you no who you is ,what color you is thank her forall her support she been giving over the years.

isaiah Posted over a year ago

miss. elliot is a wonderful teacher she never gives up on you always pushes you to do the right thing .

Mary Ann Posted over a year ago

Since I have been working in my GED class, Hedy has been the best teacher and motivator I have had. She doesn't discriminate against who she helps, that is a great quality of her character. She is also loving and kind to everyone. I enjoy coming to class knowing that I will be able to accomplish my goal and graduate due to her support. I would like to invite anyone who would like to further their education to reach out to Hedy...she is the BEST! She will make sure you accomplish your goals too!

zachary corley Posted over a year ago

she has helped me by giving me an oppertunity to better my life and helping me realize that i can better myself

Amber Brown Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Elliott gave me a second chance to finish getting my G.E.D at no cost I really appreciate her taking the time out to help the community get on track.

Andrea Fortner Posted over a year ago

I've known Hedy for nearly two years now and and she is someone that I truly admire and look up to. I am constantly impressed by her dedication to our community and those she serves. I have seen so many people succeed and obtain their GED under her guidance and with her never-ending support. She has constantly supported me personally, in and outside of work, in both large and small matters - something that I am truly thankful for. I know of no one more deserving of this nomination!

Seif Ouerghi Posted over a year ago

I saw Hedy's GED classes and program online and decided to come down to try it. Since I have been in Hedy's GED program, she has been extremely helpful. She truly makes me want to come and learn to get my GED. She is a kind woman. She has pushed me to continue my education and motivated me to keep going. I am halfway through and am excited to keep going. Hedy deserves this award because she is a hard worker and a really good person.

Amber Brown Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Elliott gave me a second chance to finish getting my G.E.D at no cost I really appreciate her taking the time out to help the community get on track.

Angelo Vallianatos Posted over a year ago

I started working working with Mrs. Elliott-Gardner last year in the school-within-a-school program..I am amazed how this lady has changed these students lives. I see these kids reading, writing and listening. These are skills that are used for students that will be successful. These students that come to school-within-a-school are at their lowest point..Regular teachers and parents don't know how to help the struggling student.Mrs. Elliott-Gardner provides motherly love and opportunities for the students to feel that they are a part of the community. Her radiant smile and her unique style of teaching have giving her students all the tools to be successful in high school and beyond. I have the honor to work with her and to see the transformation of her students.Anyone that comes in contact with her will always leave with all the skills to succeed. Thanks Hedy for being there for our students.It takes a special person to provide Love, Leadership and success to students that have low self - esteem. Thanks for everything you.

Anne Hall Posted over a year ago

Hedy Elliot-Gardner is a tireless advocate for those she serves. She provides an environment of high expectations and respect. Her students have said they "don't want to leave" her classroom even when they have been deemed ready to do so. I admire her ability to be the person who rarely takes no for answer when she is working on behalf of her students. I admire her ability to achieve what others think is impossible by simply asking "why not." She is truly deserving of this nomination and honor! Congratulations, Hedy!

Mary Jane Burtsfield Posted over a year ago

I have seen Hedy in action and she is such a giving, caring person and teacher. Mrs. Elliott-Gardner deserves this award and her students are blessed to have her as a teacher.

Amy Moon Posted over a year ago

Hedy Eliott-Gardner coordinated her school-within-a-school program with my kindergarten class for social emotional learning. Some of her students with the toughest shells softened as they partnered up with my five and six year old students. Hedy's students were respectful and sweet to my class. They seemed to take on a big brother and big sister role. My students who may have seen her class as just big kids before, now see them as role models. It is Hedy's continuous structure and guidance that keeps her students on track. Most of all, I am sure it is her heart.

Shayla Grantham Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure of knowing Hedy since the beginning of my education career. She has served as a mentor and role model to many new teachers in the field. I admire her willingness to always want to help others to do and be better. Through my interactions with her I have gained more confidence in my career as an educator and advocate for students. Hedy is someone that I aspire to be like in my life. Congratulations Hedy on this well deserved nomination.

Debi Redington Posted over a year ago

I had the privilege of working with Hedy and her kids a few years back. She requested I come teach dance a couple times a week. It was evident that she really cared for her students and that she wanted to make school a positive place for them to develop. It was obvious that the students had great respect for her and felt good about being a part of her school-within-a- school program. She's a hard worker from a great family:) Congrats Hedy!!

Antoinette Jones Posted over a year ago

I Love this lady,because she is real. She love the children for who thy are(created in GOD's image). This is real LOVE! Her love don't stop there it extend to adulthood in Educating and showing love to all. She act the same way from the first day I mate her, and know matter who she is around.

Beth Derry Posted over a year ago

I can not think of a more deserving candidate for this recognition. Hedy spends her time dedicated to public service in the education world. During the regular school week, she has dedicated herself to students that are struggling to fit in and to be a part of traditional classroom life. She offers them a 2nd chance at getting a high quality education that is tailored to their needs. Beyond school ours, Hedy works tirelessly to serve a population that has not achieved the equivalent of a high school diploma. She recruits volunteer tutors, finds dollars to support the work, sets up environments that are respectful of adult learning, and is the biggest cheerleader for anyone trying to make the big education step towards getting a GED. I have seen her students dedicate years to getting their reading level up to the needed range to be able to take and pass the test. This only happens because Hedy is right along beside them giving the needed support. It is an honor to right comments on her behalf!

Joy A Quezada Posted over a year ago

I have worked in the room next to Mrs. Elliott-Gardner for the last 3 years. There are no words that I can even use to describe my upmost respect for her and her way with her students!! Way to go Hedy!!

Rachel Boudreau Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Elliott-Gardner is truly an inspiring and motivating educator. She goes above and beyond her everyday duties to help students who are falling behind and need extra support to be successful. Mrs. Elliot - Gardner checks on her students to make sure they are safe and provided for, so they can be successful. She looks at a variety of ways to help struggling students who are in the toughest situations and never gives up on them. Mrs. Elliott - Gardner brings a smile to the students faces and lights the room with her talent when she walks in. She is truly one of a kind!

Elizabeth Elliott Posted over a year ago

The world would be a better place with more people like Hedy who gives so much of her time Voleenring when not teaching and never asks for anything in return. But will gladly take donations to help out the many groups she supports...??

Diane Vespa Posted over a year ago

Could not agree more! Thank you Dr. Kherat, for nominating her! Every time I see Hedy she is beaming with another great idea on how to reach our at-risk citizens. She gives hope to people who feel hopeless. She gives love to those who feel unloved. Watching her touch people through ordinary everyday interactions is a sight to behold! And through it all she does it with a twinkle in her eye. If you haven't met Ms. Hedy Elliott, you don't know what you're missing!

Genesis Posted over a year ago

Love being in your class

Nicole bishop Posted over a year ago

Hedy is an amazing lady & teacher, I've had the pleasure of having some of her adult GED students as workers and she always goes above & beyond in making sure they are successful! She's got s great personality & genuinely cares about her students & the community! She definitely deserves this as she's an exceptional teacher in the district!

Kailey Posted over a year ago

She's my teacher

Karla Kipfer Posted over a year ago

I have known Mrs. Elliott-Gardner for many years. Fifteen years ago she rescued my grandson from a poor situation in his 4th grade class and took him into her class. She also came to my house to say good-bye to him when he moved away with his family. She reached him like no other teacher had. She has many gifts that she gives every student she teaches. She gives acceptance, kindness and self-confidence among other things. Hedy is a wonder and a LifeChanger. I

Annie Mayo Posted over a year ago

Hedy was a tremendous advocate for the Glen Oak staff as we searched for alternatives for this 2017-18 school year. She freely lent her knowledge and experience in developing a program that worked for her particular population and brainstormed with us on how to adapt it for Glen Oak. Thank you, Hedy for your time and advocacy!

Karen Hohimer Posted over a year ago

I had the privilege of meeting Hedy more than 16 years ago. I taught with her at Roosevelt. Even back then, she was always collecting things for underprivileged kids and their families. Her compassion is second to none. She believes in what she is doing and as far as I am concerned, she had made a tremendous impact on MANY lives in this community. Her students love her. She is truly an advocate for them all. She is most deserving of this recognition!

Christine Martha Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Elliott-Gardner is truly a Life Changer! I have worked with some of her current students previously when they were in a regular classroom. They were continually disrupting the classroom and got very little work done. They also upset the other students in the room and distracted them from learning. Now I see these same students in Hedy's room, sitting quietly at their desks, getting their work done. And most of all, they have a peaceful, contented attitude that shows they are enjoying their class and feeling positive about their accomplishments. I have taken some of Hedy's current students on field trips, and it is a pleasure to take them out in public. Their behavior is a credit to Lincoln School. I would say Hedy has drastically changed the lives of these kids forever!

Susan Griswold Posted over a year ago

Hedy is a fantastic leader and inspiration to all of the students and their parents who have had the privilege of her help. She takes the hardest students and show them the right path so they can become successful community members. She deserves this award and many others!

Janet L. Parker Posted over a year ago

I have had the privilege of working with Mrs. Elliott-Gardner for the past few years. I have seen her take some of our most difficult students and turned them around. Anytime a student is put into our School within a School program they balk at the idea. Then once they enter the classroom it is only a matter of days until they realize how much they like it! Mrs. Elliott-Gardner seems to have a "magic touch" with these students. They behave better, their grades go up, they want to be successful! She is such a blessing to our school and to our students!

Linda Wilson Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Elliot-Gardner is so deserving of this award and more. She has dedicated her life to serving children and adults of our community. Mrs. Elliot-Gardner deeply touches everyone that she encounters. She has a quiet and subtle way of connecting to the most challenging students. Because of this, students, parents and adults have the highest respect for her. Mrs. Elliot-Gardner is self-less, humble and hardworking. She is known as the go-to person for problem-solving, community resources, and educational opportunities. Congratulations Mrs. Hedy Gardner-Elliot! You are a Life-Changer!

Jeff Adkins-Dutro Posted over a year ago

Hedy Elliott has changes thousands of lives. Through Hedy's GED program, she has helped students turn their lives around by offering an education to anyone who walks through the door wanting to learn. Several teachers and I are currently working with Hedy to set up a GED program at Peoria High so that the life changing (and life saving) Hedy does can be expanded. The love Hedy has for education and the passion she brings to teaching is amazing. It has rejuvenated my colleagues and me. My wife is Hedy's teacher's aide at the alternative school program Hedy runs at Lincoln School. Not only has Hedy changed the lives of the students in the program, she has changed my wife's life as well. By being part of Hedy's program, which is well-structured, well-run, effectively old school, my wife now has a renewed love for education and for helping the students Hedy takes in. My wife has been more calm and more happy than she has been in years. My wife often tells me, "I love my job." I am grateful to Hedy for changing my wife's life by simply being who she is and by doing what she does. Hedy takes education beyond the classroom by taking her students to art classes with Preston Jackson, taking them on field trips galore, and by rewarding them when they deserve to be rewarded. We talk about how important it is for schools to have wrap around services that meet students' needs. Hedy is a one stop shop for education and wrap around services. Whatever a student needs, Hedy has a means of meeting that need with no more than a phone call to get the ball rolling. Hedy has built strong programs that are highly effective - programs that change and (quite literally) save lives. The system Hedy has developed is a system that is now expanding and taking root one school at a time. They say that education is the great equalizer - and that for many, it is "the way out" of tough circumstances and situations. To see that embodied, spend a day with Hedy. She will change your life too.