LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Amanda Babcock

Position: Behavior Coach
School: JFK Elementary School
School District: Winooski School District
City, State: Winooski, VT

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Amanda Babcock was nominated by her colleague Savanna Bechard.

Mrs. Babcock has been working in education since 2005, and has been the Behavior Coach at JFK Elementary for the past three years. Since her arrival in Winooski, she has made a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of students and staff members. She is extremely dedicated to the students and staff. She is a professional educator who creates a positive environment for the school community.

JFK Elementary is located in Winooski, VT. It's considered a large elementary school in Vermont, with almost 400 students. It's located in the same building as the district's offices, as well as its middle and high schools. Around 80% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Additionally, Winooski is a national refugee resettlement city, resulting in over 20 languages spoken in the district. Fifty-eight percent of Winooski's 884 students are Black, Asian, Hispanic or Multiracial, making Winooski the only "minority-majority" district in overwhelmingly white Vermont. The net result of these numbers means that around 90% of the population has experienced developmental trauma.

This unique population creates a unique school and unique challenges. Mrs. Babcock has embraced these challenges and works every day to meet them. Many of her students require extra support throughout their day, so she implements behavior plans or incentives to help the students successfully navigate through their day.

Mrs. Babcock is a true leader in her school. She is the school PBIS coordinator and a member of the JFK Leadership team. She also attends PBIS Coordinator meetings and has been instrumental in getting the PBIS (Positive Behaviors and Interventions) system up and running.  This has become one piece of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, and she has had a hand in developing each of the tiers. The climate and cultural changes in the school since implementing PBiS and MTSS have been amazing. Her school is a positive, happy place, and the majority of students love coming to school.

While Mrs. Babcock works hard at school to support her staff and students, she also has a family and recently finished graduate school for her Administration Degree. She takes extra course work around the subject of trauma to learn how to better help her students. She does a wonderful job of balancing being a wife, the mother of two children, two step children, a “gram gram” of two little ones, and a fantastic employee and colleague. She uses her knowledge from the coursework in the building every day, often talking to her colleagues about things she learns and how they could use them to support the Winooski community.

"I have been in education for seven years. I have never had the privilege of working with someone as highly skilled, dedicated and kind-hearted as Amanda Babcock," said Bechard. "Each day, I continue to be amazed by her knowledge, intellect, and her commitment to our school. Amanda is a true LifeChanger, and she deserves this opportunity of a lifetime."

Comments (8)

Samantha Fitzgerald Posted over a year ago

I have had the privilege of knowing Amanda in a professional setting and personal setting, and I just can’t say enough about her! I work at Swanton Elementary and they still talk about her to this day. She is very much so missed! She is a wonderful person and I consider myself very lucky to call her a friend!

Melissa Benjamin Posted over a year ago

I am lucky enough to call Amanda my friend, and neighbor. I also have her grand babies in my childcare. She is an amazing person, and we are so proud of her!

Tiffany E Demore Posted over a year ago

I have had the honor to work with Amanda Babcock in 2 different schools. At both schools, Amanda always put the interest of children first. She is always working with students, teachers and families in order to create the best supports to allow each child to succeed and thrive in life. Amanda is a giving teacher and humble human being that will always go above and beyond for any child.

Gregory Pope Posted over a year ago

Regardless of the fact that Amanda Sweeney is my sister, she is one of the finest people I know. Always a kind word and positive no matter the situation. Bottom line she is an amazing human being.

Miriam Rivera Posted over a year ago

Any teacher that is devoted to children with special needs should be rewarded although I don't know Mrs. Badcock personally I do know her family member Sarah Pope and she is amazing, so I feel safe saying that her sister is equally the same. Behavior teachers are extremely important in this day and age when so much is happening to our children and they help them cope with stress, I should know my son is one of these students with special needs. Miriam

Anne Marullo Pope Posted over a year ago

I am so proud of my daughter Amanda, and all her accomplishments. She is a dedicated educator and a wonderful wife, mother & grandmother.

Heather Hemingway Posted over a year ago

I have had the honor of being around this amamzing woman as a teacher a supporter and friend of mine before I graduated in 1999 from winooski highscool she leaves a lasting impression on all who she meets

Lynn Speer Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure of knowing Amanda for over 20 years and seeing first hand the strength and devotion to children of this woman, her own and others.