LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

« Return to Nominee List

Eric Crouch

Position: Fifth Grade Teacher
School: Double Churches Elementary School
School District: Muscogee County Schools
City, State: Columbus, GA

Support Eric Leave a comment

Music that Describes Eric

Eric Crouch was nominated by his principal, Paula Shaw-Powell.

"Love first, teach second.”

“We are all here to help one another.”

“The whole world belongs to each of us, and the way we make it a better place is to use our gifts and talents to help others.”

These are just a few of the many things you will hear Mr. Crouch saying through the hallways of Double Churches. Mr. Crouch teaches his students and colleagues that the world is their community. He has found his gift, and that gift is connecting students to their passions and giving them a space and a voice to make a difference in the world.

Mr. Crouch was moved to go into teaching as a result of his own struggles in education due to attention issues. His school has a significant military population because it's located near Fort Benning, the largest training facility in the United States. This means his school can be a “revolving door,” with many of his students moving on a regular basis. A number of students come from broken homes, qualify for free and reduced lunch, or have learning and attention issues, behavior plans or speech-related issues. As a teacher, he aims to give every child an opportunity to find their passion and build on that passion towards academic success.

To that end, he uses a variety of methods to help his students’ enthusiasm take off. His class follows a design thinking / Project-Based Learning model that allows students to find out what they are passionate about and use it as a vehicle for achievement. As a Skype Master Teacher, his students have engaged in Skype collaborations with others from around the world, and it is not uncommon for the class to connect to several continents in one day. When students connected to HIP Academy in Kenya for a cultural learning exchange, it soon became clear that there was much more they could contribute. Together, they worked on founding a 3D-printing non-profit to raise funds to build a school in Kimilili, creating a business and raising thousands of dollars in a very short period of time. With the success of this project, students also donated 10 class iPads to the students at HIP so they could create an iPad lab for the school. Other students have created 3D prosthetics for pets, served the local community, and worked with engineers to create a robotic stuffed animal to teach pupils how to regulate and share their own social and emotional needs.

Last year, after Hurricane Michael hit a nearby community, Mr. Crouch and one of his students decided that they wanted to do something about it. They left that weekend to survey the damage and see if they could help. After being down in Bay County, FL for a few hours, they knew they were going to help. They enlisted the help of a local film crew, and he and his students interviewed teachers, principals, and others impacted by the hurricane. The students helped edit a documentary that would be seen and shared thousands of times over social media. They didn’t stop at spreading the word, however. Every day, Mr. Crouch came to school early, and he and his students created ads and fliers and contacted educational companies to seek help for the thousands of families and students displaced by Hurricane Michael.

After 26 days of reaching out to different companies, Mr. Crouch and his students got a phone call they will never forget. One educational company called informing them that they had received the email, watched the video and wanted to help. The company said they would be donating $700,000 in resources to help put materials back in those classrooms to ensure those students and their teachers had the resources they needed when schools were safe to reopen. When arriving to deliver the resources by semi-truck, Mr. Crouch was surprised to learn that many companies went directly to Bay County Schools offering to help, and many of them mentioned the video. Ilea Faircloth, who was in charge of donations for Bay County School District, stated that the impact of the video was close to $2 million in donations, and that this was truly transformational in getting their district up and running.

Two years ago, two of Mr. Crouch's students overheard another student talking about having never had a family portrait made because of all their military travel. His students immediately approached him and wanted to find a way to offer free photos for families who wanted them. Mr. Crouch challenged them to dream bigger. How could they do this for free and print and frame for free so the family can walk away with a finished portrait? His students brainstormed and used photography and videography skills to share their dream and ask for donations. Within two weeks, they raised enough to bring the project to life. Mr. Crouch and his photography students have now established several days each year where any family can come and have photographs taken in the gym by the students. His students work with the district military liaison, Julie Yerkes, to bring community partners in to make local and military families aware of the opportunities and amazing things happening in their city and provide them a framed family portrait, all for free. There's even a student-led day care to watch children while parents/guardians pick their portraits and wait for them to be printed and framed on site.

Mr. Crouch has also given back a great deal to the teaching profession. He helps run a traveling teaching conference in the United States called Teach Your Heart Out, hosting three national conferences a year in major US cities with over 45,000 followers. He is a Harvard Project Zero fellow, National Milken Educator (GA’16), a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Skype Master Teacher, Empatico Global Fellow, and National Center for Learning Disabled Fellow. This year Mr. Crouch was named one of the top 50 teachers in the world by the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize.

When Mr. Crouch and his students set their mind to a task, nothing will stop them. These are just a few examples of the incredible ways he and his students use their gifts and talents to touch the lives of others. Double Churches Elementary School has a 5-Star Climate Rating in the state of Georgia because of the passions and work of teachers like Mr. Crouch and the growing passions and work of his students.

"Through his efforts, his students know that they are world changers! We are so honored to nominate Mr. Crouch and could not think of anyone more deserving of the honor of Life Changer of the Year," said Shaw-Powell.

Comments (65)

Julie Bocock Posted over a year ago

Wonderful and amazing work you all did! Congrats

Novella S. McGinnis Posted over a year ago

What an awesome testimony and tribute written about him.

Rebecca Johnston Posted over a year ago

Amazing work Mr. Crouch. Congratulations!

Lisa Ells Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Mr. Crouch, way to go!!!

Deborah Tucker Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Mr Crouch. I can't think of any teacher more deserving than you!! Your students are very lucky to have you to inspire them.

Michele Gore Posted over a year ago

Congratulations! You deserve it!!

Pren Woods Posted over a year ago

Eric, congratulations to you! I have enjoyed getting to know you virtually throughout this process. Your passion is inspiring. I am glad that we have connected via social media and the telephone! See you in Florida!

Lisa Norsworthy Posted over a year ago

You helped create a confidence in Luke that I'm not sure he would have had if you had not had him his 5th grade year. It's such a pivotal year and you were good for him!! Thank you for being real with these kiddos. Your enthusiasm was contagious. Luke will never forget the KENYA project or the Hurricane project. They had a lasting impact on his life. Go get'em Eric!! You are most definitely a life changer for the Norsworthy's!

Paige Garrett Posted over a year ago

As a new teacher, I am encouraged by your passion and aspire to be an inspiration to my students just as you are! Congratulations on your hard work and THANK YOU for giving your all every day!

Andrews Nchessie Posted over a year ago

I am very happy to hear and read about this. This all about your dedication to the profession we all fondly love. You are an inspiration to many of us and your work is an example of dedication and selflessness. Congratulations Eric

Crystal Doi Posted over a year ago


Corey Fair Posted over a year ago

Congratulations!!! He definitely was a life changing teacher for Noah! We love you!

Rita Ellis Posted over a year ago

Miles and I are so proud of you Eric!!! Always reaching. Always acheiving. Congrats!!

Steve Sherman Posted over a year ago

I am so proud to work with you Rockstar!!!!! Don't give up your day job ??

Leah Juelke Posted over a year ago

Eric continues to astound me with his energy and new endeavors. He continues to innovate his teaching and even reaches out to help the global community. His passion for teaching shines bright and his students are lucky to have such a caring teacher. He has definitely had an impact on many students and teachers around the globe.

Christen Wilbourn Posted over a year ago

I have known Eric since we were in high school! He has astounded me with his willingness to teach in a way that motivates all students to learn. He rarely ever sees a challenge that he can’t overcome. I’m proud to know him and proud of all the successes he has had in his career! Cheers Eric! Here’s to all your future endeavors! Proud of you!

Amanda Reynolds Posted over a year ago

Eric is top-notch! He has a love for his students that pours out daily. He doesn’t teach from a book or a set of rules, but manages to cover the standards through problem solving, team work, and lots of other authentic ways. There isn’t a child he has taught that won’t remember him, his class, or the lessons learned forever. Eric doesn’t just want to reach the students in his class each year. He is constantly collaborating, sharing, and gathering ideas from colleges near and far. He makes others want to be better teachers too. He is an inspiration to all who know him.

Dr. Kari Stubbs Posted over a year ago

Eric is an inspiration to his students and also to his peers in the field! So much so that I wove his story into a recent keynote! Eric - thank you for your passion and dedication, and congratulations on this recognition! You are a rare gem!

Ben Honeycutt Posted over a year ago

I got into teaching to be the teacher that jumped on desks, worked with students to show them that anything is possible, and to make my classroom a safe place for all kids. After I graduated college, the amount of people who told me that that attitude “wasn’t what teaching was” began to impact my overall perception of the job. I am so, so happy and thankful that at the beginning of my first year of teaching, I was introduced to Eric. Despite being told “what wasn’t possible” in teaching from others, I met a teacher who lived every day to inspire students, to leap on desks, and make his students believe that all was possible. Eric has inspired me as an educator and has given me as a teacher something to aspire to for my students. After seeing what Eric has done in my own life, the time and conversations he’s given just a random second year teacher thousands of miles away, I can not think of anyone more fitting for life changer of the year!

Katherine Watkins Posted over a year ago

Eric Crouch is the ultimate measure of a legendary educator. I first met him in March of 2018 at the Milken Educator Awards forum and have continued to be inspired by his example ever since. His passion for teaching and his willingness to experiment with unconventional strategies elevates student engagement and inspires colleagues on a global scale. I can think of no individual more deserving of the Life Changer award than Mr. Eric Crouch.

Marquette McKnight Posted over a year ago

Eric Crouch IS a life changer. He lives and breathes teaching - his students and his colleagues. He is always a cheerleader for his students, his fellow teachers and his community. He does good, every day. He touches hearts, He messes with things that prevent kids from learning. He embraces joy. He doesn’t think outside the box, because he never SEES the box to begin with. He breaks rules when they need breaking. His success and commitment to hard work and achievement makes his principal “rejoice in his success and ‘have his back’ when he fails. When he fails, he gets back in the ring and figures out how to do it better next time. He loves his students and he is honest with them. When they see a problem in the world, he empowers them to SOLVE it. If only he could have taught my children, my grandchildren, heck I wish I was his student! He cares about teaching like nobody’s business. Only it’s HIS business and he’s the best CEO of a classroom! Please dear God, send us more of whatever this teacher was born with that makes him such a giver, such a lover, such a TEACHER.

Andrews Nchessie from Malawi Posted over a year ago

Dear Erick, I am Andrews Nchessie from Malawi in Africa.I honored to have met Eric in March 2019 in Dubai. Erick brought aquaponics units to me to be used to establish farming that uses very little amount of water. Africa and Malawi in particular is prone to draught. The unit has been assembled since March 2019.Its operational and its the first of its kind to be established in Malawi at a school. The establishment is milestone in the use of agriculture technology to solve the problem of food security inn Malawi. Thanks to Erick for considering to have the units brought to us.Their use are surely going to make a huge difference

Christian Posted over a year ago

Dear Eric, You are one epic teacher. I admire your drive, passion for teaching and for being a role model for male teachers in our profession. You’ve done some cool stuff with your kids but it’s who you are that makes you a life changer. You’re kind, compassionate and you care deeply about your all your kids. That’s why you’re epic. Congrats on being nominated, wishing you all the best.

Travis Spencer Posted over a year ago

Eric is an exceptional teacher. From his unique classroom setup to his creative teaching methods, he has proven to be a significant contributor to the success of today's youth. He cares about the education of children both here & abroad! Congratulations Eric!

Sean Robinson Posted over a year ago

Eric is not just a passionate and caring educator, but a catalyst for good. Though I first met Eric face to face in Dubai at the Global Teacher Prize Forum, our initial work together was long before that. He and I co-hosted a Twitter chat focused on building student empathy. It was such an honour to later meet Eric as a Top 50 Global Teacher Prize finalist and to hear about the work he is doing to provide growth opportunities for both educators and students. Whether he is helping to raise hundreds of thousands to rebuild classroom materials for Hurricane Michael sufferers or his work to support Teach Your Heart Out conferences for educators, Eric is constantly labouring to make positive change. He is definitely an exceptional candidate to be considered for life changer of the the year.

Dustin Ecker Posted over a year ago

Eric is one of the most passionate educators I’ve ever met. He is constantly striving to find new and innovative ways to stretch his student’s minds to attain heights they never knew they could reach. Eric has a genuine desire to lead and to help others discover their own creativity in the classroom. A quality educator, a fantastic leader, and a great friend - I’m thankful to know Eric!

Forrest Parker Posted over a year ago

Eric, I am so proud to know you. You have inspired me to dream bigger for my own students. The work you do is truly life changing, not just for your students, but for all the teachers who are changed by knowing you and their students who benefit from that change!

Steve Sherman Posted over a year ago

Eric is a gifted teacher with boundless energy and brings his positivity A game to every class. I have had the privilege of collaborating with him and his students and it is evident to see how much his students adore him. He does not shy away from giving his students challenging ideas to work with. I will always make time for Eric and students when I am running my online events from South Africa. His students have Netiquette and Eric's guidance.... A powerful combination. I have seen how he goes above and beyond his classroom to be there for his students. He certainly is a life changer!??

Tami Lunsford Posted over a year ago

I am a fellow teacher. I am inspired everyday by the love Eric shows his students and the profession. He is caring and passionate about being a positive role model to all around him.

Karan Wood Posted over a year ago

What I love about Eric is that he is as enthusiastic a learner as he is a teacher. His generosity is evident when he encourages and empowers kids to do things that are bigger than themselves, as well as when he shares his strategies and ideas with fellow teachers. No wonder his wonderfully-supportive principal nominated him for the Life Changer Award!

Kim Burrus Posted over a year ago

Eric Crouch is a teacher that cares about every student at Double Churches Elementary. From pre-K to 5th grade. My grandson had him in first grade and again in the 5th. Eric instilled so many wonderful values in my grandson. Eric understands no kid is alike and have different ways of how they learn things. He had been such a big part of my grandson learning. That his first year in Middle school he not only made A B honor roll. He was in advance classes and honors math. He goes out of his way to teach so kids can learn. And has the proper materials for them to learn with. Very honored to have him be a part of my grandson life and ours

Magdalena Posted over a year ago

I'm honoured to have met such an amazing and dedicated teacher as Eric! We had a chance to be in the TOP 50 of Global Teacher Prize and spend great time at the conferences in Dubai. I am impressed by the number of projects Eric involved his students in, putting all his heart and positive energy into his work. I hope we can connect our classrooms in the future so that my students could learn a lot from Eric and his students. I think he deserves this recognition a lot!

Josh Parker Posted over a year ago

One of the most energetic and encouraging people I have ever met - Eric Crouch is instant sunlight. I so appreciate all of the love and life he gives to his students, his friends and his family. Honored to know him and to call him my friend.

Wilkie Law Posted over a year ago

We interviewed Eric for a podcast because we saw the amazing things he was doing with his students. During rhe interview he stated that if there was anything he could help us out with let him know. You hear that a lot but he meant it. When we reached out to him for information on service learning projects he was more than willing to assist. Since then I have had the privilege to meet many educators who have the same story of his selfless commitment to children everywhere. Eric is a true Superhero and Champion for education. He is a Life Changer indeed and I am not only a witness to this but also a benefactor.

Elizabeth Hipps Posted over a year ago

It was my honor to have Mr. Crouch in my early childhood education classes during his undergraduate studies. We knew he was a star then, and he has demonstrated his abilities throughout his career. Moreover, he has become a model of love for and dedication to his students, urging them to unimagined heights! Mr. Crouch is truly a Life Changer for his students and his colleagues.

Michael Edmondson Posted over a year ago

I came to know Eric after he was nominated for one of his many awards. He is creative and his students enjoy his approaches and his activities. He is a good example of how teachers can be very creative and very innovative.

Kyle Krueger Posted over a year ago

I have known Eric Crouch for a little over a year and have only spent time with in person a handful of times, but the relationship I have built with him is one of the most important in my life. I just finished being his shipmate on a cruise to the Bahamas with Teach Your Heart Out. I watched Eric selflessly give of his time through the challenges of coordinating with the presenters and cruise ship staff to ensure that every teacher who came on the cruise got the experience and opportunity to grow as an educator they deserved. I also was fortunate to be able to debrief with him at the end of each day and hear his thoughts. What I love about Eric and what makes him a life changer is that he has no time for anything other than the reality of the situation. He is too busy making an impact on every situation to see things other than how they are, but what is more, he has proven himself to be person willing to take steps to improve these situations and is committed to making a difference.

Suzanne Scotten Posted over a year ago

Eric is not only an amazing teacher, but an amazing person. His enthusiasm is contagious so it’s no wonder his students are thriving! His innovative methods foster incredible engagement and excitement in his classroom. Eric is AMAZING!

Jennifer Corey Fair Posted over a year ago

Noah was blessed enough to have Mr Crouch in first grade, then again in fifth grade. He is hands down the best teacher ever. He ignited a passion in my child for reading, and if you know Noah that’s huge. He also got Noah interested in photography. We will forever be grateful for him.

Baneza Gonzalez Posted over a year ago

I have nothing but respect for Mr Crouch. I was lucky my son Joseph got to be in his class for 5th grade. He is now going to the 7th grade. Mr Crouch goes above and beyond to see his kids succeeded. When Joseph was In his class the kids made Hope ornament to help raise money for the children in Africa to build a new school. It was a success. Just seeing the kids face when the school was built just melts your heart. He made this happen. Dedication and hard work. Mr Crouch also did a beautiful photo shoot for some of the Military family here in Columbus. He has a big heart. Could not have ask for an awesome teacher. He makes teaching fun and the kids enjoy learning what he teaches. If I could I would love to have him go with the kids to High school as thier teachet

Rita Ellis Posted over a year ago

Eric exudes joy and kindness and he provides the love, structure and adventure that students crave. His energy and passion move mountains and give hope, belief and knowledge to those who need it most - the children. He's a life changer and not just this year but EVERY YEAR.

Olivia Shaul Posted over a year ago

I’m thankful to know Eric Crouch. My first year teaching, I was in a slump. It was hard and I wasn’t passionate about the way I was teaching. I needed help trouble shooting the way I knew I wanted to teach. Eric invited me into his classroom. He answered all of my PBL questions. He gave me ideas, suggestions, support, and guidance. Eric told me to reach out any time I needed to, and I have. I’m thankful he’s an educator I can call upon when I’m stuck or need help elevating what I’m doing in my classroom.

Melissa Salguero Posted over a year ago

Oh man! Eric is a ball of energy and a powerhouse of motivation! I feel like every time we speak it is like a TED talk. I had the honor of meeting Eric through the Global Teacher Prize this year and my life has been changed forever. First of all, I love reading and seeing Eric post on social media every time I see his post one thing is certain... he is changing the lives of more than just his students! It is so inspiring to see all the work he does with Teach Your Heart Out. He is uniting teachers and creating opportunities for collaboration on a HUGE level! Through his work, the lives of thousands of teachers are being inspired and therefore the lives of their students are being changed as well.

Karon Henderson Posted over a year ago

We have watched this young man grow up and become successful. He has touched so many lives along the way. Best of luck, Eric. Kari

Jayda Pugliese Posted over a year ago

Eric epitomizes what it means to be a life changer. He continually challenges his students to find innovative and creative ways to use the resources they have to positively impact those in local, national, and international communities. From saving a school in Africa through selling 3D printing ornaments to raising money to support schools destroyed by hurricanes, Eric’s impacted is felt by many. He is a true champion for teachers and deserves this honor. Congratulations Eric, and continue the great work!

Pam Beauchamp Posted over a year ago

My granddaughter was most fortunate to have Mr Crouch as her first grade teacher, as well as her fifth grade teacher. She always loved books and grew to excel in reading due to the support and encouragement of Mr. Crouch. As we know, books help to open many new worlds for students and this beginning helped to lay a wonderful foundation for her. As she entered 5th grade she was so excited to be in his class again. She always said “Mr. Crouch makes learning fun. “ Thank you Eric Crouch for all you’ve done for her. I feel very confident as she begins the 6th grade, that she will have many great years ahead of her because of your love, guidance and encouragement. Thanks so much for being a “Life-Changer” to Becca Lee.

Claire Maddox Posted over a year ago

I had the pleasure of having Mr. Crouch as a professor for one of my college courses. At the same time my classmates and I had practicum hours at Double Churches. I was lucky to hear the real teacher side of the ‘story’ of his class room and students while also watching it happen in real time and seeing how his students loved him and were tremendously affected by the way he teaches. He is an inspiration to upcoming and new teachers and I have never seen a teacher give their own students as many real opportunities to learn as I saw in his classroom.

Naomi Volain Posted over a year ago

Eric Crouch - one phone call with him condensed and confirmed for me the dynamic Life Changer that he is. Forward thinking, energetic, insightful, creative, generous - this was clear to me in the 25 minute conversation we had. I'd read about Eric in social media, and as a fellow Top Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize. Reading about his passions and projects confirms all that makes him a Life Changer. He's the guy.

Jimmy McIlrath Posted over a year ago

"Love first, teach second." This is the perfect way to start off an article featuring Eric. He loves his students and wants to see them succeed. He loves his profession and is constantly learning how to accomplish more. He loves the opportunity to serve his community. We are at our best when we learn to love others first. After all, this is the greatest commandment. I believe that this is just one of the reasons why Eric is such a great teacher. I hope more children will have the opportunity to be mentored by such an incredibly gifted teacher who loves what he does!

Brooke Devlin Posted over a year ago

The words above the PERFECT description of Eric. World changer for sure!

Latasha Gomillia Posted over a year ago

Mr. Crouch is so deserving of this award. He has changed the lives of so many students, to include my son Jihran Gomillia. Mr. Crouch made school fun, but also challenged his students daily. He taught my son to think outside of the box and to never back down from a challenge. Jihran's love for reading and learning about historical events, is all because of Mr. Crouch!

Cammy Marchetti Posted over a year ago

I knew there was something special about this young man his FIRST year of teaching! His enthusiasm was contagious and we became the best of friends. I became his mentor and he, my mentee. As it turned out I learned a whole lot more from him than he did from me. He jumped hurdles, knocked down walls, and climbed mountains; whatever it took to provide excellent educational opportunites for his students, he did it! His passion for teaching lit a fire in all who came to know him. From the start, winning the county’s First Year Teacher of the Year award and to this day, his devotion to all students and his fellow mankind has always been and always will be what the world needs now and forever. As the song goes what the world needs now is love, sweet love...and more people like Eric Crouch. Proud of you E!

Koen Timmers Posted over a year ago

I know Eric for a long time but we first met in real life in Dubai as part of the Global Teacher Prize. Eric is funny, smart, full of empathy and a great educator. He and his students have been saving a school in Kimilili, Kenya and Eric understands the importance of helping students connect beyond their reality. And that's what Eric does. Giving his students insights, the chance to connect, he guides, mentors and brings important skills into his classroom. Hear hear for Eric.

Chad Posted over a year ago

I work with Eric as a Paraprofessional. He was my daughter’s teacher the year prior and so I had some history with him. I saw how he turned my daughter from an introverted and struggling student to a wonderful young lady ready to conquer the world. As a coworker, he has allowed me to come into his class and teaches me how to reach students, parents, staff and more. His passion is contagious, his approach is phenomenal and his results are exemplary. I love working where I do because of the teachers we have and the staff that supports us. He puts that extra into his classes and coworkers to lift them up. Two things he taught me: “Don’t think outside the box. Get rid of the box! There is no box! You put a box in there and you already limit yourself.” “Set your goals not where you want the kids to be but where they can surprise you.”

Jessica Posted over a year ago

I teared up reading this! What a reminder this is to give others a chance to grow and shine... to see the potential! Congratulations Eric! Well deserved!!!

Maggie Davis Posted over a year ago

Million words read award of the year was one award my son received his 5th grade year. Even though he had a different teacher who was amazing as well. He accomplished this because of the foundation Mr. Crouch gave him in 1st grade. Mr. Crouch worked with him personally and educationally. This is just one of the many examples I can talk about. I still keep screenshots that Mr. Crouch sent me of the goals my son met while in his class. Mr. Crouch goes above and beyond for his students!

Anna McInarnay Posted over a year ago

I always wanted to have a teacher like Eric Crouch when I was growing up. Now I have my own my babies, and I just want to BE a teacher like him! He’s creative, funny, and inspiring. Eric, you keep changing lives!

David Posted over a year ago

Hands down Mr. Crouch is one of the greatest teachers, motivators, and people I have had the pleasure to meet. Spend five minutes with him and you will see what makes him so special. The first thing you will notice is his infectious smile and kind eyes. He exhumes positivity and embodies hope, like if Superman was a decided to be a teacher. As a colleague, Eric has lifted me up at times I considered stepping away from education. He is the teacher I aspire to be. Mr. Crouch is a true friend and hero.

Sue Levine Posted over a year ago

EEK!! Eric Crouch is an incredible educator!! If you would like to know about the multitude of awards and honors he has received, you can find all of that information on the internet. If you would like to learn about some fun and interesting personal stories that have made the news, you can also find those on the internet. The important thing to know is that in in real life, day to day, Eric works tirelessly to empower students, educators, and community members. He impacts everyone he meets with his infectious passion & energy, his vast knowledge, his problem solving abilities, his selflessness, his generosity of heart and mind, and most of all his love. When issues or problems are identified, he and his students always find ways to make the world a better place. Sometimes they are able to use what they have in front of them, while other times they must reach out and apply for grants or crowdsourcing. The students and other educators in his network always benefit by experiencing first hand (or vicariously) the magic of what I will call Eric's "next generation" teaching. Eric Crouch and his class came to the rescue with a innovative 3D holiday ornament program. This successful fundraiser allowed the HIP Africa school to contribute the final amount needed to fund new classroom buildings for the students. He and his students "saved a school" and I am forever grateful to his class for assisting with a project that's near and dear to my heart! Thank you Eric for being an inspiring educator and for being your authentic self!!

Bo Durham Posted over a year ago

When my son wanted to vlog, I wasnt really sure what he was trying to do. At that time he was a student in Mr. Crouch's class and Mr. Crouch would let him take home a classroom camera and microphone and helped him setup his youtube account. He even bought a neat how-to book for beginners just to help my Bennett pursue something he was interested in. They made lots of video and Bennett still makes videos to this day. I forever grateful for the investment Mr. Crouch has made in my children and I am not surprised at all to learn about this nomination. Congratulations Mr. Crouch, you are truly a life changer!

Marcia Crouch Posted over a year ago

It’s an absolute honor to write a few words to express my love for Eric, his family and his love of education. Being a teacher is a calling. It’s not something you learn in books but by doing, learning, experimenting and focusing on the needs of your school and community. Eric has consistently demonstrated his incredible zeal for lifelong learning not only for himself but his students. As his aunt and an educator myself, it warms my heart to watch his journey through life and witness all the amazing things he’s doing with his students. There is a special place in Heaven for teachers. It does take a village to raise a child and it takes a strong support system to produce a successful teacher! Eric - continue to shoot for the stars!

Oliver Ellis Posted over a year ago

Everything mentioned above is more than true of Eric. He is a life changer. He makes the lives of his students better connecting them to the world they live in. He makes the lives of parents better by letting them see their children be passionate and creative helping others. He makes communities around the world better with the activities he uses in his class. But what is less known is how he makes other teachers better. Eric constantly invites me into his classroom to discuss education. He selflessly donates things to my classroom. He is always asking how we can collaborate. I mean Eric and I had one conversation over dinner and now, he will do anything to help me and my students. Eric makes me want to be a better teacher every day. He is a great person and a phenomenal teacher. So happy for him and he DESERVES all the recognition he receives. The teaching profession needs more wonderful people like Eric. I consider myself lucky to call him a friend!

Kait Doherty Posted over a year ago

I met Eric through his fellowship with the Lowell Milken Center in Fort Scott, Kansas. Instantly upon meeting him you can see his passion excitement and energy for teaching! Since his fellowship I have watched from afar the interactions and activities he has with his students. You can tell that all of his students simply ADORE him! I have even teased that I should uproot my family from Kansas to move to Georgia just so my children could experience having someone like him for a teacher. From the humorous videos about flu season, to the hands -on extreme science activities, to showing his students how to utilize their talents to help others by building a school, it is no doubt in my mind that Eric will leave a lasting impression on his students for a lifetime! I wish I had a teacher like him growing up! Congratulations on this nomination Eric! Keep being the incredible educator that you are, YOU ARE CHANGING THE WORLD one student at a time!

Cody Toohey Posted over a year ago

Being new to Double Churches Elementary was hard enough and throw in some major medical issues made it even harder! We are so Thankful Briley had you as her teacher. Two hospitals stay are no fun. But you came to visits the first time and each time you and the class got to face time her! And then while we were in Atlanta you had connected with kids from Poland and their lovely teacher sent her cards, drawings and gifts. It was truly magical. Something we will never forget! I know our youngest is holding out that she gets you in a few years! Thank you for being you! Thank you for adding smiles into our lives. I loved that you had a photography club! She even used it in the hospital. But you opened up her eyes even wider to such a grate hobby! I’m so grateful you believed in her. You will definitely impact many of your students and even across the globe. You are infectious.

Jennifer Wright Posted over a year ago

What can I say about Eric Crouch, I can say for starters that he loves his family, he loves his job, and he has a passion for his students, there is never a dull moment with him. When we met he is so down to earth and is a funny guy. I see he is truly an inspiration to everyone and his students. Absolutely never a dull moment with him and his skills in every aspect of his career, photography are absolutely amazing, he is so talented and very crafty as well, I love seeing his work. He is a amazing young man.