LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Crystal Ramirez

Position: School Counselor and Social Worker
School: Evergreen Avenue Elementary School
School District: Woodbury City Public Schools
City, State: Woodbury, NJ

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Music that Describes Crystal

Crystal Ramirez was nominated by her principal, Tom Braddock.

"Crystal Ramirez serves a dual role at Evergreen Avenue Elementary School as our school counselor and child study team social worker," said Braddock. "She has been my right hand and served as a partner in helping me to create a climate in our building where every child feels safe, loved, celebrated, and challenged on a daily basis.  When I think of Crystal, the phrase 'See a need, fill a need,' comes to mind.  She has an uncanny ability to recognize the needs of an individual, group, and/or family and identify the best way to support them."

Recently, Woodbury City Public Schools has experienced a large influx of students enrolling in the district from Latin America.  Many of these students are coming over to the United States without their parents or family, and they are in desperate need of assistance.  Mrs. Ramirez is bilingual, and she frequently speaks with the ESL teacher who works in both the elementary school and Junior-Senior High School.  When Mrs. Ramirez heard about the trauma many of these students were experiencing during their journey to the United States, she recognized there was a major unmet need in the district.  No one among the Spanish-speaking staff was equipped to counsel these students, but there was an urgent need to do so.

"Crystal took it upon herself to speak with me as her building administrator and our Director of Special Services to see if we could work out a schedule so she could provide services to these new students that were in dire need of her help," said Braddock. "Her passion for addressing this issue could not be ignored.  She painted a very clear picture of what needed to be done, how it could be done, and why it needed to be done.  We wholeheartedly supported her request and provided her with the support and time to roll out her plan."

The results have been amazing.  Mrs. Ramirez has literally saved the lives of students who were considering suicide due to their traumatic experiences and lack of support. Due to her relentless efforts, she was able to get the services these students needed before they made a decision they couldn't take back.  She has brought so much comfort to these students, from being a simple shoulder to cry on and a willing ear to listen, to, in some cases, a "surrogate mom or sister" who can offer advice and guide them in the right direction.  

"Crystal used to serve as the glue that held our building together. Today, she is also the safety net for some of our most at risk and vulnerable students in our district," said Braddock. "She is always available and supportive of students and staff members in their time of need or for celebration. Crystal is always willing to lend a hand wherever and whenever needed.  She has helped transform so many lives in our community and is not only a LifeChanger, but a LifeSaver!"

Comments (87)

Dynasty Crawford Posted over a year ago

Ms.Ramirez is so loving and caring. She has watched my daughter grow up from Pre-k. I love how she sees her students as if they were her own children and is willing to go above and beyond to help them in anyway she can. I appreciate you so much and never stop being YOU! :)

Brenda Peterkin Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Ramirez is loving and caring. I have 2 children whom are special needs and she held my sons IEP. The environment was so welcoming. Im use to walking in ready for a fight in our last district. I truly believe my sons needs are at the front of her concerns. She deserves this and much more.

Chris C. Posted over a year ago

She is awesome. Our son has a few mental health issues and Ms. Ramirez has been there every year for him especially in his younger years with setting up his 504 plan.

michael rush Posted over a year ago

Crystal is a very friendly, caring, and inspiring person that goes out of her way to help everyone she can. Evergreen School is lucky to have her on their team of professionals.

Shannon D’Alessandro Posted over a year ago

Crystal is an amazing person, friend and colleague. She goes above and beyond for all of the students and teachers in our districts. She makes sure every family has food, clothing, shelter, counseling or whatever else a family may be in need of. She fully deserves to be recognized for all of her hard work. Great job Crystal!!!

Crystal Moore Posted over a year ago

Crystal is a warm dedicated kind soul. An exceptional educator and great role models for all the students- past, current and future.

Christine Jackson Posted over a year ago

Crystal has been the most compassionate and caring person my family has ever met. She had been instrumental in the development and success of my grandchildren. We are blessed to have her in our lives. She is family.

Seandra Greer Posted over a year ago

Crystal is a true asset to our youth. She is a loving, caring person she will go out of her way to help anyone she cross paths with. She is very resourceful and likes to see our children reach their highest point in life. When there is doubt she is right there to reassure the kids they can accomplish anything they set out to do in life. I’m very honored to say Crystal has showed my children the way in life growing from elementary to high school. Thanks for your hard work and dedication to our children!

Gabrielle Sclocchini Posted over a year ago

I had the privilege of interning under Crystal during the 2018-2019 school year. This was my final year in grad school and was fortunate enough to have her guidance and support during my career search. Without Crystal’s support, knowledge, and wisdom, I would not be the school social worker I am today. I not only gained knowledge and confidence, I gained a forever friend. I look up to Crystal and know that I can always look to her for guidance. She is a class act, and Woodbury is beyond fortunate to have her as a key player in their district.

Lauren Stankiewicz Posted over a year ago

Crystal is a gift to so many people for so many reasons . She has the ability to make the right connections for the people she is helping whether a student, parent, patient or friend, Crystal will go above and beyond to proved all that she can to make any situation better for those around her. Our community is so fortunate to have her and I am PROUD to call her a friend.

Jenna Solis Posted over a year ago

If anyone is deserving of this award it’s Crystal! Since I have known Crystal, she has always been a guiding light of resources, love, and support to anyone in need. She has such a unique skill set, knowledge base, and passion for her work. She continues to find innovative ways to support students and staff in the entire district. She continues to find ways to connect with students and families with the greatest need. I have seen her in action and she is definitely one to emulate. She truly is the best social worker/counselor out there and Woodbury is so blessed to have her! Crystal has been a life changer for years! Congratulations Crystal on this nomination and for all that you do! You are an inspiration to so many.

Susan Posted over a year ago

Helping reach on student at a time. Doing a wonderful job helping students at risk.

Jamari Ragland Posted over a year ago

I am a 3rd grader at Evergreen. you are a grat brsin you let me fead your frog

caydenc Posted over a year ago

hi I am a 3rd grade student her at evergreen avenue elementary school. ive had some ruff times here but Ms. Ramirez helped me out of those problems and that is why I nominate Mrs. Ramirez.

braiden Benner Posted over a year ago

I am a 3rd grader at Evergreen.Thank you for letting me feed your frog and giving love.

Auriya stewart Posted over a year ago

I am a 3rd grader at Evergreen. Mrs. Ramirez helped me when I needed it.

Royce Posted over a year ago

I am a 3rd grader at Evergreen. Ms.Ramirez always helped when me and shamar got in an argument

miliani graves Posted over a year ago

i am a 3rd grader at evergreen. thank you for being the best teacher ever i love you so much keep being the best teacher

Hannah Posted over a year ago

I am a 3rd grader at Evergreen.I like that you do lunchbuch

Jakayla Lloyd Posted over a year ago

I am a 3rd grader at Evergreen school.Mrs.Ramirez Let me play with her SLIME OR TOYS when I am at the lunch bunch. SHE IS AWESOME AND KIND. Mrs. Ramirez is THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE,Jakayla.

Nevaeh kersey Posted over a year ago

I am a 3rd grader at Ever green Mrs.Ramirez help me with my fear and she treated my like a star.Now I treat her like a star like the golded rule TREAT ATHERS THE WAY THAT YOU WANTED TO BE TREADED!Always and I love her love;nevaeh k.

Shamar Varpilah Posted over a year ago

I am a 3rd grader at Evergreen and i voted u because u smile at me when u see me.

Angelique Martinez Posted over a year ago

I am a third grader at Evergreen Mrs.Ramirez always helps me and lets me play with slime and she lets me feed her frog

MasonBruynell Posted over a year ago

I am a 3rd grader at Evergreen She is the best she always help ever one

Miliani GRAVES Posted over a year ago

im a 3rd grader at Evergreen Mrs. Ramirez Thank you for doing lunch bunches we loved them can you do it again please i will always love

Nevaeh Velez Posted over a year ago

I am a 3rd grader in Evergreen school.I like the way your hair glimmers in the light.And thank you for letting me come to lunch bunch when I was in second grade. Love, NevaehV

Julie Smith Posted over a year ago

Crystal has been a life saver at our school. I am the ESL teacher at our Junior/Senior High School and we have many students who come to our school having experienced a wide variety of trauma. Crystal has been everything to them. She has provided them a safe space where they can discuss whatever is bothering them or difficulties they have faced during their lives, in their own language. She provides them with much needed coping skills/strategies, and reminds them that they are not alone. Furthermore, she also discusses future plans like going to college, or finding a job after school. She'll help students sign up for the SATs, look at colleges or trade schools they might like, or help them link up with experts in their areas of interest. I have seen Crystal organize food trains, provide coats to children, bring in favorite, special snacks, and support our families in anyway they need. Most of all, however, Crystal makes students feel like they are the most important people to her- and that's because they are.

Brielle santiago Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ramirez always leaves a smile on our faces; we are all glad that Ms. Ramirez got the Life changer of the year

Emilie Heller Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ramirez is a very nice counselor. She helps everyone so much and handles everything so nicely. She is truly an extraordinary person and counselor.

Andre Posted over a year ago

You're the best!

Abram davis Posted over a year ago

You can do this and I believe you can

Sameenah Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Ramirez is willing to help people no matter what the conditions are,also Mrs.Ramirez is always smiling that's why everybody loves her.

Crystal Posted over a year ago

She is the best! One time, I was crying somewhere when I was about 6-7. Then, Mr.Braddock took me to Mrs.Ramirez and she talked to me and made me feel a lot better, but I had to go home cause I was still crying a bit. Still, she me feel better the next day.

Kathleen Doukakis Posted over a year ago

Crystal definitely deserves this nomination. She is one of the most unselfish and compassionate individuals that I know and have the honor to work with.

Ja'Meriah Martin Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Ramirez has given me multiple resources when it comes to life after highschool, as one of her former elementary students we’ve managed to stay in contact and she has done many things from just listening to me, to helping me pick a career that I want to do in life. I can 100% say, that she deserves the Life Changer of the Year Award.

Amanda Nelson Posted over a year ago

Crystal is a huge life changer, life saver, and is a huge role model in my children’s lives!

Dot McIntyre Posted over a year ago

I have had the opportunity to interact with Crystal as both a parent of children at the Evergreen Avenue Elementary School but also as a representative of a community nonprofit that Crystal has come to in an effort to enhance the lives of students in her school. As a parent, Crystal has provided support and encouragement to me as my son battle medical issues. I appreciated her kindness and support as we prepared him for brain surgery - and he wasn't yet even a student at her school. In my capacity as a leader in a Woodbury-based nonprofit, though, I've seen Crystal come to life. She has contacted me seeking support for students whose families have been struggling to provide birthday celebrations for their children and has hosted little celebrations at the school and at their after school program. I have witnessed her going above and beyond to ensure that students felt extra special and have seen the smiles she created. Last school year, when she became aware at the last minute that a student's family wouldn't be able to celebrate their birthday, she requested our assistance with anything we had on hand so she could create a celebration for this child. She, along with Mr Braddock, offered to purchase the cupcakes since it was a last minute request, which was a first for us. While we were able to provide a full celebration, Crystal would have worked with what she could get and would have made it awesome. Every single child deserves a Mrs. Ramirez and the students at Evergreen are lucky to have her in their corner!

Nichole Cerone Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ramirez is absolutely amazing! My son who attends Evergreen has severe anxiety. It was a hard road for us but with Ms. Ramirez help our son has come such a long way. I honestly don't know where we would be without her!

Chavonnali Posted over a year ago

She's definitely a life changer and deserves this and so much more!!

Amanda Nelson Posted over a year ago

Crystal is a huge life changer, life saver, and is a huge role model in my children’s lives!

KYMIA S LLOYD Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ramirez is an amazing Counselor. She knows every child by name and makes it her duty to make them feel comfortable in school. I know personally there was times my son just needed a hug and she would walk down to his class just to give him one.

Koriesha Brown Posted over a year ago

She is AWESOME! She has been there for my son C.Brown and our family assisting with any issue that he has encountered. She is a bright light and one of many friendly faces at Evergreen. She has even seen our family out in the community and has always been wonderful.

Dorothy McDermott Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Ramirez is kind and caring not only has she helped me but my kids also I can't thank her enough for being there for me and my family!!!

Lauren Cassie Posted over a year ago

Crystal goes above and beyond to make sure her students are happy. My experience with her is with the child study team. My son has ADHD and qualifies for a 504 program to help accomodate his needs in the classroom. Since Kindergarten, she has always been helpful. She keeps an eye on "her kids" without being asked ahead of time, it is just in her caring nature. She is very proactive and has helped my son to be successful in class. She sees him doing well and encourages him to keep it up. She is a wonderful resource in the school and we are so lucky to have her. Congrats on the nomination :)

Iris Posted over a year ago

I am not surprised by this well deserved nomination. Crystal goes above and beyond the call of duty and this isn't just a job to her. This is her passion,calling and she does everything with excellence just because she loves her students. Her students often time feel hopeless but Crystal has a way of opening their minds by getting to the root of the issues without judgment and once that is brought to light, it changes the course of their lives. They have hope in their eyes and hearts and the words "I can't" start to fade and a new foundation is laid! It doesn't stop there, she also invest into the lives of their families and offers them the same help,hope, time and attention. She truly is a LIFE CHANGER!

Jeff Adams Posted over a year ago

Crystal is the embodiment of what it means to be a social worker that truly puts the advocacy of the whole child and family system into every decision she makes. She ensures our students and families receive the academic, social, emotional, medical, financial, nutritional and medical support that they need. She is not just a life changer, but literally a life saver, I can recall multiple stories where her actions ,in my opinion, literally saved human lives. In addition to serving our families and students Crystal is also cognizant of the emotional health of our staff always checking in on her peers offering support, advice, and a warm smile to uplift their day. She truly is a Guardian Angel of Evergreen Avenue school and would be more then fitting to earn the honor of being deemed a true Life Changer!

Chriss Worthington Posted over a year ago

Crystal changes lives for the better in our community. She doesn’t just care about our students, but about the whole family. Under her watch, everyone benefits from Pre-K to parent.

FRenkie Posted over a year ago

good person

Jamie Ott Posted over a year ago

Crystal is truly a life changer! She wears many hats within the Woodbury City community, working with both students and families at the elementary and highschool levels. She goes above and beyond her job responsibilities to make connections with students and families, counseling, supporting, advocating, and translating. Students feel the safest and most loved in Crystal's office. Woodbury City is truly fortunate to have Crystal in their district.

Amanda DePaul Posted over a year ago

Crystal is an amazing social worker colleague and friend. She is motivated by love and compassion and will go above and beyond for her coworkers and the students and families of Woodbury. We are truly blessed to have her in Woodbury. ??

Trinna Wooster Posted over a year ago

Crystal is truly a life changer. She takes the time to get to know not only our students, but their families. She goes above and beyond to ensure our students get what they need, finds solutions to problems that arise, and is an advocate for our students and their families. Woodbury is lucky to have her!

Dana Douress Posted over a year ago

This nomination for Crystal is extremely well-deserved! She is a pillar at Evergreen and always goes above and beyond in any way necessary to help all students. Her impact is evident and we are very fortunate to have her at our school!

Katie Reim Posted over a year ago

Crystal goes above and beyond. She is always willing to do what she can to help the people around her. She cares so much about the children in our school and shows them every day, even if it is just to pop in and say hi. Not only does Crystal support the students at our school, she also supports their families and the teachers. We are so lucky to have Crystal!

Amanda Deapaul Posted over a year ago

Crystal is an amazing compassionate and caring colleague and support to our Woodbury families. We are blessed to have her at Evergreen Avenue School.

Kyle Shedaker Posted over a year ago


Kathleen Golden Posted over a year ago

Crystal is truly a one of a kind person! She has a servant’s heart, and is willing to do anything she can to help the people around her. She is an advocate for teachers, a confidant for students, and a support system for families. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to learn from Crystal every day.

Kristina Giles Posted over a year ago

Crystal is very deserving of this nomination! She is always willing to help and child in need and goes above and beyond her duties. Congrats!

Dr. A E Maddison Posted over a year ago

I love our Psychological Chats, and the way you use both your knowledge and intuition to interact, uplift, and impact, our students.

Diane Denny Posted over a year ago

Crystal Ramirez is an integral member of our school community. As counselor and case manager for many students, Crystal is dedicated to meeting each child's needs in order for them to be and feel successful. Not only do students trust her, but parents do as well. When students are referred to the Child Study Team, Crystal makes what could be an intimidating process, simple and easy for parents to understand. She makes it clear to the parents that their child's best interest is at the heart of every decision. Our school is truly fortunate to have someone like Crystal play such a vital role in it.

Jennifer Young Posted over a year ago

Crystal is such an amazing and selfless person. She goes above and beyond to help her students. She cares deeply about the children she works with and is passionate about her career. We are so thankful to have Crystal at Evergreen.

Marianne Costello Posted over a year ago

I couldn’t agree more with what was written about Crystal Ramirez. As a fourth grade teacher at Evergreen she knows our kids as well as her own. She can identify with their needs and will always offer support and guidance to them and to their students as well. She is life changer because she is tough on students when they need to be strong, not letting their situations be their excuse for failure. She has been a mother to more than one of my students and I’ve seen those students transform because of it. She has the biggest heart and enriches lives. Our school and our district are blessed to have her!

Kelly Davis Posted over a year ago

Crystal is amazing! Our school, staff, & students are so lucky to have her. We all wouldn’t be the same without her love & support!!

Tom Henry Posted over a year ago

Crystal is awesome!!!!

Maria Gassner Posted over a year ago

So excited for you! Such a well deserved nomination!!

Claire Frapaul Posted over a year ago

Crystal is so deserving of this honor! I have seen her dedication firsthand.

Stacey Henry Posted over a year ago

There is no one more deserving of this nomination!! Crystal is the glue that holds our building together. She gives her time and heart, without hesitation, to any student, staff member, or family who needs her. Crystal has proven to be a true life changer time and time again!

Jeanne Dixon Posted over a year ago

This nomination is well-deserved! You work tirelessly to help our students. Thank you for all you do!

Cassondra Martorano Posted over a year ago

Crystal is an amazing person to work with! She cares about every child in her school and is always ready to listen to anyone who is looking for a shoulder to lean on. She is always smiling and always positive!

Caroline Posted over a year ago

You certainly deserve this nomination. You really can change so many lives!

Abigail Masi Posted over a year ago

Crystal Ramirez is an incredible counselor, teacher, friend, and coworker. She leads through her heart and bends over backwards to do whatever she can for students, parents, and fellow staff members. Without crystal, I have no idea what our district would do.

Shannon D'Alessandro Posted over a year ago

Crystal is absolutely amazing and makes such a difference in the lives of all the students in Woodbury! She is an amazing coworker, friend and mother. So many lives are better because of all she does. <3

Courtney Cifuni Posted over a year ago


Jo Ann Flem Tiedeken Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ramirez patience and love for her students and community is boundless. LifeChanger isn’t a big enough word for what she does.

Tom Braddock Posted over a year ago

Thank you for the opportunity to nominate Crystal Ramirez! She is super deserving of this award!

Flo arra Posted over a year ago

You have my vote ??

Gloria Goode Posted over a year ago

Crystal assumed my role as Child Study Team social worker and school counselor after my retirement six years ago. After being in the district for 32 years, many felt she had ‘big shoes to fill’. I can categorically state that Crystal has filled my shoes and hers. Her talent for engaging students and parents, gaining their trust and problem solving is incredible. Whatever the need, Crystal will find resources to address it. She also brings a spirit of enthusiasm, caring and commitment to the district, which becomes contagious. Crystal is making a difference In the lives of so many students and is a valuable member of the Woodbury Public School District. I am honored to know her and confident that she is changing the lives of many.

Xiomara Lowery Posted over a year ago

Crystal Ramirez is a true leader, role model, and advocate who leads by example. We are very fortunate to have her at Woodbury City Public Schools.

Jennifer Stell Posted over a year ago

Truly an amazing, kind person whose knowledge and compassion have positively impacted the lives of our students and staff. I could not think of a more deserving person then Crystal, so fortunate have her as my colleague and friend.

Richard JF Posted over a year ago

What an amazing changer indeed! Crystal is the MOST caring, passionate, humble, giving, respectful, kind-hearted, and hard working woman I have ever came across in the social work field by far! She treats each patient like they are the most important person to her. Her dedication and character is unheard of. She has personally deeply Impacted me and my family and won each won of our hearts one by one. We need more workers like her and she deserves this award more than anyone else in my opinion. Outside work a loving mother, sister, spouse, and beloved daughter. Wishing her the best in our prayers and a big congratulations on your nominee!!! We love you Crystal! THANK YOU!!

Nilda Farre Posted over a year ago

I am so very proud to say , Crystal Ramirez is my daughter. I always told her to do what makes her happy and this is what makes her the happiest. Helping others. Go my punky. Your mom is so very proud of you Nilda Farre

Sherilann Posted over a year ago

Crystal has made a life changing moment in my life. I’m for ever thankful for what she has done for me. ??

Marissa Cleminson Posted over a year ago

Crystal Ramirez is one of the kindest and caring people I know. She cares about her students and goes out of her way to make sure they are receiving the help needed. She deserves this honor and so much more.

Michelle Posted over a year ago

Crystal I am forever grateful for you! You were a constant beacon of support when my child was going through it. You have a heart bigger than the state of Texas. There are no words that can describe my appreciation. You deserve every acclamation for the job that you do.

Caroline Posted over a year ago

Yea You!! That’s awesome and so well deserved!!

Alicia DiRienzo Posted over a year ago

A wonderful person and smiling face came up on my FB feed... you! #LCOY YEEEESSSS!

Kim Cheesman Posted over a year ago

Crystal has made many positive impacts to the lives of the children of Evergreen Avenue Elementary School. Her compassion and commitment to students is admirable. Crystal is a mentor and role model to many children, she recognizes student’s strengths and abilities. Crystal Ramirez is more than deserving to receive the life changer of the year award.

Dana Gray Posted over a year ago

Crystal Ramirez is the person you want to have in your building and in your life. She has a knack for reaching students that seem "uncrackable" and always seems to know the right thing to say or do to bring them comfort in the most stressful situations. She has been a tremendous asset with our Spanish speaking population, and not only supports them, but has facilitated multiple trainings for staff to educate us on how we can support them as well. I am honored to work with Crystal, blessed to call her a friend, and privvy to witness the young lives she has changed in my classroom every day. Crystal Ramirez is truly a lifechanger!