LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Brook Norris

Position: Counselor
School: Aprende Middle School
School District: Kyrene School District
City, State: Chandler, AZ

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Brook Norris was nominated by her colleague, Jackie Williams.

Mrs. Norris positively impacts the lives of the students each day by always being available for students and staff. She works tirelessly each day supporting the social and emotional needs of the students. She participates on multiple committees at Aprende, such as the Leadership Team, PBIS Committee, and AVID Site Team.

Mrs. Norris leads the Stand Up/Speak Up/Save a Life student leadership group at Aprende, which empowers student leaders to work with peers to promote a message regarding inclusiveness, empathy, and most significantly, the importance of reporting to a trusted adult when a friend is in trouble or in need of intervention or support. She is the liaison for the Kyrene Family Resource Center and the McKinney-Vento program. Finally, she has also spearheaded the revamping of the PBIS program at Aprende, which recognizes students’ positive behaviors and problem-solving. This includes a PBIS store, where students can purchase items with the PBIS tickets they were awarded for their positive behaviors. Aprende students are extremely motivated by all of the new incentives Mrs. Norris has implemented (with student input), such as water bottle stickers, crazy socks, pop sockets, and sought after snacks and drinks.

Mrs. Norris goes above and beyond each day at Aprende Middle School supporting the social and emotional needs of both the students and staff. She ensures that new teachers and staff at Aprende feel supported and uplifted. If a staff member is going through a difficult time, she makes sure they know they are appreciated and valued. Mrs. Norris does not hesitate to reach out to fellow staff and colleagues when they need any assistance, and she will jump right in when any member of the staff needs help. Even though it is not her job, she willingly covers classes, supervises lunches, and fills in during crossing guard duty without even being asked.

Most importantly, on a daily basis, Mrs. Norris saves lives. On a daily basis, she works with the most at-risk students. For many of these students, she is the only positive adult support in their lives. Students trust her, and as a result, she has been able to intervene when many students’ home lives are not safe, or when students pose a safety risk to themselves. Parents are also very appreciative of her intervention and don’t hesitate to share that she has tremendously impacted their families in a positive manner, while also helping them to see there’s always hope in every tough situation.

"Mrs. Norris continues to go above and beyond each day at Aprende Middle School," said Williams. "Aprende is a stronger school and community because of her. Without a doubt, she makes a tremendous impact and difference in the lives of our students each and every day. We’d be lost without her!"

Comments (12)

Jackie Williams Posted over a year ago

I truly don't know what Aprende would do without Brook. I know for a fact, I'd be lost. Brook is always a helping hand no matter what is required. She'll readily drop what she is doing to assist whoever needs the help. Brook is a life-changer for nearly 1200 students and 75 staff members in a single location. But her reach doesn't stop there, she's also a life-changer for all of those families, our community, and our district. We couldn't be luckier to have such an amazing, positive person to be a part of our lives. Thank you, Brook!

Chrissy Nydegger Posted over a year ago

Aprende is so fortunate to have Brook as our counselor! Brook is always thinking about the kids and her kind smile and great listening skills have made students feel welcomed and heard. I don't know what we would do without her. She is truly AMAZING!

Gwen Posted over a year ago

Brook is an outstanding counselor for our students here at Aprende Middle School. She is infinitely caring and patient; the students always feel that what they say matters to her. Brook fosters a climate of trust and works with students to move them towards problem solving and solutions. She develops coping strategies with students, giving them tools to use when they are anxious. In addition, she has initiated numerous programs for the school that address the emotional needs of our students. But most of all, Brook lets them know that it is okay for students to be just who they are. Brook is an asset for our school, and for our students as they navigate through the tough world of middle school. -Gwen Holmesley

Lindsey Strength Posted over a year ago

Brook is an amazing school counselor who genuinely cares about her students. She takes the time to reach out to and check on kids throughout the day and then often answers emails from home in the evenings. It's rare to find something who is as kind and understanding to middle school students. We are so lucky to have her at Aprende. Brook Norris is truly a life changer.

Tracy Klett Posted over a year ago

We are so proud of Brook Norris and all that she does for our kids and our staff. She is the first to help out in any given situation on campus. She's the kind of person that both our staff and students can rely on when they need support. Brook gives her heart and attention in the most trying of times. She is truly fabulous!

Diana U. Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Norris does her best for helping students to develop more resilience in their life. In my students, I have seen how those skills allow them to succeed and be more aware about their on potential. As teacher, I appreciate everything she does to help students because her efforts transform their path on to the most positive way. Congratulation for the nomination!

Blanca Rivers Posted over a year ago

First of all, congratulations on your nomination Mrs. Norris. I am a new parent at Aprende, and reading your nomination and positive feedback from the community fills my heart with joy. Please know that I am happy there are amazing people like you that have chosen as their life path a journey of caring and serving others. Thank you :)

Tammy Barnett Posted over a year ago

I am super happy to see Brook nominated for something so meaningful. She is one of the most amazing people I know and look up to. I was the school secretary and she would be my savior of the day too many times to count. She volunteered to help cover lunch duty, crossing guard duty, classes for teaches, the list goes on and on all while serving and caring for our student's needs. She is a super woman and my life is better for her. She definitely does deserve this. :-)

Renee Posted over a year ago

Our school is so fortunate to have Mrs.Norris as our counselor. She goes above and beyond on a daily basis, helps out wherever is needed, and most importantly, supports our students with their diverse array of needs and personalities. Teachers, students, and parents trust Mrs. Norris and appreciate all she does to support our school community. She’s amazing and we are so lucky to have her! #LOTY

Joanne Hertel Posted over a year ago

First off, I have to thank you to Brook. She has only begun to work with my son and I am so grateful!!! As soon as I reached out, she responded right back and I think it was well after school hours. She has given me updates on when she does a check In with him. My mind is at such ease knowing she is at school available to him and any other students in need. #JOTY

R. Richardson Posted over a year ago

#LOTY - Mrs. Norris has been an extremely positive part of my daughter's journey so far at Aprende Middle School. She consistently provides a gentle & safe space for students to be in times of need. I can't even begin to express my appreciation to Mrs. Norris for being so available & kind to my daughter. She certainly deserves to be recognized as a Life Changer :) #LOTY

Sharon Freagon Posted over a year ago

I am Brooklee’s mother. I can attest to her devotion to her school, the staff, and the students and their families. I am in awe of her ability to balance home and school responsibilities. Brooklee was a stay-at-home mother with her two children during their early years. Both were premies. When she entered the MSW program at ASU, as a university professor myself, I saw the rigor of the program she was in and knew she would be prepared to be an effective school social worker. At this time in our history where younger and younger students are dealing with stresses in their lives, the position of school social worker is essential to provide support to the adults serving the students and directly to the students and their families. I am so proud of Brooklee and the work she is doing for and with Aprende Middle School.