LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Ginger DeHaan

Position: First Grade Teacher
School: York Preparatory Elementary School
School District: York Prep Academy
City, State: Rock Hill, SC

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Ginger DeHaan was nominated by an anonymous parent.

"Wow! This is all I can say to sum up Mrs. DeHaan," said her nominator. "She is an incredible teacher. My son came into first grade unsure and not wanting to go to school. Mrs. DeHaan changed his world and viewpoint on school. He was a little behind in reading and writing, and he had no interest in the subjects at all. Mrs. DeHaan took her time with him and created a kid who now loves school and thrives in the classroom."

Mrs. DeHaan's compassionate nature and undeniable ability to connect with her students is like no other. The students in her class were so well behaved because of the respect they had for their teacher. Mrs. DeHaan also made sure that she attended each of her students' extra activities outside of school. She's absolutely their biggest cheerleader, both in and outside of school. She makes each kid feel special and self confident.

"My only wish is that she could have moved up with my son to 2nd grade, but he was definitely well prepared to go to the next level," said the nominator. "Even though my son is not in her class this year, he still talks about her constantly. She keeps in communication with us to see how he is doing, and we still have to stop and see her for hugs and laughter whenever we can. She is the perfect example of this award on every level.  Her kids and parents' lives are forever changed because of her, and we all owe her a debt of gratitude!"



Comments (24)


Meredith Love Posted over a year ago

Mrs. DeHaan is one of the kindest people that I have ever met. From day one she has been nothing but open and kind to not only my daughter but to me as well. She loves her students more then anything and stands up for them. She cares about not only their education but there happiness. I am so honored to have been able to meet her and that my daughter is in her class. She’s the absolute BEST!

Brittany Martin Posted over a year ago

No truer words have ever been spoken than these in this nomination. Mrs. DeHaan has such a sweet, calm, compassionate, nurturing nature that you immediately feel upon meeting her. I knew from the beginning she was going to be perfect for my daughter. Our daughter struggled with kindergarten, and started out again this year struggling with first grade. She still struggles, but I've seen so much growth in her this year and a much bigger desire to learn. She speaks so highly of Mrs. DeHaan daily and just loves her to pieces. She has been an incredible influence and has helped open my child up, where she was shut down. The communication between teacher and parent is always there and strong as well and I am kept in the know about what they are learning, activities, and how my child is doing personally. Together I feel like we can and have tackled my child's anxiety and are breaking through walls and making progress. Thank you Mrs. DeHaan ?

Taryn E Clark Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Dehaan is a phenomenal teacher! She did so much for our littLe Phoenix. Phoenix had such a hard time but Mrs. Dehaan was so patient, loving, and kind to her. She was such a wonderful teacher and such a solid presence for our daughter. YPA needs to make sure theybdo everything to keep her because she is a complete gem.

Lisa Werner Posted over a year ago

My daughter and I knew Mrs. DeHaan before her YPA days from when she worked at The Children’s Museum. We were so thrilled to find out that she would be Caroline’s teacher this year! She makes learning so fun! I can’t wait to see what wonderful things that she has in store for her students for the upcoming months. She exudes positivity and makes it very apparent that she loves her students unconditionally. She’s a treasure!

Krissy Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ginger showed so much love for my kid and all the kids in her class. She is the kind of teacher who all kids will remember. She checks in frequently even though we moved far away. She deserves this more than words can say!

Brittany Prunty Posted over a year ago

Simply to put it...Mrs. DeHaan is the BEST!!! My son has thrived in her class and he comes home every night telling me all about school and is excited to go back the next morning. She is the most compassionate person there is and her love for her students and teaching is infectious. She deserves this award and so much more.

Melissa Buss Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Dehaan is the absolute best ! She was amazing with my daughter last year. My daughter hated school because she never wants to leave me BUT Mrs. Dehaan made her love school. The thing that makes Mrs Dehaan different and also made the biggest impression on me was how she found the little things that were special about my daughter and also the things that were important to her and used those to really connect with her. She really connects with her kids ! She just makes them feel so special ! She deserves this award and so much more.

Beth Moncrief Posted over a year ago

Mrs. DeHaan deserves this nomination more than I can ever express! My daughter (our whole family really) is a huge fan. From the first moment at Meet the Teacher when she looked at my daughter’s wiggly teeth and pretended to be a ballerina with her to giving my daughter love and care when our dog died last month, Mrs Ginger is ALWAYS there for everyone. We all know it, even now, even though she’s no longer my daughter’s teacher. She’s part of our family now. No way will we let her go now that she’s in our life. She’s a bit of that warm sunshine you need when everything around you is gray. We love her so.

Mary Posted over a year ago

Mrs. DeHaan is so sweet, patient, and nurturing. She made my little one feel comfortable despite being excessively shy. She deserves this award! My child has progressed more than I thought possible in her classroom!

Ashley Posted over a year ago

Ginger is great! She had my oldest son & now has my younger son! She's really sweet & caring. Both of my boys really love her!

Jatee Vanderpool Cherry Posted over a year ago

Mrs. DeHaan is an amazing teacher. My son is in her class this year and from day one she has done nothing but go out of her way to ensure he feels confident, loved, and safe. There was a time that my son was scared to speak up about something going on in class so I brought it to her attention and the way she handled speaking to my son about it was simply incredible. By the end of the conversation, I could tell he was relieved and happy to know that Mrs. DeHaan cared so much. I look forward to her emails every week as they are always positive and informative. Her lively personality shines through in any setting. She genuinely loves her students and their families which is evident in the way she carries herself and interacts with each and everyone of us. Anytime I need to reach out to her she never hesitates to get back with me and assist in any area that I may need it. Simply put, Mrs. DeHaan is a life changer.

Bridget Robbins Posted over a year ago

My daughter absolutely loves Mrs. Dehaan! When she gets home from school all I hear is what Mrs. Dehaan says throughout the day. Her interest in school has peaked! Thanks for all your hard work!

Sarah Racicot Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Dehaan is such a special person in our lives. Our daughter, now in second grade, had her as a teacher last year. In the beginning, our daughter also came into the year very skeptical and unsure(as this was a new school for her). But it became clear very early on that she was entering into a place that made her feel comfortable, loved, and respected. Mrs.Dehaan is incredibly compassionate. She took out the extra time, outside of school hours, to provide us support and encouragement as we go through differemt challenges with our daughter. I never realized that going into first grade would give our daughter a forever role model and supporter. Our daughter still talks about her every day, and gets excited to see her in passing at school. When we travel, she still collects small things (rocks, flowers, etc.) to bring back just for Mrs.Dehaan. She is the reason behind every big and small success with our daughter for the last year and a half. Thank you for your commitment, your compassion, and juat being a constant presence in our lives!

Paige Posted over a year ago

I love the way Mrs. DeHaan sees the abilities and gifts in each child she interacts with and teaches them to believe in themselves. She is patient and encouraging. We LOVE her!

Rachel Posted over a year ago

I taught with Ginger several years ago and she always showed so much dedication towards helping each of her students to learn and reach their full potential. She is patient but persistent. She is kind to students while setting high expectations. She had a way of reaching students who are struggling (academically, emotionally, and/or socially) and lifts them up to a position of success. It was a privilege to work with Ginger and I know she continues to make a difference in the lives of the students she teaches.

Nick Phifer Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Dehaan has been an excellent teacher for my son Mason. He has been doing really well in her classroom and she has done a great job teaching him. She’s the second teacher that Mason has had where he thrived in the classroom and showed improvements throughout the year.

Katy howerton Posted over a year ago

Amazing teacher!!

Lindsey Egner Posted over a year ago

We are so lucky to have our son in Mrs. Dehaan’s class!

Tara Comer Posted over a year ago

Mrs. DeHaan is a true life-changer! She is so kind, patient, and loving to each every one of her students. My son was new to the school and started after the school year started. She made him feel so comfortable and loved in her classroom. Not only that, but she was constantly in communication with us about how he was doing. He dreaded and hated going to school everyday before he was in her class. Once he was in Mrs. Dehaan’s class, he couldn’t wait to see what fun and interesting things he would learn. Mrs. Dehaan is an awesome teacher and person!

Justin Huffstetler Posted over a year ago

She deserves this award more than any teacher I have ever met. Thanks to the parent that nominated her...I should have.

Tracey Hauck Posted over a year ago

Our daughter did not want to leave kindergarten behind as she would miss her teacher and all her friends but she knew Ms. DeHaan from coming in her classroom, and the car line and had hoped she would get her and sure enough she did. Ms DeHaan has definitely been a perfect cheerleader for her in the classroom and when she’s at home and not feeling well and she makes me feel welcomed and like family as well as my other daughter who got placed in a different first grade class(twins). She makes them laugh and shows them love. I only wish she could teach them forever. My daughter has grown so much in just these short few weeks and I have noticed and she loves to learn and teach more thanks to her teach Ms. DeHaan. She is inspiring to all that she sees and teachers. She is a life changer!!

Shelly Alston Posted over a year ago

Mrs. DeHaan is the best teacher I could have ever asked for my son in her first grade class last year! She is so awesome and we love her!

Tara Campbell Posted over a year ago

Mrs. DeHaan has been such a blessing to my child. She has found ways to engage my son and reach out to him using his gifts and interests in a way that no other teacher has done. I am so thankful for her pushing my child to grow and learn every day.

Stephanie Caston Posted over a year ago

Congratulations, Mrs. Dehaan, You’re such a inspiration to everyone around - even the teachers down the hall! Thanks for always being so sweet and kind to everyone.