LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Kayla Link

Position: Educational Support Team Coordinator
School: Randolph Elementary School
School District: Orange Southwest School District
City, State: Randolph, VT

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Kayla Link was nominated by Megan Sault, the parent of a student.

"Walking into a big school for the first time is a big deal, especially for a very active, very social five year old boy. After five years of fun routines at the same daycare/preschool, transitioning was a little more difficult than we were expecting," said Sault. "Receiving the initial Welcome to Kinder' letter from Kayla, I felt confident we could reach out to her for suggestions on how to make this transition easier. After receiving a response from Kayla, we visited the classroom for a first introduction to the school and classroom to reduce some of those initial nerves."

"Walking into the room, I immediately realized our new kindergartener would be in good hands," said Sault. "The classroom was organized, but filled with lots of fun activities! It was warm and inviting, with lots of colorful pictures and labels. This definitely was not Kayla's first rodeo, and she knew exactly how to set up her room to create a 'home-y' feel at school. Our son was right at home exploring all this new place had to offer."

"Throughout the year, Kayla was extremely communicative, and in addition to the weekly classroom newsletters, we were up to date on our son's education," said Sault. "She was open about areas of development where he needed extra assistance and offered suggestions for at-home learning and extra support at school for continued improvement."

"While my son was in Kayla's kindergarten class, I was able to attend a field trip and spend time seeing her interact with the children," said Sault. "Kayla consistently demonstrated setting expectations for her students and teaching accountability. Although there was often fun in class, there wasn't room for negative behavior. Her consistency with positive reinforcement demonstrated bad behavior wouldn't be tolerated. As a parent of two young boys, I appreciated this technique and have adopted similar strategies at home."

"Learning that our son need extra support in reading wasn't desirable" said Sault. "His improvement with reading during his kinder year was a great success, but I was really worried about regression and moving into first grade. I am sure there is a major process in planning classes and preparing the next teacher with all the information they need for the following year. However this process may go, Kayla did an exceptional job with the reporting, and the transition was seamless."

"Two years later, our family still gets to work with Kayla," said Sault. "She has transitioned her role from teacher to Special Educator/Educational Support Team Coordinator. I believe our district couldn't have chosen a better person for this position. Kayla's commitment to the students is crucial in this role. As we've experienced within our family, Kayla has the ability to recognize personal strengths in the students she works with and uses those strengths to build in areas of improvement."

"As our son requires the additional support with reading, there is a process which includes planning meetings with the support team and parents," said Sault. "Being included as a parent in these meetings surprised me. I hadn't known that Kayla transitioned roles until we were offered the opportunity for extra support. I was so thankful that Kayla would be leading these meetings and following up on our son. She already has shown such dedication to his learning that I knew this was an exceptional opportunity and would greatly improve his reading."

"Kayla's dedication to the school community, use of unique strategies to improve education for students, and leadership in improving special and support education within our district are just a few examples of why she makes an ideal LifeChanger," said Sault.



Comments (5)


Marie Laukhuf Posted 5 months ago

Kayla is a great contributor to her community. She is a positive influence wherever she goes as evidenced by her educational career, future aspirations, and tenure as a field hockey coach in the years past. These are all of the marks of soneone who is life-changing in as many ways as possible.

Eloise and Paul Link Posted 5 months ago

We have known Kayla since 2008 and have had the good fortune of calling her our daughter-in-law since 2012. What makes her professional accomplishments so much more impressive is that she is wonderful mom to our grandchildren and wife to our son, a testament to her patience, empathy, and organizational and time management skills. Kayla unconditionally welcomes us into her household and, for that, we will be forever grateful. It is no surprise to us that she elicits the same response from the students, parents, and colleagues she touches in her professional life and that she has been nominated for this award.

Danielle King Posted 5 months ago

I couldn’t agree more with Megan! Kayla Link was my daughter’s kindergarten teacher last year when COVID hit. In addition to being an absolutely incredible kindergarten teacher throughout the year leading up to the shut down in March, Kayla went above and beyond in her role as a teacher teaching her kindergarten students remotely through the pandemic. Her lessons were engaging, informative, and her friendly, smiling face always made my daughter feel comforted & welcomed. Kayla was always (and still is!) available to the parents of her students, even after the kids have moved up to a new grade. Kayla stopped by each of the kindergarten students’ homes for a distanced good bye visit at the end of the school year. I get tearful just thinking about all she did to support her students and the parents during this unprecedented time, even with her own young children at home. She even checked in with parents and students over the summer after the school year ended. I can’t imagine having a more amazing teacher in our school district. Kayla Link is an absolutely amazing teacher and has had an enormously positive impact on my daughter and has inspired her love for learning.

Connie McCormick Posted 5 months ago

Congrats Kayla! Well deserved nomination for sure! ??

Tara Black Posted 5 months ago

Kayla has been an exemplary friend for over 25 years. It brings me great joy to see this nomination as I have no hesitation in saying it’s well deserved. Kayla has always shown tremendous compassion, empathy and humor as my friend and I know those skills are beyond transferable to being an outstanding teacher!