LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Lu Anne Blaich

Position: School Counselor
School: Estrella Middle School
School District: Cartwright School District
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

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Lu Anne Blaich was nominated by her colleague, Katie Roberts.

Mrs. Blaich is the epitome of a LifeChanger. This year marks her 30th and final year in education. It's impossible to measure the tremendous impact she has made in that time.

"I have had the extreme pleasure of working alongside Mrs. Blaich for the past seven years, and she has truly changed my life," said Roberts. "She is a constant source of positivity, kindness, and love on our campus. Lu Anne makes it a priority each and every day to do what's truly best for our students. She is an advocate and leader who is guided by an unwavering moral compass. Her ability to nurture and encourage our students is inspiring. I do not believe there is a more deserving educational professional in the field. Lu Anne has been my mentor, confidant, and friend. Because of this, I will joyfully continue her legacy of changing lives within our school and community."

Comments (17)

Laura Smith Posted over a year ago

I cannot possibly think of anyone more deserving of this award! I’ve worked at Cartwright School District for over 33 yrs and never met anyone more dedicated to the welfare of students and staff than LuAnne. She helped me with students so many times in the nurse’s office, especially when they were having emotional problems or family issues. I really cannot imagine Estrella Middle School without her presence.

Madeline Barger Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Blaich is the backbone of our school. She handles sensitive, heartbreaking, and challenging situations on a constant level. She is always compassionate and professional. Her biggest attributes are her humor and consistency. I would not want to be in the trenches with anyone but her. She has a unique way of handling adversity and triumph with equal compassion. Our students and I consider every day we work with her a gift.

Eric Rogers Posted over a year ago

Ms. Blaich is a treasure in our community. Her commitment to the students is unparalleled and the positive impact she has had is clear in every student. I am a better educator and person having met and worked with Ms. Blaich.

Patricia Breceda Posted over a year ago

Ms. Blaich Words are a mere sentiment of how much you are loved and appreciated. Thank you for sharing you with the rest of us and we are so much better for it. I am overwhelmed with pride to know you, your loving nature, and your love for our school. You are a true inspiration. Ms. Breceda

Marilynn Williams Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Blaich is above and beyond any social worker I have ever had the privilege to work with in my 20 plus years as an educator. Her dedication and commitment to our students is admirable. But it is her heart and soul that has profoundly impacted our school. To say that she is our center is an accurate description. Keep shining Mrs. Blaich.

Kristie M Jervis Posted over a year ago

Lu Anne is incredible! She understands our students and our community. I have personally worked with Lu Anne on many things however, her help with facilitating the many AVID field trips the first year I did AVID, made my life so much easier. She helped to interview and choose the students and made what was a new class for me truly wonderful. Many times I have had to go to Lu Anne about a student's behavior and she always gave the best way to handle each and every student we discussed. She represents the Life Changer Award in every way. i have been lucky to work with her for the past 6 years!

Francine Gibson Posted over a year ago

Ms. Blaich, you are so deserving of this honor, thank you for the great work that you do! Well Deserved!

Bradley Carlile Posted over a year ago

Indefatigable is the best word to describe Mrs. Blaich. Students, teachers, and even parents find her very approachable and encouraging and everyday a smile is on her face. Everyone at the school knows that they can rely on her for any need, and she will take care of the issue, talk to a student or parent, or even create a plan that is in the best interest of whomever she is helping. Changing lives, of course she does! This is proven everyday at the school, and is seen by all at 8th grade promotion; nearly every student thanks her here, and many walk away with dewy eyes. Mrs. Blaich always goes above and beyond to serve our community, and our school would not function as smoothly without her. She is the glue that holds staff and students together, and dually inspires both, ultimately improving their lives for the better. Her dedication to the students and even the staff is unparalleled, and is definitely a person one will never forget.

Vallerie Miller Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure to work alongside the incredible Mrs. Blaich for 13 years, as a new teacher, a coach and now an assistant principal. Over the years in these different roles, I have gotten to know Mrs. Blaich better and better. She is an absolute treasure and has impacted countless lives, both student and adult. The positivity she exudes is inspirational. No matter the circumstance, Mrs. Blaich is always able to put a positive spin on the situation and make everyone feel better. Students that have struggled to connect with any other adult on campus, have always been able to connect with her. You can even find teachers in Mrs. Blaich's office from time to time receiving some counseling of their own. I genuinely do not know what we will do without her.

David McNeil (principal) Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Blaich is amazing! In my short time as the principal at Estrella Middle School, it is quite apparent that LuAnne is the heart and soul of this special community! I have met very few people in my 28 years in education that possess the pure natural ability to build relationships, support students and families as well as  problem solve day in and day out to find and foster extraordinary outcomes that work for true success in building the family/school connection. Students love her (past and present), the entire community respects her for the twenty plus years of dedication to this neighborhood and her mere presence lends to a positive and goal focused setting. Estrella Middle School is lucky to have this "Star" as part of their team.  She embodies all that the LifeChanger Award seeks to have represent them.  I am honored to work with our life changer every day.

Magnolia Neal Posted over a year ago

There are so many uplifting stories to share about Ms. Blaich. I don't know where to begin. During the school year 2009/2010 due to budget cuts our school lost a counselor. Ms. Blaich took the challenge to be the sole School Counselor for a student body of 1,200 students. She took the challenge head-on with a smile. Then, the time a homeless student that struggled with peer interaction and had a hard time trusting adults. However, Ms. Blaich connected with her, and she would go to Ms. Blaich's office at lunch looking for words of affirmation and encouragement. All children at our school have access to Ms. Blaich no matter their race or background. She finds ways to connect to all the students; even the not so friendly. Her office door is always open. She knows when to give words of encouragement, and when to speak firmly. In the course of more than 10 years, since I began working with Ms. Blaich. She has always been the same. Someone who genuinely cares for others, not only the students. After going through a deeply personal loss, Ms. Blaich still finds ways to bring a smile to a child's face despite her own personal sorrows. Presently during this Pandemic, she has done many home visits and made phone calls to parents. Yes, I support this nomination knowing that there no better candidate than Lu Anne Blaich.

Anissa Medina Posted over a year ago

The one thing that comes to mind when I think of LuAnne Blaich is her smile. I know it sounds cliche..but those who know her, know just what I mean. It’s a smile that doesn’t waiver. Having gone through what she has the last 6 years. You would think it would take a toll on one’s smile. It has to. But not hers. Every single day she walks on to campus...she’s smiling. Most meetings with students and parents end with that smile. It’s inviting to students and parents that are hesitant in opening up. It’s comforting in the most needed of times. Her smile along with with her gigantic heart are what make her so great. She’s the best listener and gives the best advice. Her compassion is genuine and she never forgets a face. She built so many relationships just by doing what she loves. Its in her nature to help and give in any way she can. She’s the momma bear to our EMS campus. There is no one more deserving of this award than LuAnne.

Kelly Jackson Posted over a year ago

It was my pleasure & personal great luck to work with Lu Anne Blaich for over a decade. In addition to being the school counselor, I watched her handle everything a title one, middle school could throw at her. She was gracious, charming, and competent when an emergency meant she became the front office. When called on to enter a classroom and cover when we were short of teachers, she was there with a smile and a willingness to attempt to teach any and all subjects - a demanding expectation. In addition, on a regular basis, she had to be an administrator. While she was simply at her best dealing with the many upset students and situations that a large middle school could generate, she was equally capable with dealing with the many disciplinary issues that would arise as well. In addition, I can state that the students love her, possibly because they absolutely know they can depend on her to be there for them. Even when they might not like her decisions, they always know she'll be fair. I love the memory of 180 8th graders learning a simple song to sing in unison to her for her birthday, describing how great they all thought she is. Not a single student failed to sing out loud. In addition, some would still sing to her when they returned years later to visit the school. They would not do that for many of the adults they knew. The sheer goodness and generosity of the woman just shines through. Nor was Ms. Blaich only there for the students. When I, or a peer was down, we could always count on her office being a safe place to go sit and talk, with the comforting knowledge that one would leave smiling. It is just impossible to be around her for long with out those smiles appearing. One of the best things about her is that whether she wins an award or not, whether she got a raise or not, whether she was overwhelmed with work or personal life, she knows the value she brings to school. And she brings it every day! That is a wonderful legacy, and one that most of us fall short of. It was both an honor, and a gift to work withLu Anne Blaich.

Diana Camacho Posted over a year ago

I have worked five years at Estrella Middle School, and through each of those years Lu Anne has been the best counselor for our students. She places our students’ needs before hers, and she makes sure to guide them and constantly follow up with them to make sure they are doing better. She never gives up on them even when it may be most difficult. Our students come from various different backgrounds and styles of living, and she has been able to adapt and help our students no matter in what situation they may find themselves. She not only makes sure that our students are doing good, but she also makes sure that every one of her colleagues is good as well. She goes above and beyond for her job, and even though I have only worked five years with her, I know she’s the type of person who has been excelling since her first day working in education. She always has a smile on her face, a kind gesture at heart, and positive words to make other people’s days. She is an incredible human being through and through.

J.Pagan Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Blaich is an extremely dedicated social worker. She always puts students' needs before her own despite having experienced difficult circumstances herself. She maintains her calm and wisely manages any crisis that students or staff may be experiencing. She is a caring, loyal and extremely dedicated person and I am honored to be working with her.

Jennae Brittain Posted over a year ago

Ms. Blaich is an asset to the Estrella Middle School community. She has built relationships with the students, families, staff and colleagues. She is always willing to help any family, in any situation, with anything necessary. She is an advocate for children and emotional support for all who work with children. She is an amazing soul with the biggest heart. She has impacted the lives of so many people in our school community.

Jeff Pieper Posted over a year ago

Ms. Blaich is a person who inspires others and helps everyone she can. Ms. Blaich goes above and beyond to help students and their families be successful. The staff and students of our school are very fortunate Ms. Blaich in our community.