LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Gloria McCullough

Position: BLAST Program Teacher
School: Bayside High School
School District: Brevard County School District
City, State: Palm Bay, FL

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Gloria McCullough was nominated by Sean Adams, a parent of a student.

Mrs. McCullough has overcome many challenges in her life to become the teacher and mentor she is today. She grew up in Colombia in a family of six children, including two with special needs. After years of helping her mother and father with her siblings and overcoming their many challenges, Mrs. McCullough started working as an occupational therapist with people with special needs in Colombia. After saving the funds needed and going through the process to become a United States citizen, Mrs. McCullough worked with people with special needs as a classroom assistant while attending school to become a teacher. Currently, she's a teacher for Bayside High School’s Brevard Learners Achieving Successful Transition (B.L.A.S.T) program, whose mission statement is "supporting students as they transition to adult life with high expectations resulting in excellence for all." Mrs. McCullough works very hard to ensure that all people are treated with respect and dignity.

Mrs. McCullough has been working hard with the Bayside B.L.A.S.T. program since the beginning to make the program stand out among the other B.L.A.S.T programs in the county. She worked with her co-teacher and student team to create a business that all students help to develop, create, and grow. The business chosen by the students is making and selling handmade soaps, lotions, bath bombs, and various art projects. These products are sold at local craft fairs on the weekends, and the income's used to help fund various activities that benefit the entire class, as well as making the B.L.A.S.T. program financially self-sufficient.

In addition to establishing a student-driven business, the B.L.A.S.T. program offers community-based instruction (CBI) for special education students who need instruction in functional and life skills. CBI provides natural opportunities for students to practice independent living skills. Mrs. McCullough has created partnerships with various local businesses that give her students an opportunity to acquire job skills that will empower them to join the workforce. Many of those businesses have hired the students based on the time they spent with Mrs. McCullough. Mrs. McCullough has inspired many students through her great enthusiasm and creativity.

The encouragement and support that Mrs. McCullough has given all the people who she has had a working relationship with over the years is best showcased in the students who have created their own businesses and sell their own creations to earn money. Mrs. McCullough works to ensure that all students are given the opportunity to create and learn with her encouragement. She may not realize the impact she has made on her students over the years, but it's very evident in the accomplishments they have had since beginning with B.L.A.S.T.

Mrs. McCullough always tries to instill in her students the importance of exercise and health. She has taught many students how to incorporate exercise into their lives by bringing their attention to different types of exercise until they find one they enjoy. She has shared her endeavors in dragon boat rowing with students and the benefits and fun of the sport. Mrs. McCullough encourages students to look at more sports that may be different or unique, broadening their knowledge of sports.

Over the years, Mrs. McCullough has created lasting relationships, not only with students, but with their families. They'll still contact her to let her know how they are doing and what they have been up to. It's a true testament to the impact she has on others.

"Mrs. McCullough has been an asset, not only to her employer, but to her students, their families, her community, and her coworkers. Mrs. McCullough has made a difference in so many lives with her encouragement and her inspiration," said Adams.

Comments (39)

David OBrien Posted over a year ago

Gloria is an incredible teacher who brings her kind and caring attitude to the classroom every day. She work very hard at equipping students with the skills they will need once they leave the school setting. Life Changer award is aptly names for what Gloria does every day... she changes lives.

Maria Esperanza Bernal Posted over a year ago

Conosco a Gloria hace 30 años siendo compañeras de trabajo en una institucion para niños especiales. Me siento orgullosa de ser su amiga; la admiro por su amor al trabajo, dedicacion, comprension por sus estudiantes y compañeros, innovadora y dinamica Siempre demostro sentimientos de apoyo, disciplina y constancia Siempre enseña con el corazon. Merecido reconocimiento. Felicitaciones

Maria Esperanza Bernal Posted over a year ago

Me siento orgullosa de ser amiga de Gloria. La conosco hace 30 años siendo compañeras de trabajo en una Institucion para niños Especiales. La admiro por su gran amor al trabajo, dedicacion, comprension por sus estudiantes y compañeros. Demostro sentimientos de apiyo, disciplina y constancia y siempre creativa en su trabajo. Siempre enseña con el corazon. Merecida nominacion. FELICITACIONES

Julia Adams Posted over a year ago

I met Mrs. McCullough when I enrolled my son in the BLAST program for the 2021/22 academic year. I am always a nervous parent, but her smile placed me at ease, especially after I saw that my son was comfortable. Under her tutelage, I have seen the growth in my son's independence since he started in this program. It is obvious to me that Mrs. McCullough is one person who loves her career and takes pride in working with these young adults with special needs as they transition into adulthood. I can see that she is one of the individuals who have the love, patience and understanding needed to guide these young adults. Thank you Mrs. McCullough.

Argelia Vigoya Valencia Posted over a year ago

Gloria Yaneth McCullough, es una profesional con un alto sentido de la ética profesional. Pude compartir con ella cuando trabajaba en Colombia, y compartíamos en el Colegio Bolivia para estudiantes con Discapacidad Cognitiva. Gloria desarrollo un excelente programa de terapia ocupacional en los diferentes talleres de la Institución. Está Nominación, es algo que te mereces por tu gran esfuerzo, empeño y dedicación a tu trabajo. !!! FELICITACIONES!!!

Argelia Vigoya Valencia Posted over a year ago

Gloria Yaneth, trabajar contigo fue algo fantástico, porque siempre le ponías un gran entusiasmo a todas tus labores. Los estudiantes, pasaban momentos muy entretenidos y despertaba en ellos un gran cariño. Gloria, te admiro y siempre estarás en mis lindos recuerdos.

NOHORA BETTY CRUZ BENJUMEA Posted over a year ago

La señora Gloria ,terapeuta. Ocupacional, trabajo en Colombia el la Institución Educativa República de Bolivia, dónde se educaban y rehabilitaban niños con Retardo Mental Educable Su paso en por este colegio dejó recuerdos gratos por su dedicación y amor a su trabajo La recordamos con mucho afecto y le deseamos muchos éxitos en su trabajo,ya que es una persona entregada a su trabajo con los niños especiales Dios la bendiga

Mary Cecilia Villamizar Posted over a year ago

Gloria and I worked together in a public school for youngsters with special needs in Bogotá, Colombia, for several years. She was recognized by peers and students as a very dedicated teacher, always cheerful and ready to help. I can say that she was an inspiration to all of us, offering encouragement and support in difficult times to teachers and students alike. Her attitude towards life and work were all the more impressive given her family situation with two siblings with special needs. I consider Gloria one of my best friends, a feeling that has stayed intact for many years, even after she moved to the United States. I fully agree with the excellent arguments given in the nomination. It is my pleasure to adhere to her nomination for Life Changer of the Year.

Maria del Pilar Caceres de Lopez Posted over a year ago

Es un honor para mi hablar de Gloria, una gran educadora especial ya que ella con su carisma, dedicación y amor al trabajo y a la población en condición de discapacidad ha hecho la diferencia como terapeuta ocupacional y pedagoga reeducativa, implementando programas de formación ocupacional y deportivos en dicha población los cuales han sido muy exitoso, buscando que sus estudiantes se integren laboralmente a la sociedad y que las familias los apoyen y los miren con otros ojos. Ya que ellos tienen los mismos derechos. Es también una excelente miembro de familia con grandes valores morales y social Lista a colaborar y muy comprometida con su labor desde hace más de 35 años siempre comprometida, humana y amorosa.

Clemencia Casas Plazas Posted over a year ago

Gloria McCullough, en Colombia Gloria Yaneth Useche es mi querida y siempre recordada compañera de trabajo y amiga.Es un ser humano excepcional,afectuosa,honesta, solidaria,generosa,espiritual.Como educadora es extraordinaria,con excelente formación académica,creativa,comprometida y lo más importante con gran sensibilidad y cariño por sus alumnos y sus padres.Es una persona que le dió sentido a su vida y merece el mayor reconocimiento a su tarea realizada con amor.

Libia Estella Angel G Posted over a year ago

Estoy muy contenta de que Gloria esté nominada por que es excelente profesional, es una persona dedicada , comprometida con sus estudiantes y siempre busca lo mejor para todos. Felicitaciones amiga.

Patricia Beck Posted over a year ago

Gloria McCullough should be called the Life Changer for Life. She makes a significant difference in the quality of person’s life who is lucky enough to come in contact with her. I first met Mrs. McCullough in 2003 when we were assigned to work together to develop a new program for the School District of Palm Beach County Exceptional Student Education Department. From the first day I met Mrs. McCullough, I saw her treat every person she encountered with dignity, respect and a genuine concern for their quality of life: a smile and warm greeting for the homeless who others choose to ignore, giving an encouraging, out-stretched hand to walk into a wading pool with a student who was TERRIFIED of water, a friend to any who just needed someone to listen without judging…….. Mrs. McCullough has dedicated herself to improving the quality of life not only for those she encounters briefly but specifically for those who face difficulty with the many challenges of life. She spends countless hours outside of her regular day and on weekends to help her students become independent and contributing members of their community. Even though she moved away, her unbelievable creativity, boundless energy, and truly beautiful and caring heart, remind me constantly that although we started nearly twenty years ago as colleagues, I am Blessed to call Mrs. McCullough my friend and as with her students, consider myself very lucky that she is a part of my life!

Luz Marina Bernal Calderón Posted over a year ago

Es una alegría que está terapeuta colombiana haya logrado tantos éxitos con personas especiales, gracias a su empeño, amor y dedicación a su trabajo.Un gran abrazo. Dios le permita seguir triunfando .


GLORIA, siempre se ha destacado por su gran profesionalismo, en Colombia como compañera de trabajo marcó una gran diferencia siempre entregada a sus estudiantes, con sentido de responsabilidad y solidaridad, dejo una huella en cada persona que compartió con ella espacios laborales y de amistad, una postularon más que merecida, reúne las cualidades profesionales y humanas, ama ser docente lo que hace lo hace con calidad, un ejemplo para todos sus compañeros y amigos de Colombia

Tammy Karr Posted over a year ago

Gloria is an incredible teacher! She is kind, caring and very dedicated! Gloria goes above and beyond each and every day!

James McCullough Posted over a year ago

Gloria McCullough goes above and beyond to help her student's achieve thier goals. Mrs. McCullough is one of the most dedicated, unselfish and positive role model for her student's. She takes a personal interest in every student she works with. Mrs. McCullough created an on site enterprise making soap, lotions and many artistic creations. Her student's and co-workers assist in making this enterprise a successful source of money for the program. Mrs. McCullough spends endless hours outside of the work day preparing the products for sale at local festivals. She puts the needs of her student's above her own. Mrs. McCullough is a rare gem with positive attributes that benefits all that she comes in contact with.

Andrea Kamerman Posted over a year ago

It is an honor an privilege to nominate Gloria McCullough, a highly qualified educator who I admire and support, for this award. I am thankful to be her neighbor, but most especially I am lucky to be able to call her my friend. As a fellow educator, I witness her passion and enthusiasm for educating and broadening the horizons of her students. She is skilled, intelligent, thoughtful, knowledgeable, and compassionate. She is equally driven to guide and provide her students with many opportunities to achieve success and participate in real life experiences. Gloria has created a program to teach her students to create exquisite scented soaps, hand sanitizers and perfumed lotions. I have purchased many of these items and can endorse their high quality and craftsmanship. At a local art fair, I have met Gloria, her students, and some of the students’ parents selling their items, keeping track of inventory, interacting with customers, promoting sales, and taking and completing orders. Gloria has provided the scaffolding and nurture for these young adult students to achieve success. It is a joy to support Gloria for this award as she is a strong advocate for her students.

Dorian judith Posted over a year ago

Mi querida hermana gloria es una mujer entregada a su familia natal a su pareja a su trabajo es muy servicial es muy humana excelente profesora actúa acertadamente con los alumnos es decir activa y actúa rapido

Giovanni salamanca Posted over a year ago

Es un excelente ser humano comprometida con su labor responsable capacitada muy profesional con un carisma inmenso grande de corazón lleno amable y servicial mereces está nominación y muchas cosas más felicitaciones

Martha Lucía sierra pachon Posted over a year ago

Excelente la mejor

Martha Lucía sierra 3 Posted over a year ago

La mejor excelente

John Paul Perez Posted over a year ago

Mrs. McCullough, or as I have known her my whole life, Aunt Gloria is one of the most caring and loving people I have ever known. She gives her best in everything she does, whether it’s at home with her family, or in the classroom or anywhere else with her students. Even away from work, she is always thinking of ways to help her students with their goals and coming up with ideas of what they could do next. Gloria has a heart that extends to anyone and everyone, and she proves that every time that I needed help with anything, and in the way she is constantly helping her students along. All the times that I needed help with a problem, or just if I needed someone to talk to, she has always been there for me and made sure that I knew that everything was better than ok. There aren’t words that can fully show how thankful I am to have such a wonderful and caring person in my life, she is a truly a blessing for anyone that knows her.

Giovanni salamanca Posted over a year ago

Responsable luchadora dedicada muy profesional felicitaciones

Victoria Guest Posted over a year ago

How very exciting to recognize her dedication and love for her students and their future. Congratulations Mrs McCullough.

Esperanza Laverde Pinto Posted over a year ago

Excelente profesional, muy comprometida con su labor pedagógica, su amor por sus estudiantes hace parte de su éxito!

Diana Perez Useche Posted over a year ago

I know Mrs. McCullough also known as Gloria my sister, Gloria has always been a wonderful person. Gloria is positive,sweet,realistic and hard worker every single day. Mrs. McCullough has a great ideas, projects for her class; Gloria fights for a better future for her students, family and friends. Gloria is constantly thinking about how she can help students and parents. Mrs. McCullough works with strong dedication and total commitment for her students, so that the students have a better future and become more independent and they can help and contribute to the community. Gloria has a big had heart and since she was little, she proved to be very independent and makes big decisions, Gloria like helping others. Her work as a teacher is one of total dedication, no matter how long it takes to achieve the goals with the students. Gloria has inexhaustible patience. Mrs. McCullough in each project she carries out and is an incomparable in commitment; Gloria is to be admired. She loves what she does, she loves her profession and loves the students very much. No matter how difficult each situation may be, she always gives her best.

Yeisy triana Posted over a year ago

She is an excellent human, she always working for wellness of the people.

Maribell Salamanca Posted over a year ago

Conozco a Gloria Mcullough desde niñas por ser una persona muy tierna y amable nos criamos como primas hermanas he conocído paso a paso su trayectoria como profesional siendo siempre muy constante, responsable y entregada en su vocación de servicio hacia los demás como Terapeuta ocupacional y licenciada como pedagoga reeducativa profesiones que le han servido para orientar de una manera integral a las personas q atiende con déficit sensoriales destacándose por su constancia e insistencia siempre cumpliendo las metas y objetivos con cada uno de ellos llevándolos a incorporarse laboralmente lo cual es una profesional de admirar por eso y mucho más es que se merece está nóminacion

Mary Lou McCullough Posted over a year ago

Gloria is a kind, caring, loving individual. She has dedicated her life to her career. She loves what she does.

Maureen McCullough Posted over a year ago

Gloria is an amazing person, and I am so proud of my beautiful, gracious, and loving sister-in-law. As an educator I find Gloria’s passionate dedication to her students inspiring. Most teachers care about what they do, but not all. The really good ones go beyond the ringing of the bell at the end of the school day, and Gloria is one of those teachers. Her job is not just a career; it is a vocation dedicated to improving the lives of her students. She never stops giving, not only to her students, but also to her fellow colleagues, and to her own and her students’ families. Not only has she helped her students by teaching and instilling life skills so they may achieve success, but Gloria has initiated a plan of action that actually gives them a path that enables them to learn how to support themselves and to be self sufficient and independent. Add that she is an administrator’s dream since she has devised a program that works, and that also pays for itself! Gloria’s day does not end at the final bell at 3pm since she continues until her students’ goals and objectives are met no matter how much energy or how much time it takes. Many a Saturday she is up at 6 am to work with her students on their latest venture. Besides being an excellent teacher, Gloria has truly changed lives. She is also one who would never think about getting an award for her dedication and for her development of an innovated program that gives her students respect and dignity, so I am honored to speak for her. One never gets rich being a teacher, but teaching is one of the few careers that enables an individual to actuate positive change in another human being and make students’ lives better. Gloria McCullough has changed lives; not just one life, but many…just ask her students and her students’ parents. Gloria is truly a “Life Changer.”

Maritza Posted over a year ago

Estoy súper feliz por Gloria Esta nominación está muy merecida Gloria ,es un gran ser humano y muy profesional y dedicada a su trabajo ,ama y disfruta lo que hace con mucha entrega .tuve la dicha de ser su paraprofessional at John I Leonard High schools y aprendí mucho con ella .los eStudiante y padres la adoraban porque era muy comprometida con ellos y su labor de educadora y extra con los padres y los ayudaba Creo que no existen suficientemente palabras para decir todo lo que encierra y además muy buena amiga compañera de trabajo en grupo Excelente por su nóminacion y que continúe con su labor por mucho tiempo

Carmen Martens Posted over a year ago

I know Gloria as my neighbor and friend. It has been my pleasure getting to know her and her husband. Gloria is very active in the community and is always helping someone in any way she can. Volunteering to help and make a difference ?? I have had the pleasure to meet her beautiful family. Mother sisters and nephews. Lovely and beautiful people. Gloria is an example of a remarkable human being and a sweet loving friend.??

Christine Barbuto Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure to work with Mrs. McCullough from the time that our high school started a post-graduation program for students with disabilities. Mrs. McCullough was instrumental in developing the program, establishing strong connections with community business partners, and executing a student-led business start-up that has thrived and grown through the years. Mrs. McCullough is one of the most optimistic, happy people I've ever met - she is always smiling. I don't think she's ever had a bad day and had it affect anyone else! Her interaction and leadership with students is exemplary! She has high standards for each one and clearly communicates them and helps students grow in many areas. She is an essential, true team-player!

Sara Lopez Posted over a year ago

We cannot be more impressed by Mrs. McCullough. Mrs. McCullough's ethics, dedication, enthusiasm, and drive is unparalled.

CECILIA PINEDA Posted over a year ago

Conozco a Mrs. McCullogh desde los 12 años y hemos sido amigas desde entonces. Ella es una persona muy amable, acogedora, amigable y entregada a todo lo que hace. La conozco también como hija y hermana. Su Familia siempre cuenta con Ella para todo y se nota su constante preocupación por el bienestar de ellos. Comentar sobre una persona integra a veces es difícil, porque no se encuentra las palabras para expresar el nivel de confianza que depositas en ellas; solo podría decir que es y será mi amiga del alma y de la vida por siempre!

Ma. Elena Manjarrés Posted over a year ago

Mrs McCullogh, "Yeny" como cariñosamente la llamamos entre las excompañeras de colegio, la conozco desde nuestra adolescencia, por más de 40 años. Es una gran persona, dulce, amorosa, dedicada, servicial, competente, talentosa, luchadora. Su casa familiar fue el lugar de reunión para todas nosotras; ella, sus padres y toda su familia nos recibían y acogían con toda la disposición para realizar nuestros trabajos del colegio. Ahora como profesional, se ha preparado, tiene toda la experiencia y sumado a su gran calidad humana, ama lo que hace y ama a sus alumnos. Migro a los Estados Unidos, continuó preparándose, estudiando, pese a las diferencias culturales y de idioma ¡Lo logró! Nos ha compartido las experiencias con sus alumnos, los proyectos con ellos, más que su preparación e idoneidad, destaco de Mrs McCullogh su gran corazón, amor por lo que hace, su calidad humana, su espíritu de servicio y entrega. Busca continuamente entregar a sus alumnos recursos o herramientas que les puedan ser útiles para sus vidas. La preparación y experiencia se puede tener, pero lo más importante es entregar con amor como ella lo hace. No ahorra esfuerzos y entrega todo su potencial humano al servicio de sus alumnos.

Angela Hinestroza Posted over a year ago

I really very happy to know all the positive and amazing comments about Mrs McCullogh. We went classmates in the high school, si I can say who is her. She is an exceptional person with high commitment and responsibility , in addition es very sweet and she has an outstanding sensitivity for the other. In a monthly basis we have meetings and she share with me our experiences in her job and your concerns about how she can help her students . It’s more than deserved this nomination!

Sonia Casas Posted over a year ago

Sin duda Gloria reune las cualidades para este reconocimiento y muchos más sus competencias , conocimientos se complementan con calidez y amor por lo que hace. Y su servicio a la comunidad sin duda redunda en la alegría de servir con exelencia.

Tonia Groff Posted over a year ago

Gloria has encouraged and supported the students at Bayside Blast in so many ways, not only becoming a teacher but also a mentor to many. She has helped them realize their potential and seek employment that they enjoy. She has helped them find hobbies and stress reduction activities that they can continue after leaving Blast. She had helped them Change their lives for the better. A LifeChanger she is.