LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Kathy Couillard

Position: Principal
School: Handley Elementary School
School District: Saginaw Public Schools
City, State: Saginaw, MI

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Kathy Couillard was nominated by her daughter, Katie Megan.

Ms. Couillard isn't only a fantastic teacher, leader, and principal, but one of the strongest women her daughter knows. She has lost her son, her husband, and her mother, all within the last year and a half. Soon, she will be losing her father. Ms. Couillard continues to walk into her school proudly and passionately because it depends on her. Her school recently received the Blue Ribbon award thanks to her leadership and guidance.

She has an amazing rapport with parents, teachers, cleaning staff, lunch aides, and everyone she comes in contact with. Ms. Couillard does everything from performing daily administrative tasks as principal to pulling weeds outside of the school on the weekend.

She started her career as a substitute teacher over 35 years ago when she met her husband, who was a special education teacher for over 40 years. Ms. Couillard went on to teach for 20+ years before becoming principal of her school.

"My mom's mission statement, which is something she lives and breathes every day, is to provide each unique child with a secure, caring and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially," Megan said. "She is a no-brainer for this award. After all the personal hardship she has had to face, she always puts her school and the children first."