LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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David Ely

Position: School Counselor
School: John C. Holmgreen Center
School District: Northside ISD
City, State: San Antonio, TX

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David Ely was nominated by his colleague, Tyler Smurr.

"I am nominating Mr. David Ely for LifeChanger of the Year because it is not often that I come across human beings who legitimately care so much about the students/children as he does," explains Smurr. 

The John C. Holmgreen Center is a school that specializes in working with special education students who need closer to a one-on-one teaching experience. These students come to the Holmgreen Center because they need more help than their regular campus can provide. The students who come to the Holmgreen Center may also be a danger to themselves or others and require a campus where they can get the attention and help they need. 

The Holmgreen Center is a middle and high school setting consisting of BMC and ALE students, and Mr. Ely is the counselor.

"I have been in education for 22 years, and I have never worked with a counselor who not only truly cares about the students, but also treats the students in such a kind and respectful way," said Smurr. "There is nothing that Mr. Ely won't do for our students. Anytime a student needs anything from clothes, school supplies, or somebody to talk to, Mr. Ely is always there for the students. 

"I am also nominating Mr. Ely because he is an incredible coworker. He always has a smile on his face, a great attitude, and always has a great story to tell. I am nominating Mr. Ely for LifeChanger of the Year because he truly changes people's lives," said Smurr.


Comments (2)

Diana Ely Posted 2 months ago

David and I have worked in the same district for more than 34 years. We met and married while working at the same school, but since have continued to work at the same district but always at different locations. David is a "kid magnet". Kids respond to him, talk to him, seek him out. I wasn't surprised at all to find that he was interested in counseling and that would be his next step in his career. Everywhere I go in the district I'm stopped by people (teachers, parents, students) that were impacted by David. They want to tell me their story and how much they treasure him. They also want to make sure I tell him "hello" from them. Our daughter now works in the district as well and she shared that a faculty member at her school stood up and announced how David had impacted their family as the counselor at their child's school. Once kids graduate they often reach out to him still wanting to have contact, let them know how they are doing and how they have grown up so much since the kid he knew in middle school or high school. David wants to ensure his kids have what they need. In his position as a counselor at a school with students with special needs, he doesn't hesitate to buy kids the clothes they need, find furniture for families who don't have any, or purchase a meal for students as a reward for a job well done. He talks regularly about both the challenges and successes of his students. He is proud of his students and how far they have come. When he talks about his future he has a plan in place. When he retires he wants to have a therapy dog and go back to schools to support kids. He's an amazing person and would be gobsmacked to know he had been nominated for this prestigious award. He's never been about money, accolades or recognition. His reward comes from making a difference in the lives of kids.

Wesley Bauerschlag Posted 2 months ago

Mr. Ely and I worked together at a previous campus and where his dedication to his students and staff was second to none. He made you feel like you mattered and kind of caused a "We got this" mentality. During our time at our other campus we sadly had a student tragically pass away, but as the head counselor he really helped the whole community to handle and cope with the enormous loss. I got the clue after he switched schools for Holmgreen to be the counselor that I should follow him over here and it has been the greatest professional decision of my life. Thank you David for always being there for us, and very proud to call you my friend.