LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Kim Lueneburg

Position: Special Education Teacher
School: Dogwood Elementary School
School District: Knox County Schools
City, State: Knoxville, TN

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Kim Lueneburg was nominated by her principal, Lana Shelton-Lowe.

Mrs. Lueneburg has made a marked difference in the lives of countless children at Dogwood Elementary School. As a special education teacher, she teaches reading through games, songs, and computer programs. She is engaging and fun, and makes sure that every student gets the attention they deserve. Mrs. Lueneburg has been asked to share her instructional methods with other teachers in the district. She also takes on a leadership role in her school, where she mentors interns and teaches them her methods. 

Mrs. Lueneburg follows students all the way through high school and forms a tight bond with their families. She cares about her students and often goes to their ballgames, graduations, and after school activities to support them. She will visit a student in class if they are not doing well, or give their family a call to keep them informed.

"She is nurturing students well beyond their 5th grade experience, and adding not just to our school's postive atmosphere, but reaching beyond our walls," Shelton-Lowe said.

One day, before heading out on a field trip, Mrs. Lueneburg was making sure students were dressed up for the occasion. They were required to wear dress shirts in order to attend the field trip. One student in particular did not have one to wear, thus eliminating him from attending. Mrs. Lueneburg left and came back with a bag full of new shirts in various sizes, making sure he had the right attire to attend.

"That act of kindness brought tears to all of our eyes and a sense of joy to the student," Shelton-Lowe said. "He attended with a sense of pride and self-worth.

"Mrs. Lueneburg is typically a favorite teacher for all students, even those who are not in her class," Shelton-Lowe continued. "She spends time building relationships with all the kids and advocating for them."