LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Chrissy Pierce

Position: Academic Interventionist - Math
School: Walnut Street Elementary School
School District: Woodbury City Public Schools
City, State: Woodbury, NJ

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Music that Describes Chrissy

Chrissy Pierce was nominated by her principal, Jeff Adams.

For the past three years, Ms. Pierce has served as the math academic interventionist at Walnut Street Elementary School in Woodbury, NJ. Before that, she was a fourth-grade general education teacher for 17 years, making her the most veteran staff member in the building with over 20 years committed to her school community!

Ms. Pierce truly is a LifeChanger in every sense of the word. According to Webster's dictionary, one of the meanings of a "life changer" is "having a significant effect on the course of one's life." Ms. Pierce's ability to impact the course/trajectories/directions of her students' lives well beyond their time in the school building is a hallmark of who she is as an educator and a person. The connections she makes with students and their families transcend their time in the building into young adulthood and beyond. Furthermore, she is a rock and leader amongst staff by supporting new teachers, collaborating with veteran colleagues, and being a cheerleader for all team members, personally and professionally. 

Regarding Ms. Pierce's instructional abilities, she is a true expert regarding the Xs and Os of teaching mathematics. She has developed into a true specialist in that content area and can understand the building blocks of how the mathematical processes develop in a child's mind. The measured growth of mathematical skills and abilities for her students in and of itself would be considered "life-changing"; however, what she does in the classroom with Mathematics is merely the tip of the iceberg of how Ms. Pierce impacts the student body and community.

"Outside of her formal role in the classroom Ms. Pierce is the 'Unsung Hero' of the building," said Adams. "I say that because she is constantly doing things to support students behind the scenes that, most of the time, the students themselves or even fellow staff members are not even aware of. She truly lives a humble servant-leader lifestyle. By the time she reads this nomination, she will be embarrassed that, for once, we are trying to spotlight her and celebrate her meaningful impact on the Walnut Community."

These are only a few of the everyday things Ms. Pierce does to support her students:

  • She always takes the time to coach them through social difficulties with peers, school, or even their home lives.
  • She serves as "the encourager," lifting kids up, celebrating their greatness, and building self-belief.
  • She pays off lunch balances and donates Secret Santa clothes in the nurse's office, creating holiday and birthday cheer for struggling families.
  • She supports staff by helping cover classes anytime, being a mentor personally and professionally to her peers, and advocating for staff needs.

Outside of her professional role in the school system, Ms. Pierce continues to be a LifeChanger in the community. She plays a significant part every year in the Annual Tim Tebow Foundation Night to Shine Special Needs Prom event sponsored by her local South Jersey church. She also served as a lead chaperone for a group of teenage boys in an international STEM Competition that traveled first across the State of NJ and then to Texas to compete in Robotics competitions. Ms. Pierce is also active throughout the year, donating food and other items to our local community food and clothing pantries.

In summary, Ms. Pierce truly is an educator worthy of the distinction of LifeChanger of the Year. She is selfless and does well, not for the accolades or to be on center stage, but because it is just the essence of who she is.