South Washington County Schools

Cottage Grove Elementary teacher nominated for LifeChanger of the Year Award

Photo of Beth Charan

Cottage Grove Elementary School music teacher Beth Charan has been nominated for the 2017-2018 LifeChanger of the Year award.

The award recognizes K-12 educators and school district employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. It is given by the National Life Group Foundation, a national financial company.

Charan was one of seven Minnesota teachers to be nominated for the award. She was nominated by her colleague, Gina Tester.

Charan has been the school choir director and music teacher at South Washington County Schools for nearly 30 years. Colleagues say she goes above and beyond, directing two beautiful choir concerts, helping with the kindergarten winter program, the first-grade parent program and the school talent show.

“Mrs. Charan is passionate about music education. She works hard to engage students in the world of music and to show students how it can enhance their learning and their lives,” said Cottage Grove Elementary Principal Theresa Blume-Thole. “We are proud of her receiving this recognition for her hard work.”

Each school year, LifeChanger of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Seventeen individual LifeChanger of the Year awards will be given during the 2017-2018 school year, including:

  • One Grand Prize Winner, who will receive $10,000 to be shared with their school/district
  • Four Grand Prize Finalists, who will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district
  • Ten LifeChanger Award Winners, who will receive $3,000 to be shared with their school/district
  • One Spirit Award Winner – This award is given to the nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district.
  • One Spotlight Award Winner – This award is given to a nominee in a specific discipline each year.

The grand prize finalists will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in spring 2018 in Bermuda, where the Grand Prize Winner will be revealed. Winners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals.