04 Nov Two CCSD teachers nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year award

Two Clark County School District teachers are nominees for the 2019-2020 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

Mission High School English teacher Stacey Dallas Johnston and Advanced Technologies Academy architecture teacher Richard Knoeppel were among the three Nevada teachers nominated for the award.

Johnston was nominated by a colleague, Jennifer Rios.

“Stacey is one of the most inspiring colleagues I have ever had, as well as an amazing educator,” said Rios. “What’s so amazing about her is that she doesn’t do what she does to be called amazing or to boast about her accomplishments. Being amazing is just who she is. Somehow, someway, she has spent the past 20 years not only teaching high school but changing the high school experience for thousands of kids.”

Richard Knoeppel was nominated by Advanced Technologies Academy Principal Jonathan Synold.

“Mr. Knoeppel’s first priority is always his students. A powerful moment occurred during A-TECH graduation last June when Mr. Knoeppel announced the name of one of the seniors to walk across the stage,” Synold said. “This student came from a single-parent immigrant family and was the first to graduate high school. Even more than that, she had earned a Questbridge full-ride scholarship to Amherst College. Mr. Knoeppel worked tirelessly to mentor this student over her four years at A-TECH, and he helped her prepare an extensive application. I could see in her face her gratitude to Mr. Knoeppel, as he had forever changed the trajectory of herself and her family’s lives.”

Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, the national LifeChanger of the Year program recognizes and rewards the very best K-12 public and private school educators and employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.

Each school year, the LifeChanger of the Year program receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For 2019-2020, there will be a total of 17 individual LifeChanger of the Year awards. The awards structure is as follows:

  • 1 National Grand Prize Winner
  • 4 Grand Prize Finalists
  • 10 LifeChanger Award Winners
  • 1 Spirit Award Winner
  • 1 Spotlight Award Winner


Each winner will receive a cash award that is shared between the individual winner and their school. The national Grand Prize award is $10,000. Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The top five winners will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in Palm Beach, Florida. Winners will be announced in spring 2020.

Winners will be chosen by a selection committee composed of former winners and education professionals. Nominees must be school district employees. Award winners are selected based on the following criteria:

  • A proven ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students
  • An ability to positively add to the development of the school’s atmosphere
  • Is involved in leadership activities at the school and/or community level
  • A demonstrative record of excellent performance at the professional level
  • A commitment to producing a nurturing atmosphere
  • Adherence to high moral and ethical standards


A resource page with ideas for how to celebrate nominees can be found at http://lifechangeroftheyear.com/showspirit/.

To view Stacey Dallas Johnston‘s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile, click here.

To view Richard Knoeppel‘s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile, click here.

To nominate someone from your school community, visit www.LifeChangeroftheYear.com.

To learn more about the Clark County School District, visit ccsd.net.