Steffani Thompson, WPHS Counselor, Nominated as National Life Changer of the Year


White Pine County School District Educator Nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award

January 31, 2022 –Ely, NV – White Pine High School counselor Steffani Thompson has been nominated for the 2021-2022 National LifeChanger of the Year award. Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, LifeChanger of the Year recognizes and rewards the very best 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.

Thompson was nominated by an anonymous colleague, for not only being an exemplary counselor, but also a teacher and strong leader in the district. As a counselor, Thompson considers the needs of each and every student, whether it's academic, social-emotional, career, or home support. She has complete trust of both students and parents to advise them on what will be best (not easiest) for their futures.

At the district level, Thompson is the leader of the Student Support Team. This team (consisting of the district's counselors, social workers, and administrators), focuses on regularly reviewing Tier 1, 2, and 3 SEL practices and interventions. The team developed the district's World Class Relationships Framework, which provides a comprehensive and detailed vision of how to positively shape the affective environment of the schools. The team also reviews challenging cases in order to collaborate around the most appropriate responses.

She also teaches Senior Achievement, which is a course designed to help students transition from high school to post-secondary success. They learn to prepare taxes, write resumes, complete job applications, interview, problem-solve, resolve conflict and more.  At the end of the course, they prepare and deliver a presentation to their parents, a faculty member, a business representative, and a community member.  Students consistently rank this course as one of their favorites.  

“As a professional, Mrs. Thompson is exemplary,” said her colleague. “She embodies the district's values of "being truthful but kind," "thinking win-win," "showing empathy through action," "seeking to understand," and more. She arrives early and stays late. Mrs. Thompson is among the first to volunteer for the greater good.  She is trusted and respected by everyone.”

About LifeChanger of the Year

Each school year, LifeChanger of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Eighteen individual LifeChanger of the Year awards will be given during the 2021-2022 school year.

  • (1) Grand Prize Winner – will receive $10,000 to be shared with their school/district.

  • (4) Grand Prize Finalists – will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district.

  • (10) LifeChanger Award Winners – will receive $3,000 to be shared with their school/district.

  • (1) 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.

  • (1) Capstone Award Winner - This award is given to a nominee retiring at the end of the 2020-21 school year. The winner will receive $3,000 to be shared with their school or district.

  • (1) Spotlight Award Winner – This award is given to a nominee in a specific discipline each year. For 2021-22, the Spotlight Award will be given to a school nurse. The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school or district.

Winners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals, and will be announced in early 2022. Nominees must be K-12 teachers or school district employees. To be considered for an award, nominees must

  • Make a positive impact in the lives of students

  • Enhance their school or district’s atmosphere, culture and pride

  • Demonstrate exemplary leadership at the school and/or district level

  • Possess a proven record of professional excellence

  • Show commitment to building a nurturing environment that supports learning

  • Adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards