Grand Prairie ISD Special Olympics coach selected ‘LifeChanger of the Year’
Pamela Fowler, a Special Olympics coach and adapted physical education facilitator for Grand Prairie ISD, was named a 2016-17 ‘LifeChanger of the Year’ award winner and received a $3,000 prize at a surprise ceremony Tuesday during a track and tennis practice for Grand Prairie’s Special Olympics team.
She was one of fifteen selected as a LifeChanger of the Year winner out of more than 720 teachers, administrators and school district employees nominated for the award from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. She was nominated by Dr. Rhonda Brown-Crowder, the parent of one of her students.
Fowler, who will be retiring after this school year, is being recognized for the legacy and impact she has created over the past 30 years as an educator. Over the course of her career, she has worked with thousands of children at all ages and stages of abilities.
Fowler has worked tirelessly with numerous schools to set up Peer Partner Programs, where mainstream students as young as eight years old can partner with special needs students to work with them during recess and physical education classes. The goal of these programs is to help special needs students work on improving their physical skills. As part of the programs, the older peer partners are allowed to travel to the track meets with the Special Olympics Athletes to assist them on the day of the meets. These programs are not only beneficial in helping students in their growth and development, but they are also instilling compassion in the mainstream students who are providing the assistance.
“It is such an honor to have Coach Pam Fowler on our team,” said Dr. Dorothea Gordon, Grand Prairie ISD’s Director of Special Education. “She is truly the epitome of servant leadership. It is her calling. Her unwavering dedication to our scholar athletes, parents, community and our team is embedded in all she does.”
LifeChanger of the Year is a national program sponsored by National Life Group that annually recognizes and rewards K-12 school district educators and employees who make a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence, and leadership.
LifeChanger of the Year nominees must be full-time educators, teachers, principals, or any member of the school district’s staff who makes a positive difference in the lives of students.
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
- A leader in his or her activities at the school and/or district level
- A proven record of excellent performance at the professional level
- A commitment to producing a nurturing atmosphere