//VCS educator selected as ‘LifeChanger of the Year’ winner

VCS educator selected as ‘LifeChanger of the Year’ winner

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VALDOSTA – Valdosta City Schools announces a K-5 educator was selected as the winner of the National Life Group ‘LifeChanger of the Year Award.



Dr. LaConya McCrae, a K-5 induction support specialist for Valdosta City Schools, has been chosen as a 2023-2024 National Life Group LifeChanger of the Year Award Winner. She will receive a $3,000 prize, which will be awarded as a $1,500 individual prize and a $1,500 donation to her school.

McCrae will be surprised with her award during an assembly in front of roughly 550 students and staff. The award will be presented to her by National Life Group representatives Renee Crane and Craig Young. Several district figures are expected to attend, including superintendent Craig Lockhart.

McCrae was selected for this honor from more than 620 nominations for K-12 teachers and school employees nationwide.

April 19th, 2024
8:30 AM EDT


J.L. Lomax Elementary School – gymnasium
1450 Howell Road
Valdosta, GA

The assembly will take place in the gymnasium.


McCrae is being recognized for demonstrating a commitment to excellence over her 25+ year career in education. She has served in various roles, including being a highly regarded classroom teacher, where she stood out among her peers and became an Instructional Lead Teacher.

During her principalship at J.L. Lomax Elementary School, McCrae implemented the IMAGE Awards (I Must Achieve Greatness Every day), which recognized the academic and behavioral efforts of scholars at her school. At the ceremony’s opening, she would address the student body as the class of the expected high school graduation year that coincided with each grade level. The student body would then recite a pledge that McCrae wrote herself.

McCrae’s impact extends beyond the classroom. She actively collaborates with the community, forging partnerships to benefit students, such as providing brand-new shoes for perfect attendance and organizing car giveaways to fund essential student resources. Her initiatives allowed her to transform her school into a 1-to-1 learning environment, ensuring every student had access to a Chromebook to aid their education.

Currently, McCrae collaborates on comprehensive Induction and Retention Programs for new staff. She has forged partnerships with the Governor’s School Leadership Academy and Valdosta State University to facilitate teacher candidate training, district induction, and the retention of quality educators. She works closely with administrators, academic coaches, and assigned mentor teachers at each school to help develop new educators.

McCrae’s nominator would like to remain anonymous.

“Dr. McCrae is undoubtedly a LifeChanger. She has made a lasting impact on the lives of countless people and continues to be a source of inspiration,” said her nominator.

Read McCrae’s full LifeChanger of the Year profile here.

About National Life Group’s LifeChanger of the Year

National Life Group’s LifeChanger of the Year annually recognizes and rewards K-12 educators and school employees who make a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence, and leadership.

Each year, the LifeChanger of the Year program receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

To be considered for an award, nominees must be K-12 school or district employees who make a positive difference in the lives of students.  Award winners are selected based on the following criteria:

●        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

To learn more, visit www.lifechangeroftheyear.com.