Cooke Teacher Nominated for National LifeChanger Award

Andrew Cooke Magnet School second grade teacher Ms. Julie Ahern. /Photo: Courtesy WPS60Andrew Cooke Magnet School second grade teacher Ms. Julie Ahern. /Photo: Courtesy WPS60

By PF Staff

Waukegan, IL. – For the sixth consecutive year, Andrew Cooke Magnet School second grade teacher Ms. Julie Ahern has been nominated for the national LifeChanger of the Year award.
Nominated by an anonymous parent, Ms. Ahern was credited for encouraging a talented Waukegan student to enter a national art contest. Ms. Ahern’s student has since won the contest twice, prompting two visits from celebrated authors to Cooke.
“She is calm and soft spoken, but has the dogged tenacity of a seasoned athlete who is determined to go the distance for her students and her school,” said her nominator. “My son never would have entered, nor would he ever have won any of these national contests, had it not been for Julie Ahern. She seamlessly orchestrates magical moments and continues to inspire each new group of students before her to take risks and to dream big.”
Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, the LifeChanger of the Year award recognizes and rewards K-12 educators across the United States making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. Each school year, LifeChanger of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states.
“I think Ms. Ahern’s sixth consecutive nomination speaks for itself,” said Cooke Principal Stephanie Jensen. “Positively influencing one student’s life is an accomplishment, but what Ahern has managed to do I think is truly remarkable. She deserves all this recognition and more.”
Seventeen individual LifeChanger of the Year awards will be given during the 2018-2019 school year. Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The grand prize finalists will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in April 2019 in Hawaii, where the Grand Prize Winner will be revealed.