Two Dothan teachers recognized for a national award

DOTHAN, Al (WTVY) - Kindergarten teacher Jackie Kinney and first grade teacher Hanna Golson are among hundreds of teachers around the country nominated for the ‘National LifeChanger of the Year’ award. Both ladies were taken by surprise to find out they were nominated by a parent to win up to $10,000 for themselves and their school.

"I feel very honored and special to know that a parent would think that of me... That I would mean that much to their child and family,” said Golson.

"I never thought about being nominated for anything. I just come to school, do my job and I love it,” explained Kinney.

The LifeChanger of the Year is an annual program sponsored by the 'National Life Group,’ an insurance and financial services company. It recognizes K-12 educators who make a positive difference in the lives of students.

"We have been really blessed this year with those teachers,” said Valerie Gathof, mother of two who nominated both teachers. “They both have hearts of gold and they’re always trying to make education and learning fun.”

Gathof's son Brantley is a student of Kinney's and her daughter Clara is Golson's student. Gathof says her kids are always excited to go to school and learn.

"I felt like it was just a great opportunity to recognize these two teachers in a way that you don't see often,” said Gathof.

Both teachers have taught at Highland Elementary School for more than 10 years.

"This age they're learning so much... So everything I teach them is something new and I love to see their excitement,” said Kinney.

“You come to do what's best for the kids,” said Golson.

15 ‘LifeChangers’ will win cash rewards with prizes that range from $3,000-10,000.Half goes to the winner and the other half goes to the winner's school.

There is also a ‘Spirit Award,’ which recognizes the community who shows the most spirit for their LifeChanger and rallies behind them to recognize their positive influence and leadership.

There are many ways to show support; for one, you can share Kinney or Golson's profile with the hashtag #LCOY on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

For more information on how to get involved, you can visit their website at

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