Two district nurses nominated for national award

Amy Kandes and Carrie Conn

Two of our very own district nurses – Carrie Conn and Amy Kandes – have been nominated for a national 2021-2022 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.

You can show your support for the nurses by viewing their profiles online and clicking the Support button.  View Amy Kandes’ profile here or Carrie Conn’s profile here.

Both Conn and Kandes were nominated by Executive Director of Student Achievement Jill Chochol for their dedication to serving the community throughout the COVID -19 pandemic. The benefits to students, staff, and families were multiple personal contacts with empathetic, knowledgeable health care professionals who could support and advise them on quarantine, isolation, and recommendations for seeking treatment. Conn, the district nurse, demonstrated outstanding leadership since she started with the district in all capacities, especially since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Ms. Conn is an asset to Dearborn Public Schools and truly worthy of LifeChanger recognition,” said Chochol.

With the closure of schools in the state of Michigan on March 16th, 2020, Kandes remained connected with leaders in the county Department of Public Health and brought factual information to the district and collaborated on the crisis team, which met regularly to develop processes and protocols to keep all members of the school community safe.  

“Ms. Kandes is a nurturing and caring individual who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the health and safety of students and staff in the Dearborn community,” said Chochol. “She has demonstrated consistently strong ethical and moral standards, and she strives to provide individuals with as much information and support as she has available.”

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

To view LifeChanger of the Year nominee profiles, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit