TALLADEGA -- Talladega County Central High School employee, Sharon Pittman, has been nominated for the 2016-2017 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

Pittman teaches English and language arts to TCCHS students in grades 7-9.

She has been teaching English for the last 10 years.

Pittman was nominated by TCCHS Principal Quentin Lee.

“Mrs. Pittman’s students can attest to the rigor and engaging lessons she provides,” Lee said. “She provides systematic approaches to solving real-world problems and presents opportunities for critical thinking, while stressing the importance of her students having a strong work ethic. One way or another, her students will learn how to read because she does not allow them to accept defeat.”

Pittman recalled her first experience as an educator as a Sunday school teacher in Ohio.

“I still have former students reconnect with me through social media and tell how I have changed their lives for the better,” she said. “It’s just something that comes natural to me, I guess, but it really means a lot and I’m honored to be nominated for the award.

“I remember teaching the children not only Sunday school lessons, but life skills. They would come to church early and help clean before their lesson. I was changing their lives because I helped change their mindset.”

According to Pittman, she views a life changer as someone who “gives hope to the hopeless and instills a lifelong love of learning.”

The national LifeChanger of the Year award honors the best of the public and private K-12 educators from across the nation, and is sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation.

Award recipients are chosen by a selection committee of education professionals and former winners. Nominees are judged 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;

• Involvement in leadership activities at the school and/or community level;

A demonstrative record of excellent performance at the professional level;

A commitment to producing a nurturing atmosphere; and

Adherence to high moral and ethical standards.

Hundreds are nominated each year for the award and a total of 16 educators will be recognized.

Each winner will receive a cash prize, which will be divided between the individual winner and his or her school.

The top five winners will also be recognized at a national awards ceremony in Naples, Florida. The top winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Recipients of the national LifeChanger award will be announced in the spring of 2017.

To find out more about the award and to view Mrs. Pittman’s nominee profile, go to www.lifechangeroftheyear.com.

“She has mentored not only our students but our teachers and staff as well,” Lee siad. “Her bubbly personality and infectious character are a joy to be around. She is a true definition of a ‘life changer,’ and she is a valuable asset to our community.”