Castle Rock, CO

DougCo school counselors nominated for life changer of the year

Suzie Glassman
Jill Bull, left, and Lori Qui.Photo byDouglas County School District

By: Suzie Glassman/NewsBreak Denver

(Castle Rock, CO) Cimarron Middle School counselor Jill Bull and Rocky Heights Middle School counselor Lori Qui are National Life Group's Life Changer of the Year Award nominees. The award recognizes educators and staff for significantly impacting their students' lives by exemplifying excellence, positive influence, and leadership.

Sandy Austin, a colleague who nominated Bull, said, "Ms. Bull is truly not just a LifeChanger, but a school changer, a community changer, and a world changer!"

Austin explains that after hearing about a school club called the B.I.O.N.I.C. Team (Believe It Or Not I Care), Bull decided, along with another counselor, to open a chapter at their school.

"Through the B.I.O.N.I.C. Team, they hoped to empower students to reach out to their peers to prevent them from falling through the cracks and let them know they are "seen," they "matter," and people care about them," said Austin.

"We have seen that the skills that B.I.O.N.I.C. Team members learn carry over into all areas of life. They become leaders because with every outreach they do, they see the impact immediately in the tears of grateful parents, hugs from impacted students, and words of thanks from staff and administrators."

Gigi Whalen, a parent of one of Qui's students, nominated Qui for the support she gave her son while attending Rocky Heights Middle School. Whalen said, "she became one of his 'trusted adults' in the school, and when he needed help, he would go to the counseling center and seek her out.

"Lori is kind and supportive. She helps kids gain independence, helps them problem-solve, and is someone they can count on!"

Bull and Qui are among seven Colorado nominees and 490 across the U.S.

A selection committee will determine the Top 15 LifeChangers, Spirit Award winners, and members of the Honor Roll between January and May 2023. Cash prizes are split between the winner and their school district, ranging from $10,000 for the grand prize to $3,000 for the spotlight and capstone awards.

National Life Group, a financial services company that serves K-12 educators nationwide, sponsors the annual award. Anyone can nominate a candidate as long as the educator or staff has made a positive difference in students' lives.

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I'm a reporter covering the Douglas County School District in Colorado.

Denver, CO

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