HISD educators nominated for national award for making a difference in the lives of students

Two HISD educators have been nominated for National Life Group Foundation’s 2022-2023 LifeChanger of the Year Award.

Washington High School Assistant Principal Dr. Valencia Hall and Eastwood Academy High School AP government teacher Ronald Castro were nominated by family members and are now eligible to receive one of 17 cash prizes up to $10,000.

With more than 18 years of experience working in education, Hall began serving as assistant principal in 2018 and has helped increase graduation rates, supported students with Credit Recovery program opportunities, and ensured that graduating students are college or career ready.

Castro began working as an educator in HISD in August 2022 and has served at-risk schools and communities for 15 years, dedicating thousands of hours to volunteer efforts aimed at uplifting students and supporting their communities.

“The love I have for helping my students goes beyond the classroom,” said Castro. “My mentors always ask me what’s next. Next is always expanding my reach, helping more people, exposing my students to valuable non-profits in all communities, finding funding, internships, and connecting my students to opportunities to grow.”

Created in 2011, LifeChanger of the Year is a national program that recognizes public school educators and staff who are making a difference by exemplifying excellence, positive influence, and leadership.

Each year, LifeChanger of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states, but only 18 educators are selected.  

“Being nominated feels great, but it’s just a start,” said Castro. “If it means that my students will get recognized, that’s more important. They are the ones doing most of the hard work.”

Winners will be selected by a committee comprised of former winners and education professionals and will be announced this year.

HISD is proud to celebrate its wonderful educators for going above and beyond to help make a positive impact in the lives of students.

Read more about Dr. Hall and Mr. Castro on their LifeChanger of the Year Award nomination profiles.

To learn more about LifeChanger of the Year and how to nominate an educator, click here.