Principal Melissa Hensley Nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award

Central High School Principal Melissa Hensley Nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award
Posted on 11/30/2016
Melissa Hensley


November 28, 2016 – Woodstock, VA – Central High School principal Melissa Hensley has been nominated for the 2016-17 national LifeChanger of the Year Award.



Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, the national LifeChanger of the Year program recognizes and rewards the very best K-12 public and private school educators and employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.


Hensley was nominated by a colleague who wishes to remain anonymous. She has served in the district for 11 years and has served at Central High School for the past five years. Additionally, Hensley was named the 2016 Virginia State Principal of the Year, as well as a 2017 NASSP Finalist for the National Secondary Principal of the Year.

“Ms. Hensley is an innovative educational leader who continually demonstrates the ability to meet the unique demands of Central High School's diverse student body,” said her nominator. “Because of her leadership, every member of the school community is respected and valued for their unique and diverse skills and character traits. Members of the educational community are valued, recognized and celebrated for their vast array of achievements. The faculty, staff and student population are thriving in this collaborative atmosphere, which is designed to prepare students for college and career opportunities in an ever increasing global society.”

Under her leadership, Central High School has established programs designed to address the needs of a diverse student body. These programs include the addition of a summer language acquisition program for English Language Learners, foundational skill development courses in English and math and summer transition programs for students with disabilities as well as general education students. As a result, Central High School students are achieving academic success at a very high level. This past fall, the school was recognized by the United States Department of Education as a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School winner and was designated an Exemplary High Performing School.

CHS is National Blue Ribbon School
Aba Kumi, Director of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, presents
 plaque to Central High School representatives. From left: Tara Mason (Senior
 Instructional Team), Melissa Hensley (Principal, Central High School), Aba
 Kumi, and Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent of Shenandoah County
Public Schools

Each school year, the LifeChanger of the Year program receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For 2016-2017, there will be a total of 15 individual LifeChanger of the Year awards. In addition, a 16th prize, the “National Spirit Award,” is given to the school and nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. Each winner will receive a cash award that is split between the individual winner and their school. The national Grand Prize award is $10,000. Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The top five winners will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in Naples, Florida. Winners will be announced in Spring 2017.

Winners will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals. Nominees must be school district employees. Award winners are selected 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
  • Is involved 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
  • Adherence to high moral and ethical standards

A resource page with ideas for how to celebrate nominees can be found at http://lifechangeroftheyearnominees.com/showspirit/.

To view Ms. Hensley’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit www.LifeChangeroftheYear.com