McAllen teacher nominated as Life Changer of the Year

McALLEN — The National Life Group is looking for its annual Life Changer of the Year, and a local high school teacher is vying for the title.

Vivian Tamez, a foreign language teacher at Lamar Academy in the McAllen school district, was nominated by her principal Cindy Peña to receive the recognition, according to a news release sent by the group in which the stated reason for the nomination is Tamez’s “vivacious personality and enthusiasm to help others.”

Tamez has been an educator and on top of her job as a teacher she also volunteers with other organizations such as the McAllen Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, Keep McAllen Beautiful, and is hosting an Anti-Bully Rally for Bullying Prevention Month in October, the release states.

“She continuously searches for new, innovative ideas to help students achieve their utmost potential. She encourages students to become advocates for others who may be facing challenges,” Pena said in her nomination. “She took it upon herself to get the district involved in adopting Aransas County ISD as a sister district when the county was devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

“This county was in disarray after the flood waters subsided. Mrs. Tamez arranged for all the schools in McAllen ISD to donate items that the community in Aransas County needed. She not only organized the event but also arranged for students and staff to assist in the delivery of the supplies that were donated.”

Peña also described Tamez as an inspiring teacher who is true believer in encouraging students to help the community and those less fortunate. If selected, Tamez could win $10,000, which will be divided equally between her and her campus.

“I admire Mrs. Vivian Tamez’s devotion and perseverance,” Peña said. “Her leadership skills and no-nonsense attitude is what sets her apart from other educators. Her willingness to go the extra mile and her total commitment to educating students for the future are noteworthy virtues.”

The LifeChanger of the Year is an annual program aimed at recognizing K-12 educators to and school employees nationwide, who exemplify excellence, positive influence and leadership. The program is sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, which seeks to support local communities by supporting nonprofits and educational organizations.

Nominations are open until December and to support Tamez and other nominees, the public is encouraged to comment on her nomination page as every comment will count as a vote. Her page can be found at