Shareefah Mason, a twelfth-grade government teacher at New Tech High School at B.F. Darrell, was named a national 2018-2019 LifeChanger of the Year winner during a surprise ceremony held at a school-wide assembly.
Mason was selected as one of 15 award winners out of 830 nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Mason received a $3,000 prize, which was awarded as a $1,500 individual prize and a $1,500 donation to a non-profit of her choice. The award was presented by National Life Group representatives Clare Ronaghan and Gabriel Kelly, as well as Principal Jameile Choice and Assistant Principal Channel Hutchinson.
“Shareefah works harder than any teacher I know, with a fidelity and integrity that you just don’t come by anymore,” Choice said. “I have watched her building relationships with students that are incomparable. She is kind to them, but also gives them tough love. She holds them accountable but celebrates every victory with them. Mrs. Mason is the loudest and liveliest teacher in the building, and her passion oozes with every word she says. I am in awe of her spirit and love for her students each and every day.”
Mason became certified to teach through a six-week program Dallas ISD created specifically for Hurricane Katrina evacuees interested in education.
Mason uses a combination of engaging lessons, motivational talks, and tough love, when needed, to provide her students with the structure they need to thrive. At various schools throughout her 13 years of teaching, she has collaborated with her colleagues and administration to turn around struggling schools and improve student achievement scores and behavior.
Mason has remained fiercely committed to ensuring that students of color receive a quality education. She has also authored four books and traveled across the country to present at educational conferences including Council of Great City Schools, Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of color, and Advancing the Improvement of Education.
LifeChanger of the Year is a national program sponsored by National Life Group that annually recognizes and rewards K-12 school district educators and employees who make a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence, and leadership.