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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Edgewood Highschool of the sacred hearts
Edgewood Highschool of the sacred hearts photographed on March 20, 2024

Madison teacher Mary Day nominated for LifeChanger of the Year award

Mary Day, a former teacher at Edgewood High School of the Sacred Heart, has been nominated by a former student for the 2023-24 National LifeChanger of the Year award. Day passed away in May 2023. 

This national recognition honors K-12 public school educators and employees who make a difference in students' lives by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. 

Peyton Drexler, a former student of Day, nominated her for the award. She was Day’s eighth grade math student while she taught at Mount Horeb Middle School. Under her obituary, Drexler said how much Day meant to her.

“Mrs. Day was easily one of the kindest teachers I have ever met,” Drexler wrote. “I can honestly say she was one of the most caring people I’ve had in my life.” 

Another of Day’s students, Anna Gropp, described herself as a quiet kid who often found herself doodling in the back of Day’s class. She told a story where Day complimented her drawing and offered her a notebook to draw in. Gropp said she appreciated how Day celebrated her students’ unique skills and passions through meaningful acts of kindness, such as this one.

“I filled the entire [notebook] cover to cover with my doodles,” Gropp said. “I still have the notebook to this day as a senior in high school. That one kind gesture is one of the reasons I continued on my journey of being an artist.”

Drexler said she experienced the same kind of support from Day while beginning her career as a competitive swimmer.

"Ms. Day told me that when I decided which school I was going to, I should let her know so she could keep up with my swimming, which made me feel good because it felt like she cared,” Drexler said.

Drexler also wrote in Day’s obituary that she often struggled with her mental health, and Day was someone she counted on to help her continue through her days at school. 

“She was always supportive and understanding, to even the littlest things,” Drexler said. “She is one of the reasons I was able to keep going through school, and through life. She truly was an angel, and I´m so sorry to see her go.” 

Day is this year’s only nominee from Madison.

In the spring of 2024, a national selection committee will review the nominees to determine the award winner. They will select 17 LifeChanger of the Year winners, who can earn up to $10,000 cash to split between the individual and the school district.

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