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Eastside Elementary Assistant Principal Lauren Kennedy was surprised in a school assembly Monday, March 5, 2018, with the news that she is a finalist for the 2017-2018 nominee for Life Changer of the Year Award.

DENHAM SPRINGS — Eastside Elementary Assistant Principal Lauren Kennedy was honored at her school Monday morning as a finalist for the national 2017-2018 Life Changer of the Year Award.

Representatives from the national award program, along with school and community leaders, attended the surprise event held in the school's multi-purpose facility.

"We are so excited that Lauren's efforts are being recognized at the national level. She is a most worthy recipient of this honor, and we believe she could be named the overall winner," Eastside Elementary Principal Kelly LaBauve said.

The award recognizes K-12 educators and school employees across the nation who make a significant difference in the lives of others by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.

Kennedy is credited with flood relief efforts for her school's community following the August 2016 flood. She also counsels her colleagues on personal and professional matters, and she instituted a "check-in, check-out" program to positively influence students on the campus.