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Lutz principal recognized for dedication to students

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published February 17, 2020

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — John Nader changes lives every day as principal of the Lutz School for Work Experience. A student’s mother recently wanted him to know the difference he’s made in her son’s life.

Nader was nominated by parent Tina Priebe as a 2019-20 national LifeChanger of the Year. Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, the commemoration recognizes and rewards K-12 educators and school district employees nationally who make a difference “by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.”

Other criteria include enhancing school or district atmosphere, culture and pride; possessing a proven track record of professionalism; adhering to the highest moral and ethical standards; and showing commitment to building a nurturing environment steeped in learning.

Hundreds of nominations are made annually from all 50 states. A total of 17 awards will be given this school year. Winners will be announced via surprise award ceremonies held at nominees’ schools.

One grand prize winner will receive $10,000 to be shared with their school and district — as well as be honored and revealed at a national ceremony in April in Florida.

Priebe nominated Nader because she has gotten to know him quite well — even before he was the principal where her son, Chad Campbell, 25, attends school. She said Nader had actually retired a few years back, but came out of retirement.

“For me, that was actually a blessing,” Priebe said.

Campbell, who began attending Lutz at age 18, is nonverbal. Much of his communication involves pointing or using pictures.

“They are thrown into a work atmosphere and learn how to be as independent as possible,” Priebe said.

Nader has known Campbell since he was 3 years old and in the ISD system. Priebe said Nader gets his joy from his involvement with kids. He doesn’t pick favorites. And he even came out of retirement to be around kids.

“(Nader’s) always got a smile on his face, and he loves them as much as they love him,” she said.

She nominated Nader after doing her own research in regard to rewarding principals. She said there really isn’t that much in the arena of honoring those who work with kids like Campbell who require extra attention and are excluded from certain activities.

“It’s all about the kids for (Nader), and his staff, and promoting harmony,” she said.

When asked how he felt about being nominated, Nader said he was “honored and flattered.” Otherwise, he said he didn’t want any extra attention.

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