School district five custodian nominated for National LifeChanger of the Year Award

March 25, 2024

Dutch Fork High School custodian Fredrick Ruff has been nominated for National Life Group’s 2023-24 LifeChanger of the Year award. Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, LifeChanger of the Year recognizes and rewards the very best K-12 educators and school district employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.

“To be a nominee for this award is extremely joyful,” Ruff said. “It signifies the validation of my efforts, but also shows the support and appreciation of others. Being a nominee is motivation to continue having a positive effect on others.”

Ruff is a reliable custodian and is always available to go the extra mile for the community at Dutch Fork High School. Every day he is prepared for any challenge thrown his way. Dutch Fork High School acknowledges the significant role he plays for the school through his custodian work and care for the staff & children.

Ruff was nominated by a friend, Barbara Williams, “I observed three students that came into an altercation during lunchtime at the school in the cafeteria area,” said Williams. “Fredrick immediately, without hesitation, stepped in to assist and separate the young men. Then, he offered to coach and counsel them about why he interfered and felt he needed to educate those young men on the importance of good behavior and education. Although administrators handled the altercation, Mr. Ruff felt it was in his best interest to make sure those gentlemen apologized to each other. He spoke to each one individually about the disruption they may have caused the school. Mr. Ruff is a mentor, a custodian, and a great team player at work.”

Each school year, LifeChanger of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Seventeen individual LifeChanger of the Year awards will be given during the 2023-2024 school year.

One grand prize winner will receive $10,000, which will be shared with their school and school district; four finalists will receive $5,000, and 10 will receive $3,000. One Spirit Award is given to the nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school or district. One Spotlight Award Winner is given to a nominee in a specific discipline each year. The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school or district.

Winners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals and will be announced later this year. Nominees must be K-12 teachers or school district employees.

To be considered for an award, nominees must:

  •          Make a positive impact on the lives of students
  •           Enhance their school or district’s atmosphere, culture and pride
  •           Demonstrate exemplary leadership at the school or district level
  •           Possess a proven record of professional excellence
  •           Show commitment to building a nurturing environment that supports learning
  •           Adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards

To view Fredrick Ruff’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile visit