West ISD Superintendent Marty Crawford was named one of three finalists for the 2014 National LifeChanger of the Year, an award given annually to K-12 educators.

Superintendent Marty Crawford of West Independent School District has been named a finalist for a national educator award.

Colleagues including superintendents George Kazanas and Sandra Talbert of Midway and Lorena ISDs, respectively, nominated Crawford for 2014 LifeChanger of the year, an annual award given to 10 educators who make positive impacts in students’ lives.

Crawford was nominated because of his work getting students back in school after the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion.

“It’s remarkable what he was able to get done before the start of the school year,” said Mark Jacobson, an independent financial planner for area schools who first nominated Crawford. “They were ready to go right away. The temporary facilities and the decking are amazing.”

Crawford said the recovery process for West schools has been a team effort.

“There are so many others that have been involved in the West challenge that are so worthy of an award,” Crawford said. “I think the best thing about the contest is it keeps our district’s name in the public eye, and if I can win an award to bring some notoriety and dollars to the district, I am accepting.”

Crawford is among the top three of the 10 winners. He will find out if he won first, second or third place at a conference in the Bahamas next month. The top prize is $10,000 — $5,000 for the school district and $5,000 for the winner. Second place gets $7,000 and third place $5,000.

There were 435 total nominations from every state for the award. A panel of past winners picked and ranked this year’s winners.

The contest is sponsored by National Life Group, a partnership of financial service companies.