2015-2016 Top 5 Finalist: Marla Cosner

Marla Cosner is an English, Social Studies, and Music teacher at Mesquite Continuation High School in the Sierra Sands Unified School District of California. She is credited with having a profoundly positive impact on the lives of many past and present students of her school.

On February 16, 2016, Mrs. Cosner was surprised by the announcement that she is a LifeChanger of the Year Top 5 Finalist! Mrs. Cosner also attended the National LifeChanger of the Year Awards Ceremony in Los Cabos, Mexico on April 12th, where she received a $2,500 personal cash reward and a $2,500 donation to her school.

Mrs. Cosner is so beloved at Mesquite Continuation High School that many students request to be in her class. While most classes average 15 students, Mrs. Cosner's classes often have between 19-23 students!


Mrs. Cosner shows her students respect and love the minute they enter her classroom. She has a natural ability to recognize students' strengths and capitalize on them to help students build intrinsic motivation with their studies and grades. 

In addition to teaching English and history, Mrs. Cosner leads two music classes – guitar and piano. Outside the classroom, Mrs. Cosner supports the community through the non-profit she helped found, the Ridgecrest Musical Enrichment Society. She appears in most of the productions and spends long hours rehearsing and directing. All proceeds from the productions are donated to support music education within the school district.

Some of the students at the school are the first in their families to earn a diploma. Numerous students have credited for helping them on the path to graduation. Mrs. Cosner has simply changed too many lives to count.

To read the comments left for Mrs. Cosner, visit her nominee profile here.