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Golden Apple Awards

Golden Apple Awards

FOX66, Pioneer Sugar, DM Burr Heating and Cooling, and Graff Automotive Group are proud to present the Golden Apple Awards recognizing outstanding Mid-Michigan teachers!

Stay tuned for the posting of the winning teacher!

Tune in to FOX66 News at 10 on December 3rd to see the winning teacher!

Click here for the official rules.

The Nominees

Amanda Bausack
Algebra 2 and Informal Geometry at Frankenmuth High School

Mrs. Bausack is a wonderful teacher. She is loving, works hard, helps any student in need, and can make Algebra and Geometry a blast. She is a person that will do anything to help you understand the lesson. Amanda Bausack is also very flexible with her schedule so you can get some help before or after school. She is the only person that I know that is in love with math, during class she would tell us a math joke or show us a video to explain the lesson that is being taught that day. The best person for the 2014 Golden Apple Award is a person who is a great teacher, friendly, and loves doing what they do and that person is Mrs. Amanda Bausack.


Andrew Fillwock
High School Health/PE and Science Teacher at Breckenridge High School

Mr. Fillwock cares about the learning of his students and respects his fellow staff. He was also in the military. I believe he should get the award.


Ashleigh Bussinger
2nd Grade Teacher at Kirk Elementary School, Millington

She is amazing. Every day she is smiling and greeting students. She makes each student feel special. She also sets high expectations and strives to meet each students needs.


Ashley Lewis
5th Grade Teacher at Hemmeter Elementary School, Saginaw

It is my privilege to recommend Ashley Lewis for the FOX 66 Golden Apple award. During the past three years, I have had the privilege of serving as Ashley's principal. During this time, I have been extremely impressed with Ashley's work ethic, creativity, leadership skills, and passion to help students reach their full potential.

Ashley's character and attitude are consistently positive and genuine. She is highly reflective and perceptive, consciously strives to improve, and directs her own progress. She is bright and innovative. Ashley understands the importance of collaboration and has always been a tremendous team player.

She is absolutely loved by her students and parents. Ashley volunteers countless hours after school working to help all students succeed. She is willing to do anything it takes to help her students. Ms. Lewis has extensive knowledge in the areas of teaching, learning, curriculum, and assessment.

I cannot think of a person more deserving of this award than Ashley Lewis.


Bethany Wolfgang
Middle School Science Teacher at Breckenridge Middle School

Mrs. Wolfgang is really fun. My favorite class is always the one that she is in. She always has something new planned and listens to what the kids say.


Bobbi Wendling
Middle School Language Arts at Breckenridge Middle School

Mrs. Wendling has really helpe me understand language arts this year. She goes beyond what a normal teacher would teach and helps the whole class understand what exactly you're learning. Language arts used to be a hard subject for me to understand and now it's one of my stronger subjects.


Brenda Butler
Kindergarten Teacher at Whittemore-Prescott Elementary

Brenda goes above and beyond in class and helping staff. She has created videos and productions with her students. Brenda has been a team leader with TRIG technology, mentoring a new teacher and lead fun creative team building, for example a PJ party before school for teachers and their children. Brenda has a creative class and motivates her students to achieve, and work above their potential.


Brian Ciluffo
Middle School Social Studies and High School PE Teacher at Breckenridge Middle & High School

Mr. Ciluffo is a great teacher because he makes class fun and exciting.


Brigette Hendershot
4th Grade Teacher at Handley Elementary School, Saginaw

Mrs. Hendershot is a very good teacher. She is very responsible and has many creative and awesome ideas. She is nice and funny and tells us many stories about her son. Our teacher teaches us in many fun ways, such as educational videos on YouTube. I think Mrs. Hendershot understands her students and she is my favorite teacher so far.


Carrie Hatfield
Kindergarten Teacher at St. Pius Catholic School

Mrs. Hatfield is a wonderful teacher. I first met Mrs. Hatfield a couple years ago. She always a smile on her face and she teaches the Catholic faith to her kiddos. She has fun as teacher and her energy is one of kind. She is always doing special things that are faith related. She is one of the best teachers I have ever came in contact with. She comes from a great family and raises her kiddos along husband Kreg in Catholic way too. She is simply the best!


Chris Deming
Middle School & High School Band & Vocal Music Teacher at Swan Valley Middle & High School

Mr. Deming is the high school and middle school band teacher at Swan Valley. He graduated from CMU and came to us right after and this is his 5th year teaching our kids. I am the band booster president and I have worked closely with Mr. Deming for the last 1 1/2 years. The rapport that he has with the students is unremarkable. He is a young teacher and when I first started I was wondering what he would be like with the students since they were relatively close in age. But he pleasantly surprised me, he not only has their respect and dedication but they have his. He very much enjoys what he does and goes all out for the students. From the beginning of band camp in August throughout the year, he even set it up so that they could go to CMU for a full day of marching band. Being young and a band teacher I don't think that he gets the respect that he deserves at times. He is the only teacher that works both at the high school and middle school. I know that band is sometimes pushed to the back burner because they do not consider it academics or a sport but I have seen Mr. Deming and these kids at work and let me tell you they work just as hard. They have to march, count steps, breath, play an instrument and know the music all at the same time when some of us cannot chew gum and walk at the same time. Please seriously consider Mr. Deming as your Golden Apple teacher, he truly and honestly deserves it.


Corey Hutchinson
HS Band Director at Grand Blanc High School

Mr. Hutchinson has a way with students that gets them to strive for excellence. He is a mentor as well as an instructor. He encourages the students to help each other when they are having trouble with their grades. His students look up to him even when they have graduated. Most of this Band kids go on to college because of "Hutch". He is very revered by his students, passed students, and parents. He is one of the best teachers in the state.


Courtney Verellen
High School History and English Teacher at Gladwin High School

Courtney has been one of the most dedicated, hardworking teachers I know. She truly cares about her students and the profession and has been a positive influence on all whom she has worked with for the past 12 years. She is the advisor of Key Club, one of the leaders of the G-9 (freshmen) academy, and helped start a tennis program for the school. Last April she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent multiple surgeries over the summer. She started chemotherapy a few weeks before school started and has continued to teach through the whole process. Although she could have (and maybe should have) taken some time off, her commitment to what she does won out. She shows up each day with a smile on her face ready to go. Even though she has had the ultimate excuse to take it easy she continues to help with the freshmen “tailgate” parties, float building for homecoming week, Key Club events…you name it. She has always been deserving of recognition for the tremendous work and time she has put in. It just seems that she does now more than ever.


Craig Monahan
High School History Teacher at Swan Valley High School

Mr. Monahan is a fun, lively, and interesting teacher to say the least. I wish I could be in his class all day long. He does fun activities, and makes learning a subject that i absolutely despise into my favorite.That's why I think Mr. Monahan should win the Golden Apple Award.


Dawn Perez
Computers/Business Teacher at Swan Valley High School

Throughout high school, Mrs. Perez has been there for everybody. As a student, I have had her every single year so far, and she has never failed to disappoint. When you ask her a question, she drops everything to answer and help with the understanding process. Not only is she a teacher, but she is a Business Professionals of America (BPA) adviser that thrives for the success of her students. Logging countless hours every day after school helping students with work, or practicing their events, or even just hanging out and talking, you'll see her in her classroom until the late hours of the day. Being the business teacher, it is guaranteed that there isn't a question she doesn't know the answer to. Mrs. Perez is the heart and soul of the technology programs and media productions at Swan Valley High School.


Dawn Totten-Guest
Special Education 6-8 at Jefferson Middle School, Midland

Mrs. Guest teaches students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Jefferson Middle School. This year is her second year of teaching, although you'd never guess it. She pushes her students to be mainstreamed, yet appropriately supported throughout the school. She is positive, energetic, thoughtful and caring towards students, staff and parents. Although she doesn't think so, she is very deserving of recognition for the teaching she does with some of the more difficult students to teach.


Deanna Hardman
High School Secretary at Ashley High School

Deanna is a wonderful person who is always willing to help. She goes above and beyond her regular duties. Her disposition is always kind. She is a great person.


Don Wheeler
High School Agriculture Teacher at Laker High School

Don Wheeler just keeps getting better with age. Now in his 40th year as our AG Science teacher and FFA Advisor, Mr. Wheeler remains tireless in his commitment to his students, program, and community. Boasting one of the most successful FFA chapters in state history, Mr. Wheeler has an energy level and personality that is contagious to those around him. He preaches hard work and dedication, then leads by example, working with students on family farms, AG placements, and community fairs throughout every school year and summer. He also takes the development of student leaders personally, helping many to win state and national recognitions, and countless others to earn college scholarships to continue their personal growth beyond high school. Mr. Wheeler will be impossible to replace, so we hope to have him at Laker High School for at least another 40 years!


Ester Bateman
Spanish Teacher at Siebert Elementary School, Midland

She gets involved with her students like no other teacher. When kids go by her they practically recite the Spanish they practice. This is a teacher that will always help kids out. This is why I think Mrs. Bateman deserves the Golden Apple Award.


Janet Knight
First Grade Teacher at St. Thomas More Academy

Mrs. Knight is a wonderful first grade teacher at St. Thomas More Academy in Burton. He love of Christ and her kindness toward her students is one of a kind. She is great teacher and each year he along fellow teacher Rae Ann Houbeck produces a school play in which entire student body takes part in. She is one of best teachers I know and needs to get a Golden Apple Award.


Jay Gross
High School English Teacher at Shepherd High School

Mr. Gross was my English teacher when I was an 11th and 12th grader. He teaches his students how to use technology in a positive manner, but he is also so inspiring and he makes learning so much fun. I could be having the worst day and he could turn it into a good day. He has had such an impact on everyone. There isn't a single person that would not love him. He so caring, he loves kids and likes to make sure people are ok. One winter, the storm was really bad and he posted on Facebook that if anyone needed groceries he would get them and bring them to their house. He one time bought pizza for my senior class because we handled the ACT test so well and he one time bought my speech class cinnamon rolls for breakfast. To me, when I was in his class, I learned more from him because he taught so much about what it means to live love and how to embrace, and to be more positive than negative. The thing that I liked most about him, he wasn't afraid to be emotional in front of us basically when talking about his life and his family and how much he loves them. He's just such a great guy and a great teacher.


Jennifer Newberry
Elementary School Teacher at Carrollton Elementary School

She is not only concerned about her children as a teacher, but she makes sure they have essentials, like sweaters, hats, scarfs, etc. She shows compassion to each and every student, and genuinely enjoys being a teacher. It's not just a job, but rather a calling.


Joseph Radtke
Middle School Music Instructor at Breckenridge Middle School

Mr. Radtke helps me when needed - I call him the Teacher of Awesomeness! I also like him because he teaches my favorite class as well.


Joshua Chase
High School Band Teacher at Hemlock High School

This man will give his all or nothing everyday of the week to teach us new things. He's kind, and funny thankfully he knows how to keep us high schoolers in hand school wouldn't be the same without a teacher like him there teaching you and guiding you in ways you would never know. Over all you can't take 250 words to describe this man besides in one amazing.


Joy Odette
8th Grade Teacher at Mt. Morris Middle School

Mrs. Odttee is the most amazing teacher ever. She's the nicest person you will ever meet. She can have a hard edge but that means she loves you. She knows how to brighten the moment when things are dark. You could never have a better teacher than her.


Julie Avery
4th Grade Teacher at Myers Elementary School, Grand Blanc

Mrs. Avery is a very dedicated teacher who makes sure each student's individual needs are met. She is caring, kind, and dedicated to teaching every single student that comes into her classroom. She works hard to make sure each child feels accepted within the classroom and makes sure any and all special needs are addressed.


Kathleen Sweeney
Career's in Education/Early Childhood at Tuscola Technology Center

Mrs. Sweeney has been a wonderful mentor. Taking her course I have matured professionally and she has put much faith in me. She is a very hard worker and is always busy with numerous projects. She is such a loving person and an inspiration for me to work harder to become a teacher!


Kim Hunalt
4th Grade Teacher at Morrish Elementary School, Swartz Creek

Kim is an outstanding teacher who goes above and beyond for her students. For example, most days she comes in early and leaves late to go over lessons, work with students, and prepare the learning environment. Also, Kim has her own Open House each year for students before school. She says that she wants students to feel comfortable with their new classroom. Kim does community service projects with her students such as #socktober, where her class works together to get the whole school to donate socks to others in need. Kim often buys snacks, coats, boots, and supplies for those students who cannot afford their own. Kim Hunalt is a wonderful teacher and I believe she deserves an A+!


Kylee Hoerner
7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher at Chesaning Middle School

Mrs. Hoerner is an outstanding role model for her students! Her genuine care and compassion for each of her students is unquestionable. She goes out of her way to form positive relationship with her students. Mrs. Hoerner is a very dedicated teacher. She is very involved with her students through the classroom as well as coaching volleyball and volunteering her time when needed. She is firm, yet caring. She truly cares if her students learn the material and she is always looking for ways to teach a concept.


Linda Patton
2nd Grade Teacher at Hillcrest Elementary, Alma

Mrs. Patton has been a teacher at Alma Public Schools for over 25 years. She still has the same spark, energy, and passion for her position as a new teacher, frequently taking classes on the weekends to learn new things and new ways to teach her students. Mrs. Patton tutors students after school on her own time for free and gives the student a ride home if they do not have one. Mrs. Patton helps out with summer school by picking students and parents up and even getting treats for them after they attend. Mrs. Patton is a kind, gentle, teacher who looks for the best, and finds it, in every child in her classroom. Mrs. Patton will never give up on a child or their family. She is a wonderful colleague, willing to share materials and ideas and mentor new teachers, always giving back to the profession. Mrs. Patton is a lifelong learner who represents the best in all of us. She finds ways to "hook" her students by planning lessons that are motivating and interesting. Mrs. Patton is a gift to the education profession. She has a lot to teach all of us and her students lives are blessed for life!


Lisa Gotham
5th Grade Teacher at Weiss Elementary School, Saginaw

Lisa is one of the hardest working and most dedicated teachers. She is also my wife. People are constantly telling me she is great. I see all of the extra hours that she donates. I keep expecting someone to nominate her, but I'm sure that 5th graders have other things on their minds. All teachers need to be appreciated, but Lisa is one of the very best!


Lisa Gregory
High School English Teacher at Breckenridge High School

I choose Ms. Gregory because she is a great teacher. She always helps us as much as we need; she goes more in depth on our questions. She always has a positive attitude. She is easy to get along with. Ms. Gregory always has a smile on her face. She is the nicest person in the world. I have never once heard her yell in her life. She is a really sweet teacher and I would be happy to see her get this award.


Malena Marr
High School Science and Math at Breckenridge High School

This teacher is just a great all around teacher. She is very good at teaching everyone many different things that relate to anything math or science. This teacher's best trait is how caring she is. She cares about not only how good people do in her class, but also about the sports they are involved in, their college lives, and their future. She is also the adviser for the National Honors Society at our school. She always tries to make sure that we are using what we learn in her classes to help us in the future. This year I have her for both Trig/Pre-Calculus and Advanced Chemistry. In both of these classes she is trying to teach us things so that at the end of the year we can take a clep test and the information that we learn all year can help us get college credits and not have to spend as much money and time when we go to college. She also is concerned about our ACT tests and she gives us tips on how to take it as well as practice tests and tells us
about classes that we can take to raise our ACT scores. Mrs. Marr is just a very caring person who worries about the students lives outside of just the classroom.


Malena Marr
High school Chemistry and Physics Teacher at Breckenridge High School

Mrs. Marr is by far the best teacher I have had in a long time. She makes learning more fun and teaches in a way that I understand. She definitely deserves this award. I knew the first day of school this year was going to be great!


Martie Piechowski
4th Grade Teacher at Morrish Elementary School, Swartz Creek

My wife is one of the most dedicated and beloved teachers I've ever known. I do not exaggerate when I say I rarely see her take time off. Whether it is lesson planning, grading, or staying in touch with parents, she also spends much of her free time at her student's soccer games, dance events, plays, etc. She has become a district leader in integrating technology and sits on various committees and leadership teams. Her business cards that she gave to her parents at open house even has a scan on the back so you can scan your smart phone and it takes you directly to her classroom website which is a constantly updated newsletter. To add to that, she is now going after her second Master's degree. This one in Central Office Administration to hopefully one day become a Superintendent. She is the perfect choice for the Golden Apple Award.


Mary Toll
2nd Grade Teacher at Edgerton Elementary School, Clio

She has helped our son in many ways. Instead of punishing him for his behavior, she is figuring out why he is acting out, which we believe is a learning disorder. She takes a positive approach which is what we like. She goes above and beyond for her kids.


Matt Jacob
7th & 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher at Swan Valley Middle School

I think Mr. Jacob is one of the most influential and amazing teachers at Swan Valley Middle School. In his class, I can joke around yet still get my work done. Every day that I walk into his classroom I have a smile on my face. Why? Because each and every day I learn something new that I can use in and outside of the classroom. I have learned many things from him, and am excited for the rest of the year. Mr. Jacob definitely deserves this award!


Melissa Trato
1st Grade Teacher at Kirk Elementary School, Millington

She always goes above and beyond in every way for all of her students. She's kind, generous, loving and has an amazing way of getting the children to learn. She's an amazing teacher!!


Michele McDonald
Special Education Teacher at Coleman High School

She is my daughters teacher for math and she is just a all-around wonderful, kind, awesome person. Her and my daughter actual didn't get along but she knew how to get through to her and get her to understand math now my daughter thinks if her as a go-to person to talk to her about everything and anything. I think now a days you need a teacher to be able to do that with and with Mrs. McDonald she is just a great kind of teacher and she would definitely deserve this!!


Mr. Baker
11th & 12th grade Physics Teacher at Frankenmuth High School

Mr. Baker is always overly helpful and wants to see you succeed. He always makes sure we understand what we are learning and have the concepts down to the best of our ability.


Mr. Conger
11th Grade English Teacher at Frankenmuth High School

Mr. Conger is a tremendously engaging and caring teacher. His class was a real learning experience, we learned how to interpret our own meaning from literature and to express our thoughts in writing. Mr. Conger truly cares about the success of his students, he goes above and beyond to create a productive and safe learning environment. I think that Mr. Conger deserves recognition for the extra effort he puts into teaching his students.


Mr. Cornelius
High School US History Teacher at Frankenmuth High School

Mr. Cornelius makes history come alive. He can really explain the grand story of history so that it is interesting. Mr. Cornelius also teaches his students how to think critically and analytically about events in history, how they are all connected and why they are important for the future. I think that Mr. Cornelius is a diamond in the rough at Frankenmuth High School and deserves to be recognized.


Natalle Richmond
3rd Grade Teacher at Handley Elementary School, Saginaw

My daughter wanted to nominate her teacher because she is a funny teacher. My daughter loves Mrs.Richmond and is excited to go to school. Mrs Richmond treats all her students with respect there for she has no problem getting respect from her kids. Mrs.Richmond pays attention to her students needs and helps them become successful. Her class room is very organized and runs very smooth. I as a parent appreciate the communication she has with us. I feel very comfortable contacting her for any of my concerns about my daughter. My older daughter had her for a teacher 3 years ago. Mrs Richmond helped her grow with confidence and self-esteem. And went out of her way to help her with her reading.


Paul Gilbert
7th Grade History Teacher at Breckenridge Middle School

Everyone likes to learn history with Mr. Gilbert. Not only does he use helpful activities to teach us, he makes learning fun. He is a very nice teacher, he tells us stories about himself and his family. I really think that he makes school very fun!


Rebekah Hildreth
Special Education Teacher at Atherton Elementary School

Miss. Hildreth is always willing to go above and beyond for her special needs students. She puts in countless hours and clearly has a special place in her heart for each of her students. She has been a tremendous support and is always willing to step forward with a new idea to help better all of her students.


Sandy Cook
Instructional Specialist at Elms Road Elementary, Swartz Creek

Mrs. Cook is an exceptional teacher and person. She serves as an instructional specialist at our school. Through this role, she provides opportunities to meet with teachers and talk about best practice. She leads book studies, serves on School Improvement Team, and plans and works many Family Nights. She is held in high-esteem by parents, staff members, and administrators. The effort she puts forth to make the life of students better is admirable! She is a child advocate and teacher leader in every aspect of the definition. She deserves this recognition. Thank you!


Sue Dust
High school, grades 9-12 at OMNI Alternative High School, Carrollton

Sue Dust has been a teacher at OMNI for 23 years. She is a true professional who realizes that learning is ongoing and that there is always much to learn. Sue provides a motivated and proactive approach to teaching, providing students with hand-on activities that keep them interested. Sue is efficient in maintaining a friendly and pleasant classroom atmosphere as well as learning environment that contributes to a positive feeling of self-worth in he students. Her contribution to our school and its functioning well is beyond reproach. Her dedication and tireless effort to our students, our program, and our building is exemplary and compliment the outstanding job she does overall. It is without reservation that I believe Sue Dust is deserving of the Golden Apple Award.


Terri Northrup
Middle School Math and Language Arts Teacher at Breckenridge Middle School

She is the best teacher in the world. She has helped me so much and she is so pretty! I really love her hair. I love her so much because she is really nice but also strict. She really cares about all of us. She is like a mom.


Terri Reeves
High School English Teacher at Saint Louis High School

Terri Reeves was my 12th grade English teacher. She was one of my favorite teachers. She would go out of her way to help her students out. I learned so much from her. She is one of the reasons I am a better/stronger writer. I would love to have her as a teacher again.


Torie Ray
High School Math Teacher at Swan Valley High School

Torie Ray pushes students to succeed. Her students say she is “easy to be around, and open to any questions,” and that “she explains well.” She is a teacher of teachers, who challenges colleagues to keep abreast of new trends in education. She has helped to transform learning for our students through the implementation of technology. She engages, teaches, listens, and meets the needs of all of the teens in her charge with a disarming smile and confidence building nature. Mrs. Ray believes that all students can learn, and teaches in an integrated classroom of general education and learning challenged students. Her ability to differentiate instruction helps all students to achieve.

Ray serves as the chair of our School Improvement Team, has been an integral part of the curriculum development and revision process. She helped to create new courses that meet the needs of our ever-changing students. Torie Ray understands that, just like “Leo the Lion,” some students need a little more time to master curriculum, and serves as a summer school teacher to help those teens finish class requirements and prepare to succeed in the next school year.

From float building and chaperoning dances to organizing community volunteers and beautification day projects, Mrs. Ray’s lesson extend far beyond the classroom.

Mrs. Torie Ray is truly a 21st Century Educator, and an excellent choice for the Golden Apple Teacher.


Tracy Natzel
4th Grade Teacher at Beal City Elementary School

Ms. Natzel is a tremendous educator. Not only does she do a great job in the classroom, but she also tutors students after school and during the summer. If their is one person who is reserving of this type of recognition, it would be Ms. Natzel.


Valerie Baldwin
Special Education Teacher at Swan Valley High School

She is an amazing person and is very understanding!


Yong Lipovsky
4th Grade Teacher at Adams Elementary School, Midland

I loved Mrs. Lipovsky. She was my favorite teacher. She had the best ideas, she was super funny, and she always had different voices for read aloud. She went out of her way to make something fun and cute. She always made us laugh, never ever got mad, and forgave us when we forgot our homework or we forgot to do it. She would let us have dance parties and let us listen to music. She cared for us. She would bring us snacks and if we forgot a snack she would have some extras. She was loving and caring and always had a smile on her face. I hope you pick her. Thank you!


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