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A sneak peek at October’s Golden Apple Award winner

Previewing the October Golden Apple Award winner

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — WISH-TV celebrates extraordinary teachers in central Indiana with the WISH-TV Golden Apple Award. It comes with a trophy, a school supply shopping spree to Teachers’ Treasures, and a surprise visit from the News 8 team. 

  • October’s winner will be announced on WISH-TV Daybreak on Tuesday morning!

October’s winner has spent a lifetime inspiring students in Lapel. She’s been teaching choir in the district for almost six decades. Her students say she deserves an award for her years of service alone; however, her ability to use music to inspire kids has changed lives through the generations.

“She has been teaching for almost 60 years,” Micah Walls said. She’s a district music teacher and a former student of the winner.

“I think I was 11 years old when she moved into this district,” Micah’s mom, Rose Walls, said. She’s another former choir student and former teacher in the district.

Camden, a 16-year-old student at Lapel High School, added: “It has been 58 years now; is how long she has been teaching.”

This teacher started in the district in the 1960s. She made music part of the curriculum, created the show choir program, and became a living legend in Lapel.

“Oh, she’s an icon. She’s like royalty; she is like Lapel royalty,” Novak added

“She is just a staple to this community,” Andrew Evelo, a 15-year-old Lapel High School sophomore, said.

Freshman Jordyn Taliaferro, 14, said, “Everybody knows her, everybody loves her. Younger kids are excited to come here and have her as a teacher, people who have graduated say she was the best part of my high school experience.”

Students say a key to her success over the years is her persistence and the way she interacts with students. She really cares about what students have to say.

“She really cares about what we think and she really listens to our opinions,” 16-year-old student Charlotte Holmes said.

This teacher listens to students and the songs they might like. She also treats her students as if they were her own.

“She doesn’t have kids of her own, so I definitely think we are all her children,” Holmes added.

Fellow teachers and school staff feel the same way. Lapel High School Principal Matt Boles says this teacher was his high school choir teacher and she has always been devoted to her students and the arts.

“She’s only here two hours of the day teaching, but she is always here,” Boles said. “Her passion and professionalism are really unparalleled. I mean, she comes in every day with a smile on her face and I think this just drives her.”

That’s what drove former student Micah Walls to send WISH-TV a nomination for the Golden Apple Award.

“Where do I start? Well, she has taught for 58 years — can I say that again? Just under six decades — over half of a century,” Walls wrote in the nomination.

You can see that emotional surprise and meet our October winner on Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m. on Daybreak! You can livestream the show here.

Click here to watch other Golden Apple Award recipients.

To nominate a deserving teacher for November’s Golden Apple Award, submit a detailed nomination here.