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A sneak peek at January’s Golden Apple Award winner

HSE teacher helps students think outside the box

FISHERS, Ind. (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.

  • January’s winner will be announced on WISH-TV Daybreak on Friday morning!

This month’s winner helps her students and peers think in new ways. She’s a Hamilton Southeastern first grade teacher and specializes in getting students to reach their highest potential.

Inside New Britton Elementary School in Fishers, there’s a teacher students of all ages love.

“She is an amazing teacher who loves students and always engages,” 8-year-old Mira Parab said.

8-year-old Henry Barger added, “She’s nice, and she always helps us when we need help.”

“Every single one of her students loves her, and we know she loves us as well,” 8-year-old Maddyn Sweeney said.

That love from this teacher lasts for years. Mira is in the third grade but still stops by her class every morning.

“She is my favorite teacher, as I mentioned,” Mira said. “She pushes us toward learning but not aggressively. She does it slowly and steadily.”

Maddyn is in the second grade and says this teacher is simply unforgettable.

“She is funny, she’s kind, and she helps a lot… and clumsy! When we were walking in line one time, she tripped, and well, we helped her up. But it was still funny,” Maddyn said.

This teacher uses creative thinking in the classroom and characters or games that help students learn through enjoyment.

“A lot of dressing up, and my favorite dress up was when she was Fancy Nancy when we did a Fancy Nancy boss battle,” Maddyn added.

Henry is in the second grade and says creativity comes to life in her class.

“She encouraged us to be creative,” Henry explained. “Like a math game or a learning game. So then we would learn and also have fun.”

Fellow teachers say she even encourages them to think outside the box.

“She makes all of us here be better,” Jill Mayer, a second grade teacher, said.

Mayer is this teacher’s counterpart in the school.

“She is dynamic, she is collaborative, and she is always willing to share. But I think the best quality about her is that she is humble. She will be the first to give her credit back to her students and the people who work around her – when in actuality, she just makes us better,” Mayer explained.

This teacher’s specialty is in extending high-level learning in students. She’s a mom of two and understands that different kids learn differently.

She’s also the high-ability coordinator at New Britton Elementary School, meaning she helps teachers across her school and the district learn to lift these students.

“When you walk into her classroom, and you see her interactions with kids, you start to understand that she is like magic. They are transformed. They are watching her. They are waiting to see what she is going to do next, and that is what you want in a teacher,” said Lori Mankin.

Mankin is the principal of New Britton Elementary School. She says this teacher is so skilled that she was both the school’s and the district’s elementary Teacher of the Year in 2022.

“She is setting these kids up to have a lifelong love of learning, and I couldn’t ask for anything more than that as a parent,” Alysia Prunier said.

Prunier’s son is in first grade. She wanted to say “thank you” and sent News 8 a nomination for the WISH-TV Golden Apple Award.

“She is such an extraordinary teacher, the way she sparks curiosity and joy in my own son and all of the kids. She is extraordinary. She just goes the extra mile, and I wanted to make sure she was recognized for that,” Prunier explained.

So Hanna Mordoh and the News 8 team went to surprise her.

You can see that emotional surprise and meet our January winner on Friday at 7:30 a.m. on Daybreak! You can also live stream the show here.

Click here to watch other Golden Apple Award recipients.

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