Monrovia teacher honored for ‘outdoor classroom’

MONROVIA, Ind. (WISH) — WISH-TV’s Golden Apple team went to Morgan County this month to honor October’s winner, and they didn’t have to look far beyond the side lawn of Monrovia Elementary School. 

First-grade teacher Mrs. Casey Honkomp is often seen outside the school, instead of in a classroom. She team teaches with Ms. Shannon Turpin and the two are dedicated to spending more time outside than inside. A quick glance around the “classroom,” and you can see the kids love it. 

Parent Abigail Clark nominated Mrs. Honkomp, saying her son is in her class and loves going to school every day. 

“You go from excuses of I don’t want to go to school to excuses to go to school,” said Clark. 

She explained Mrs. Honkomp runs a classroom garden where the students spend part of their recess time learning about plants, bugs and harvest.

They also take the tomatoes, zucchinis and other veggies and make foods like salsa and zucchini brownies. 

Mrs. Honkomp also rescued 18 monarch caterpillars, according to Ms. Turpin, and raised them into butterflies with the students. The class now enjoys spending time in a butterfly garden. 

Nomination video for Mrs. Casey Honkomp (WISH)

Another favorite of Mrs. Honkomp’s teaching tool are her two dogs, who she brings into class on Mondays for special doggy reading time. The kids read books to the dogs and said they aren’t worried about making mistakes in front of a friendly pet. 

Golden Apple sponsor Bailey and Wood, a mortgage lender in central Indiana, presented Mrs. Honkomp with a golden apple trophy, a $500 check and their heartfelt thanks for her work with our state’s young students. 

Mrs. Honkomp was quick to say she’ll spend the money on the garden for future classes. 

WISH-TV’s Golden Apple team is already looking for our November winner! You can nominate a central Indiana teacher at this link and be sure to tell us why your favorite teacher should win the Golden Apple Award. 

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