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A Look Inside: Golden Apple Awards

Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 8:31 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Throughout the month of February, WEAU is proud to partner with the Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation and local businesses to honor educators and staff in the Eau Claire Area School District with the Golden Apple Awards. An opportunity to take “A Look Inside” at those making a difference in the lives of our children.

“They just show up, they just continue to show up day after day after day and they have the most important job in the world they’re with our kids. Showing them how much we appreciate all that they do and how much they love our kids is really important,” says Sarah French, Executive Director of the Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation.

ECASD Superintendent Michael Johnson says it’s important to recognize educators dedication in the classroom, “Teachers and staff, anybody working in education, usually they’ve got quite a bit of humility. they’re very humble people, they don’t want a big show, they don’t want that publicity necessarily, but there are times like this with the golden apple that it’s necessary. We need to promote that positivity.”

“It is my honor to honor Patty Campbell with the Golden Apple Award...”

“Each school is sponsored by a business in the community and our businesses love to be a part of this because it makes them feel good too that they’re investing in education. We couldn’t do this without our sponsors, we could not give out this grant funding that our teachers use in their classrooms to take their kids on field trips, to buy new flexible seating for their classrooms or all that immersive innovative stuff for their kids,” adds French.

“Let’s hear it for Mrs. Cooley!”

“The Golden Apples are nominated by their peers and colleagues in each building, so it’s an anonymous nomination form. That’s another thing that makes this recognition really special for our teachers and support staff is that it’s their colleagues and their peers that are saying, ‘I really love working with this person, I see this person showing up day after day doing awesome things for our kids.’”

“One of the things that people comment on again and again how much they appreciate is that the Golden Apples can be for any school staff. It could be a first grade teacher, it could be a custodian, it could be a school counselor or the cook.”

“We’re all here to celebrate you.”

“It’s such a great celebration. People bring out the balloons and flowers and they make special posters and principals are like scheming behind the scenes and they’ll bring in the honorees family and they’ll have their kids or their parents show up. You see so many tears, people just get goose bumps and they tear up. It’s just really special.”

“And what I love is that almost all of the people when they are recognized and the tears stop flowing and they’ve lost that emotional piece, they thank their colleagues,” says Johnson.

“I’m overwhelmed. I know that it’s a community thing though. It takes all of us.”

“I’m inspired every day by coming around and just seeing what everybody else is doing and how they’re doing it differently.”

“It’s interesting when we go in and surprise, they’re always shocked, they’re always surprised and they’re always like, “but all of us are amazing, why me?’”

“This month is so very special for the entire district because of those celebrations at each school. I think as a district, it brings all of us together.”

If you’d like to attend the Golden Apple banquet on April 14th at The Florian Gardens, you can register here.

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