Northstar Middle School math teacher honored with Golden Apple award

Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 7:27 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The next stop in our Golden Apple award visits takes us to Northstar Middle School to honor someone who is a fixture not only as a classroom teacher but also as a long-time basketball coach in our area.

“I have some really awesome news, are you ready for some good news. Mrs. Peplinski is awarded the Golden Apple award for excellence in teaching!”

Congratulations to Northstar math teacher Michelle Peplinski for being chosen by her peers as the 2022-23 Golden Apple recipient. Affectionately know as Ms. Pep or Coach Pep, Michelle preaches the “little victories” for her students in a subject that can certainly be intimidating. She also uses her coaching talents to be a motivator in the classroom.

“One thing that I’ve learned about whether its coaching or teaching is that kids are motivated by small successes. So I think with math, coming into sixth grade, they are kind of scared of it or nervous or maybe they can’t do it,” says Peplinski. So what I do or try to let them see something small that they’re successful with and usually when they can be successful with the first thing you can kind of build on that to additional concepts and so if you can make it fun and a little bit more competitive in the classroom and make it like they feel they’re winning I think it makes a big difference.”

“Someone who has been very strong in the classroom but she also puts her heart and soul into helping students on the basketball court. So she’s been involved in basketball coaching, helping with state tournaments, in the summer she works in AAU to help students be prepared for college basketball so her life 24/7 is to help kids be the very best they can be,” adds Laura Nicolet, Northstar Middle School principal.

Again, congratulations to Michelle Peplinski, she and Northstar Middle School will each receive $500 from the Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation. Michelle will also receive a beautiful golden apple crystal at the awards banquet in April.