Eleven local educators were recognized Tuesday evening during the eighteenth annual Golden Apple Awards. Tears were shed, and laughs were shared as fourteen current Rose State College students took the time to recognize former educators and mentors who've made an impact on their lives. The Golden Apple Awards allow current Rose State students the opportunity to submit an essay that highlights a former K-12 educator. Award recipients attended a banquet on Tuesday evening, where the students shared their stories and the difference each of the award recipients has made. Since 2001, Rose State College has award over two hundred Golden Apples.
“What’s really cool about the Golden Apples is we ask our students to reflect on a teacher,” said Lance Newbold, Vice President of Student Affairs at Rose State College. “Some of the stories we hear are incredible, and for some of these teachers, this will be an amazing evening.”
Over ninety essays were received this year, with a team of individuals from various departments at Rose State College evaluating each nomination.
"We're not looking for a perfect essay when looking through the nominations," said Newbold. "We're looking for the best story."
The stories that were shared demonstrated the significant impact of these educators. One student shared the story of his lifelong battle with dyslexia, and how a special teacher supported and helped him overcome this challenge and see it as a strength. Another shared of her homeschool education tragically cut short, and the impact of the woman who volunteered to continue homeschooling her and her siblings.
“I bring my extra box of Kleenex each year,” said Newbold. “These teachers are out there making a difference in these young people’s lives, and it’s really rewarding to see them be recognized.”
Recipients of the 2019 Golden Apple Awards include, Barbara Bayless of James Griffith Intermediate School, Heath Dale Kufahl of Christian Heritage Academy, Thomas Harris of Midwest City High School, Joe Hughes of Harding Charter Preparatory School, Charita Hunt of Barnes Elementary, David Koehn of Edmond Memorial High School, Nanette Miller, a Homeschool Educator, Carrie Milligan of Harrah High School, Tyler Schilly of Mount St. Mary Catholic High School, Samantha Sy of Northwest Classen High School, and Ranell Zurmehly of Carl Albert High School.
“[Coach Harris] is the most passionate teacher that I have ever met. He is passionate about what he teaches, about his students, and most important of all, he is passionate about his job,” wrote Jeffrey Habel in his nomination of Midwest City High School’s Thomas Harris. “He made such an impact in my life, and that motivates me to make him proud.”