Plato said the direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.
Yesterday, six outstanding educators and two exceptional volunteers were honored with the Golden Apple award, presented by the Utah PTA and KUED, recognizing six outstanding educators and two exceptional volunteers.
I had the privilege of reviewing the many applications submitted, accompanied by the unenviable task of selecting those to receive the award. All who were nominated give much of themselves to the children they teach and the schools they are part of. It made selecting only a few recipients very difficult.
Though it had been a busy week and I was sleepy when I began reading, I was completely captivated by what these teachers are accomplishing and soon found myself wide awake and unable to put the book down.
There were stories of junior high teachers that students love, of students realizing they could do more than they thought they could, of second graders that didn’t want to miss a day at school even when they were sick. There were stories of kindness that built confidence, of teachers who saw potential in students that renewed parents, of hours of preparation, and of genuine love and profound commitment. Parents, PTA presidents, administrators, and others wrote glowing comments about the teachers that inspired their students, but perhaps the most inspiring were comments from the students.
“Mrs. Jones makes learning fun,” wrote one 9th grade student. “I had never liked English class – it seemed boring to me. But not with Mrs. Jones! At the beginning, I loved her but was just not excited to learn. After the first few days, my feelings changed.”
To spark motivation and a love of learning is a gift. As I learned about some of Utah’s teachers, I saw that happening in kindergarten, in 2nd grade, in junior high and in high school.
“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education,” said President John F. Kennedy. “The human mind is our fundamental resource.”
Thank goodness for good teachers. They are key to unlocking our potential, contributing to fulfilling and prosperous futures for our students, communities, and state.
Coordinator, Prosperity 2020