Congratulations to Our Golden Apple Award Winners!

May 2024 Winner: Kathy Hinkley

May 2024 Golden Apple Award Winner Kathy HinkleyCongratulations to Kathy Hinkley, our May Jan Dils Golden Apple Award winner!

Kathy has been teaching for almost 30 years, with 9 of those at Vienna Elementary School. Kathy says she KNEW when she was in 2nd grade that she would be a teacher.

Not only is Kathy highly involved in the school functions, she says the most fun parts about her job are the after-school activities, where she has the opportunity to connect even more with her students and parents.

If it weren’t evident in her smile, Kathy genuinely loves what she does every single day. She also made sure to recognize everyone that she works with and how she couldn’t do what she does without the help from her fellow teachers and staff at Vienna Elementary. THAT is why we’re honored to present her with our Jan Dils Golden Apple Award. Congrats, Kathy!


April 2024 Winner: Nicki Foggin

Congratulations to our April Jan Dils Golden Apple Award winner, Nicki Foggin!

Nicki is a Speech Pathology teacher at Madison Elementary School and if you can’t tell from the pictures, it’s difficult to catch a moment where she ISN’T smiling. She radiates positivity and you can’t help but smile when you’re in the same room as her! Nicki’s compassion with her students is admirable, and the way she’s able to connect with everyone is really something special.

We’re so excited to present our Golden Apple Award to someone as deserving as Nicki. Thank you so much for everything you do, and again, congratulations!




March 2024 Winner: Alyssa Gump

Congratulations to Alyssa Gump, our March Jan Dils Golden Apple Award winner!

Alyssa is a Reading Interventionist at Criss Elementary School. She starts every day by greeting each student with a smile. She actively creates engaging lessons to help encourage her students and instill confidence in the school.

Not only does Mrs. Gump participate in PTA, school events, and fundraisers, she is a lifelong learner who continues taking classes on reading and other subjects. She’s currently taking a class that will help the entire county with teaching reading! Very cool!

Alyssa always makes sure the students at Criss Elementary feel safe, and wants everyone to be excited about learning. Thank you for everything that you do, Mrs. Gump. Congrats again!

February 2024 Winner: Ronald Talbott

Congratulations to our February Jan Dils Golden Apple Award winner, Ronald Talbott!

Ronald is often called the “Yes Man” at Jackson Middle School because he’s always willing to tackle anything that needs done. Even though he’s taken on a very time-consuming job as head of a department within the education system, he still makes time for his students; whether it’s working one-on-one during his down time, helping run an after school Makers Club, or assisting with the school’s Video Competition Team.

His kind and sympathetic nature has created a welcoming presence, and Ronald is loved and appreciated by students, parents, co-workers, and anyone else who has the pleasure of meeting him.

We are honored to present the Jan Dils Golden Apple Award to Mr. Talbott and wish him the best in his years to come. Congratulations, Ronald!

January 2024 Winner: Jamie McBride

The winner of our January Jan Dils Golden Apple Award is Jamie McBride!

Sometimes you meet a teacher who just “gets it” and Jamie is the perfect representation of this. Her genuine care and passion for her students is so evident as soon as she starts talking about her job.

We are honored to present this award to Jamie and are thankful to have teachers like her in our community. Congratulations!

December 2023 Winner: Sam Young

Join us in congratulating our Jan Dils Golden Apple Award winner for December, Sam Young!

Sam is a special needs teacher at Hamilton Middle School and also coaches football and track & field, though he is always more than happy to help with anything the school needs.

“I think just make it about the kids. I think if you come in here and enjoy your job, and just care about them, that’s really the most important thing. That you’re here for them.”

We couldn’t agree more, and we’re very honored to present this award to Sam. Congrats again!

November 2023 Winner: Tammy Koreski

Congratulations to the winner of our November Jan Dils Golden Apple Award, Tammy Koreski!

This nomination was a bit special, as it came from a student rather than a parent or co-worker. Ethan is a current student of Tammy’s, and has been on the wrestling team that she coaches for three years now. He nominated Tammy because she’s dedicated to helping students, not only in the classroom but in their personal lives as well.

When even your students can see how dedicated you are to teaching, you know you’ve made a difference. Tammy, thank you so much for your care and dedication to your students and the relationships you’ve built in and out of the classroom. Congratulations!

October 2023 Winner: Leigh Husted

Congratulations to Leigh Husted, winner of the Jan Dils Golden Apple Award for October! Leigh is a Multi-Categorical teacher at Warren Middle School and just recently earned her doctorate at Drexel University!

Not only does Leigh come in on weekends to help students outside of normal hours, she also leads a Zoomba class! She takes pride in keeping a very close relationship with her students and parents, and even keeps in contact with parents of past students now in their 40’s!

Leigh’s passion for teaching is just one of the many things we admire about her, and we’re delighted to present our Golden Apple Award to her on this wonderful Halloween! Congrats again, Leigh!

September 2023 Winner: Leanne Sturm

Our September 2023 Jan Dils Golden Apple Award winner, and first winner of this school year, is Leanne Sturm! Leanne has been teaching first grade at Parkersburg Catholic Elementary School for over 20 years, but her roots at the school go much deeper than that.

Leanne has fond memories as a child going to work with her mom when she was a teacher at Parkersburg Catholic Elementary. After she retired, Leanne happily took her place and has actually taught two of her own children!

Leanne strives to help her students feel valued and reach their full potential. She makes sure they are consistently engaged in their learning and feel heard. Leanne also involves parents by actively communicating with them and providing volunteer opportunities in classroom activities.

This is the first time the Jan Dils Golden Apple has been awarded at Parkersburg Catholic Elementary and we couldn’t have asked for a more deserving teacher than Leanne! If she’s not instilling values of love, compassion, and respect inside the classroom, she’s either tutoring students in the community or attending activities of current or former students. Leanne, thank you for everything you do inside and outside of Parkersburg Catholic Elementary. Congratulations!

May 2023 Winner: Jed Corra

Congratulations to our Golden Apple Award winner for the month of May, Jed Corra! Jed has been a band teacher at Williamstown Middle/High School for four years, and in that time has more than doubled the members. On top of spending countless hours preparing the marching band for football games, parades, and competitions, he also spends an equal amount of time sharing compassion with his students to make sure they get the practice they need & providing a comforting environment for everyone. Jed has also been known to give personal instruments to students going to college to further their musical education. We are so inspired & honored to present this award to Jed!


April 2023 Winner: JT Nesselroad

Our Golden Apple Award winner for April is Edison Middle School physical education teacher, JT Nesselroad! Aside from his normal PE duties, JT has single-handedly organized a school Olympics for all grades the past two years. He also created a snack cart for students and athletes to help raise money for students in need. JT always attends events and out-of-school functions in order to be engaged and support his students. Congratulations, JT!

March 2023 Winner: Cindy Burton

This month’s Golden Apple Award goes to Cindy Burton! In her 31 years of teaching first grade at Phillips Elementary School, Cindy has always strived to provide excellent support to her students. Her work extends beyond the classroom as she often takes on additional responsibilities like photographing school events or even stepping in when the school didn’t have a music teacher for one year. We are proud of the work you do Cindy, congratulations again!

February 2023 Winner: Kayla Johnson

Our Jan Dils Golden Apple Award winner for February is Kayla Johnson! She has been teaching Cross Cat at Warren Elementary for 7 years. Kayla has been an incredible asset to the Warren campus and dedicates her days to her students who vary in their educational needs and disability severity. She has cultivated a caring and dedicated team of aids to support her mission of helping her students, and spends individualized time with each one as much as she can. Her dedication to making sure all of her students feel valued is exactly why she deserves every ounce of this award. Congratulations & thank you for everything that you do, Kayla!

January 2023 Winner: Michele Ferch

The Golden Apple Awards are back for the new year! We are excited to announce Michele Ferch as our first Golden Apple Award winner of 2023! Michele is a religion teacher who has taught at Parkersburg Catholic High School for 8 years. Beyond providing excellent care and support to her students, Michele also connects them with the community by hosting food drives. Congratulations again Michele!

December 2022 Winner: Sam Vincent

We take great pleasure in announcing Sam Vincent as our December Golden Apple Winner! Sam himself was a student at Parkersburg High School where he is back teaching social studies, a goal he strived for since college. Sam is also responsible for writing the curriculum for a new class that blends sports and American culture. We appreciate everything you do Sam!

November 2022 Winner: William Cosby

Congratulations to William Cosby, our well-deserved November Golden Apple Award winner! William is a band teacher who has taught at Blennerhassett Middle School for the past eight years. He gives his all to his students whether it’s spending extra time after school for rehearsals or even helping the students excel at competitions. We appreciate all that you do William!

October 2022 Winner: Cate Shuman

A big congratulations are in order for Cate Shuman, our October Golden Apple Award winner! Cate is a kindergarten teacher at Greenmont Elementary School who has shown her ability to connect with students and give personalized support when needed.

When one of her students suffered an injury, she took it upon herself to ensure their well-being by having her class send cards for encouragement and being flexible with the student as they recovered. This recognition is well-deserved!

September 2022 Winner: Sherry Morris

We are happy to announce that Sherry Morris has been chosen as our September Golden Apple Award winner! Sherry has brought valuable insights and initiatives to work in her 37 years of being a teacher. Her passion and unique teaching style is greatly appreciated as former students with children of their own now request Sherry.

It is an honor to recognize a teacher who truly loves what they do, congratulations again Sherry!






May 2022 Winner: Sheila Mays

Congratulations to Sheila Mays, our winner this month! Mays is a kindergarten teacher at North Christian School. She has been teaching for 48 years! Many say she is compassionate and has a great love for her students. She goes above and beyond by coming in during the summer to make sure students are getting extra help they may need to be prepared for the coming school year. Mays shows the children that it’s important to give back by having them collect shoes for the Friendship Kitchen in Parkersburg.

Sheila Mays, you truly deserve to be honored! She will be the last winner of this school year’s Golden Apple Awards, but we will resume this coming August!

April 2022 Winner: Bethany Lemon

Congratulations to Bethany Lemon! She has been selected as our April 2022 Golden Apple winner. As a first grade teacher at Oak Grove Christian School in Marietta, Ohio. She spends her time outside of the classroom planning school events and attending them too! During the most recent school dance, Lemon was out there on the dance floor making sure that all of the students were having fun.

In the classroom, she has been recognized for her commitment to her students. She even turned her classroom into an ice-skating rink while her students were learning about snow and ice in science class. The students got to skate on the rink by taking off their shoes and sliding around on shaving cream. How fun and creative! Congratulations Bethany Lemon! You deserve this recognition.






March 2022 Winner: Kelley Arnold

Congratulations to Kelley Arnold for being nominated at Jan Dils’ March 2022 Golden Apple winner! Mrs. Arnold is a teacher at Saint Johns Central School and has been teaching for 35 years. She teaches reading and spelling to grades 5th through 8th. She also teaches physical education to students in kindergarten through 8th grade.

She goes above and beyond the classroom experience, especially last summer when she converted her classroom into a Harry Potter-themed Hogwarts school. Mrs. Arnold takes pride in giving her students experiences outside school. For example, she recently took her students on a class trip to Washington DC! Kelley Arnold thank you for everything you do and you truly deserve this award!





February 2022 Winner: Kathy Martin

Mrs. Martin is one of the sweetest, kindest, and most compassionate teachers we have met! She is always willing to help make difficult situations more manageable. For example, one time one of her students left their assignment in the classroom. Mrs. Martin was generous enough to make the trip, on her day off, to the student’s house to drop off the work so that the student wouldn’t fall behind. She is certain to check in when she knows students are experiencing personal issues and even has had other students write cards for another student if they are not feeling well and home sick. Mrs. Martin is a very selfless leader and cares deeply for her students. Congratulations! You truly deserve this award!




January 2022 Winner: Tracy Varner

Mrs. Varner is a wonderful and outstanding 4th-grade teacher at Belpre Elementary School. Mrs. Varner’s day doesn’t end when she leaves the classroom and she continuously chooses to put her students above all else. She is great at staying in touch with parents and replies to them when they call. One time during the pandemic, she brought milkshakes as a reward to her students who had completed their work on time! She takes it a step further and even attends her students’ sporting events!

One of our favorite things about Mrs. Varner is that she is always reminding her students how important education is. She uses her own personal time to help her students with anything they may need and often helps implement at-home strategies with parents to make learning fun and easy. Teachers possess a tremendous amount of power to make a child’s life better and Mrs. Varner, without a doubt, does just that! We have seen how she has touched the lives of so many students and know that she deserves this award.

Congratulations Mrs. Varner!


December 2021 Winner: Hannah Miller

Miss Hannah’s dedication to her job is evident in how much she loves her special education students and how they respond to her. She maintains a positive attitude, energetic personality, and pleasant nature that instills a willingness into her students to learn as much as they can. In addition to having a great relationship with her students, she also has a wonderful relationship with the students’ parents, communicating through notes and emails. Miss Hannah not only teaches the required academic material, but she also teaches the importance of life skills. For example, her students get to cook every Friday!

Miss Hannah is constantly going above and beyond by planning fun outings for the students. For example, this past Fall, she organized an outing to Butcher’s Farm where students got to paint pumpkins, go on a hayride, and participate in other activities. She also celebrates each students’ Birthday with a party and presents to make them feel special.

Congratulations on winning our December Golden Apple award! You are truly deserving of this honor for your attitude and your efforts inside and outside of the classroom!

November 2021 Winner: Stephanie Fobes

Stephanie Fobes

Mrs. Fobes is a cheerful, engaging, empowering, and selfless teacher at Salem-Liberty Elementary. She is always willing to go the extra mile and does things for her students after school and throughout the summer. It’s clear how much she truly values each of her students. Mrs. Forbes is supportive of them and always aware of their needs, as she meets them where they are and helps them progress. In addition to being a superstar in the classroom, she also attends and volunteers for after-school and weekend events held by the PTO or the school. She truly goes above and beyond for her kids and the community.

Congratulations Stephanie Fobes! You deserve this honor!



October 2021 Winner: Christine Washburn

Christine has been a teacher at Wood County Schools for 51 YEARS! Christine’s classroom is made up of students with special needs and she is excellent at understanding and working with these students. Despite her opportunity to retire at 62, she chooses to continue spending her time in the classroom and is passionate about her job. Christine even volunteers at the Special Olympics in Parkersburg every year without fail! Congratulations Christine Washburn – you truly deserve to be recognized!





September 2021 Winner: Megan Greer

Megan Greer is a kindergarten teacher at Greenmont Elementary School. Megan was nominated by a fellow teacher at the school for being an outstanding teacher. She was nominated specifically for her phenomenal virtual teaching style, her ability to adjust to different students’ needs, and for her ability to make every student in her classroom feel comfortable. Our firm had fun surprising Megan with this award and seeing her happy, emotional reaction. We are so thankful for Megan’s devotion to her students and it’s clear that she loves what she does and works very hard at it.





May 2021 Winner: Nerissa Hall

Mrs. Hall is a 4th Grade teacher at Warren Elementary School. Despite having to teach virtually, she works very hard for her students and makes an evident effort to get to know them each on a deeper level. Mrs. Hall often works overtime into the evening or even on weekends. We believe that she is the ultimate example of grace and patience. In addition to teaching her children the classroom material, Mrs. Hall helps her students build character, resilience, and shows them how to persevere. 

Our May Golden Apple winner is one of the most encouraging teachers both in the classroom and outside of it as well! When her students become frustrated and don’t understand something or fail an assignment, Mrs. Hall is right there with soothing and encouraging words. She knows when to push them and when to give them space. 

In addition to overcoming the challenge of virtual teaching, Mrs. Hall also has nine students with disabilities that require Individualized Education Plans. She puts in hours of extra work to ensure these students have what they need to succeed in the day’s lesson. She never makes her frustrations visible, despite having to deal with power outages and schedule conflicts, all on top of virtual learning. She is truly one of the most phenomenal teachers we have ever met!

Congratulations Nerissa Hall! 

April 2021 Winner: Donza Dawson

Mrs. Dawson has been a teacher at Jefferson Elementary Center for 13 years. During that time she has taken on many extra responsibilities in order to make the students’ experiences the absolute best they can be. For example, she has worked extended-day tutoring, served on the strategic planning committee, worked on the leadership team, helped out at school carnivals, served as P.T.A. treasurer, and much more. In addition to enhancing the students’ experiences, she serves as a role model to all incoming teachers.

Mrs. Dawson goes above and beyond by analyzing data to see where there may be gaps in learning for students and she works to fix them. She arrives at school well before the buses do and stays until well after they leave in order to put in all of this extra work. She often helps out at other grade levels as well. One memorable time was when she dressed up as a dinosaur and visited all of the Kindergarten classes when they started the dinosaur unit of study.

On a more personal level, Mrs. Dawson is always someone the students can come to if they need to talk to someone and she’s always ready and willing to help. She makes the effort to build a relationship of mutual respect and trust with all students as well as their parents. If a student comes to class with a problem, she will work with them to come up with a solution or game plan and help them feel better. She is a wonderful teacher, mentor, and friend to all.

Congratulations Donza Dawson! You truly deserve this recognition!

March 2021 Winner: Wayne Hanzel

Mr. Hanzel teaches all levels of industrial technology, woodworking, and architecture and the positive impact he has had on the campus, the staff, and the student body does not go unnoticed. He spends hours of his own time to ensure that his students receive the items they build in his classes. For example, many students are not able to initially take home the items they make in his class, such as tables or chairs, due to lack of transportation. Mr. Hanzel will personally deliver them himself!

Mr. Hanzel has mentored a handful of students over the years. Some of his students do not have a positive influence to look up to in their lives and are unmotivated to attend their classes. When students come to school, it’s because they are looking forward to Mr. Hanzel’s class and he helps them do/learn what they love.

Wayne Hanzel always has his students’ best interests in mind. Students of all genders choose to take his classes many years in a row. Many of these “repeat” students work on semester-long independent projects that heavily involve large-scale builds, rebuilds of vehicles/tractors, as well as smaller projects. Our favorite example is from a few years ago when one student teamed up with Mr. Hanzel to build a life size playhouse that was donated to the Ronald McDonald House. You can check it out here!

Congratulations Wayne Hanzel!

February 2021 Winner: Patricia Ringer

Mrs. Ringer is a first grade teacher at Greenmont Elementary. She has done a phenomenal job teaching during the pandemic, despite the challenges that she has faced. She has a true connection with each of her students and is able to keep the 6 year olds focused even though she is not physically with them. One of her students’ favorite things about Mrs. Ringer are the funny voices she uses while reading out loud to the students. She is regarded as one of the kindest teachers and is truly passionate about her job and her students. Additionally, Mrs. Ringer spends time volunteering at school fundraisers and voluntarily attending meetings to get to know students’ parents better. She is a truly remarkable teacher in every way and that is why we were thrilled to present her with the February Golden Apple!

Congratulations Patricia!

January 2021 Winner: Haley Bonar

Haley Bonar is a teacher in the Autism unit at Belpre Elementary School. She was nominated by many because of her dedication to her students and the school, plus the smile she comes to work with each day. She is loved by students and teachers alike. Haley has the special ability to focus on each child’s individual needs and is sure to make time for them to grow and be successful. She also encourages her students to make the best choices they can while figuring out each of their personality quirks to help them further their growth as young students She is truly a blessing to the children in her class and to our community!

Congratulations Haley!

December 2020 Winner: Jessica Brewer

Christmas came early for one deserving teacher this year. Jessica Brewer, a first-grade teacher at Neale Elementary School in Vienna, West Virginia was awarded the Jan Dils Golden Apple Award for the month of December.

No surprise to her colleagues, as Jessica is known for her contagious and energetic personality that extends far beyond just the students in her classroom. A member of the school’s PTO, Jessica is involved with every activity the school has to offer.
Her love and passion for teaching shined when schools came to an abrupt close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even without the classroom, Ms. Brewer’s teaching never stopped. She continued to teach classes on Zoom and remained available to her students and their parents for personal one on one meetings, even extending into the summer months for extra learning.

“Kiss your brains!”

Before the days of endless sanitizing, mask wearing and social distancing, Jessica was known for her compassion with the kids in her classroom – offering hugs and high fives when students were feeling down. With her catchphrase, “kiss your brains,” she would often tell students when they answer questions correctly.

Jessica Brewer continues to encourage her students to do their best, offering extra help when they struggle. It’s no surprise as to why she was awarded December’s Golden Apple Award.

Congratulations, Jessica!

November 2020 Winner: Chasity McDonald

Congratulations to the November 2020 Jan Dils Golden Apple Award winner Chasity McDonald. Mrs. McDonald teaches 6th and 8th grade Language classes at Jackson Middle School in Vienna, West Virginia.

Mrs. McDonald has been in education for 13 years and says the best thing about teaching is the students themselves, and remembering the bigger picture is the key to being a successful teacher. Chasity possesses an overwhelming amount of compassion and is always there for her students no matter what they are going through. She builds them up when they are down, encourages them when they are full of doubt, and best of all, promotes kindness unlike any other.

“You are there as an educator but, you’re there for your students. Sometimes for your students, the greatest thing they need is encouragement. It may not be learning how to place commas, or learning about a compound sentence, it may be the encouragement for that day is more important than the learning,” – Chasity McDonald

If you have a teacher you’d like to nominate, visit WTAP’s Golden Apple Award Nomination page to cast your nomination, today!

October 2020 Winner: Bill Vincent

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law is thrilled to announce Bill Vincent as the October 2020 Jan Dils Golden Apple Award winner. Mr. Vincent is the Wood County Middle School Athletic Director and coordinates athletic programs at, Hamilton, Van Devender, Edison, and Blennerhassett middle schools in Wood County, West Virginia.

His responsibilities include scheduling and coordinating all middle school athletic events for Football, Cross Country, Tennis, Golf, Volleyball, Cheerleading, Basketball, Wrestling and Track. Mr. Vincent’s devotion and passion for his position and his commitment shines in each program and season that opens and closes.

Bill has spent his entire career dedicated to the betterment of education and the enhancement of student athletics. His devotion around the clock to support student athletes and the entire coaching staff for each of the middle schools in Wood County.

“Watching the success of the athletes as they come up through middle school, and then to the next level of high school, and then beyond that to college, that really makes you feel like you’re doing something,” – Bill Vincent

If you have a teacher you’d like to nominate, visit WTAP’s Golden Apple Award Nomination page to cast your nomination, today!

September 2020 Winner: Matt Gwynn

School is back in session – for the most part anyway. That means it’s time for our first Jan Dils Golden Apple Award of 2020. Our September Golden Apple Award was awarded to Matt Gwynn! Mr. Gwynn is a 5th Grade teacher at Mineral Wells Elementary School where he is beloved by students, both past and present, as well as his revered colleagues.

A Veteran, Matt teaches his students to know what being a veteran, or being in the military, means for the country and to themselves. “We hear a lot about the youth is our future, and sometimes I think people use that as cliché. However, there couldn’t be any more truth in that. The day is going to come when our time of leading the country is over, and it’s going to be their turn. I just want them to be as prepared as they can be,” said Gwynn.

Recounting the lessons he’s taught his students throughout the years, Mr. Gwynn speaks of the countless messages he’s received from past students on Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and 9/11 – letting him know to simply, never forget! “It lets me know that these kids to do care. I think in today’s world, it’s a little topsy-turvy right now, but that’s something we can always hold on to. This is America, and its always going to be America as long as we stand up for her, and it starts with them.”

Congratulations on this most deserving award, Mr. Gwynn, and thank you for your service!

May 2020 Winner: Chad Rinard

School is out… for… the summer!

Although, it feels like schools let out months ago after being forced to move online due to the pandemic.

2020 has brought everlasting change for many of us, and our 2020 May Golden Apple Award winner has found something positive through the struggles.

Chad Rinard, the Principal at Marietta High School has been in education for twenty years, and says this year’s virtual graduation was one of the most rewarding moments of his career.

“For the first time in my high school administrative experience, it was neat to see graduation with a personal connection with the families. We saw hugs and salutes, because this is the first time that we had family members hand the diploma to the graduates.” – Chad

Chad is known by his colleagues to be tough, but empathetic with an open door policy that has been helpful throughout COVID-19.

Rinard will officially be presented with his Jan Dils Golden Apple Award and a gift from Baker & Baker Jewelers in the coming weeks.

If you have a teacher who you would like to nominate, visit the Jan Dils Golden Apple section of WTAP.com to submit your nomination.

April 2020 Winner: Karen Sprout

The final months of Karen Sprout’s teaching career have been nothing short of memorable.

With a global pandemic amongst us, our April 2020 Golden Apple Award winner continues to impact the day to day lives of her students. Although we aren’t able to present her award in person, the honor she deserves remains the same.

Mrs. Sprout has many wonderful ways of showing how much she cares for each student. One of those special activities happening in her classroom is the awarding of “Super Student Cards”. These cards are notes from Sprout to each student and their parents encouraging teamwork and acknowledging areas where the student has greatly improved or excelled.

“I just like that freshness and the excitement they have for school and I love instilling that love of learning in them. I want them to be life-long learners and I want them to love being at school,” Karen added.

With 15 years in the classroom, and 8 at Lubeck Elementary as a Pre-K teacher, Karen encourages parents to spend as much time with their children as they can – explaining how magical and special it can be to be the parent of a young child.

When asked what she will miss most about teaching when she is retired, she simply said, “everything”.

Sprout will officially be presented the Jan Dils Golden Apple Award and gift from Baker & Baker Jewelers in the coming weeks, once social distancing orders have been lifted.

March 2020 Winner: Audrey Reynolds

To learn about our March 2020 winner, Audrey Reynolds, head here!

February 2020 Winners: Andy & Barbara Sleek

In case you missed it, we wanted to take this opportunity to again congratulate Barbara and Andy Sleek. They were the winners of February’s Golden Apple Award, and it was the first time in Jan Dils history that the award was given to two teachers simultaneously!

Andy and Barbara are husband and wife, and combined they have nearly 60 years of teaching experience.

Both teach math at Fort Frye High School in Beverly, Ohio.

Barbara’s advice to new teachers is “to find somewhere where you love the kids because it’s really about the kids and that is what’s kept us here.”

And Andy commented that he feels an important part of teaching is being able to “find something that you have a passion for and relate that passion to your students.”

To nominate a teacher you know for the Jan Dils Golden Apple Award, click here.

January 2020 Winner: Caitlin Stewart

To see our January 2020 winner, Caitlin Stewart, head to this page!

December 2019 Winner: Tammy Fisher

To see our December 2019 winner, Tammy Fisher, head to this page!

November 2019 Winner: Kim White

Here at Jan Dils, we do our best to recognize those in our local community who are having a positive impact. Our Golden Apple Award honors outstanding local educators, and we’re pleased to recognize Kim White as our latest recipient.

Kim is a first-grade teacher at Madison Elementary here in Parkersburg. She has been a teacher for 28 years, with the last eight being at Madison.

When asked what makes her students special, White replied “They want to learn…They’re loving and caring. School is their favorite place to come to, and when they come in each morning, they’re happy to see me.”

White went on to explain that her advice to a new teacher would be, “to stick with it. Yeah, you’re going to have hard years, but the good years outshine the rest by far and you’re going to make lifelong learners.”

She noted that some of the children she taught in elementary school years ago are now teachers in the local school system themselves.

Regarding the Golden Apple Award, White said, “I’ve seen it on TV and I always thought, ‘Wow, that’s really nice that a student or family has thought that much of their teacher to make that effort. It means a lot to me…and especially because it’s a parent who notices [my work], that’s very important to me.”

Congratulations to Kim, we here at the firm appreciate all of your hard work!

October 2019 Winner: Stephanie Brock

To see our October 2019 winner, Stephanie Brock, head to this page!

September 2019 Winner: Melissia Birge

To see our September 2019 winner, Melissia Birge, head to this page!

May 2019 Winner: Becky Iman

To see our May 2019 winner, Becky Iman, head to this page!

April 2019 Winner: Melissa Whitehair

To see our April 2019 winner, Melissa Whitehair, head to this page!

March 2019 Winner: Jason Czerr

To see our March 2019 winner, Jason Czerr, head to this page!

February 2019 Winner: Rick Dobson

To see our February 2019 winner, Rick Dobson, head to this page!

January 2019 Winner: Todd Meckley

We are excited to announce Mr. Todd Meckley as the January 2019 Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law Golden Apple Award Winner for January 2019. Mr. Meckley is an anatomy teacher at Parkersburg South High School. He was nominated by a former student who claimed Mr. Meckley was an inspiration. The nomination form listed several instances in which Mr. Meckley went the extra mile for his students. One particular example which stood out involved taking students to Alderson Broaddus to learn more about medicine.

Mr. Meckley was also nominated for his collaboration with his fellow educators. He works with his peers, and they recently created several learning projects which were well received.

Congrats Mr. Meckley, and keep up the great work!

December 2018 Winner: Kathleen Cornell

To see our December 2018 winner, Kathleen Cornell, head to this page!

November 2018 Winner: Cindi Taylor

To see our November 2018 winner, Cindy Taylor, head to this page!

October 2018 Winner: Curtis Shriver

To see our October 2018 winner, Curtis Shriver, head to this page!

September 2018 Winner: Lori Estes

On September 25th, 2018, team Jan Dils awarded the first Golden Apple Award of the new school year to Lori Estes of St. Mary Catholic School. Mrs. Estes is a Fourth Grade teacher who shows dedication to her students. Mrs. Estes was nominated by a fellow teacher.

Mrs. Estes was nominated for many reasons, including tutoring her students after school. She always encourages her students to try new things. Mrs. Estes also arranges charitable efforts for her students to participate. They have recently created a haunted house and they’re also gearing up for Operation Christmas Child.

When Mrs. Estes received the award, the students and staff of St. Mary Catholic School were excited to see their teacher get the recognition she deserves.

January 2018 Winner: Mike Fallon

It’s safe to say our Golden Apple Award winners are popular at their school. They are often a favorite with students, parents, and other teachers. However, sometimes a teacher is a favorite in a much bigger sense. Our January 2018 Golden Apple Winner showed us that a teacher can have an impact that reaches often a favorite with students, parents, and other teachers. However, sometimes a teacher is a favorite in a much bigger sense. Our January 2018 Golden Apple Winner showed us that a teacher can have an impact that reaches

They are often a favorite with students, parents, and other teachers. However, sometimes a teacher is a favorite in a much bigger sense. Our January 2018 Golden Apple Winner showed us that a teacher can have an impact that reaches.

Original 2006 Winner: Tammy McKnight

In January, we finally awarded our 100th Golden Apple Award. Nici Kunze Liotti received the award in January 2018. However, 12 years and 99 winners came before her. When we were planning our 100th Winner celebration, we wanted to go back to the first time. We wanted to catch up with our first winner.

In 2006, Tammy McKnight was a mathematics teacher at Hamilton Junior High School. (Now Hamilton Middle School.) She stated that she remembers the award ceremony quite well. She states that she knew something was up because the principal told the teachers to prepare for an assembly, but wouldn’t tell the teachers why there was an assembly. Mrs. McKnight recalled that her friend Pam Reeves kept telling the students that Hannah Montana was coming to the school. (In 2006 Hannah Montana was a fictional character portrayed by Miley Cyrus on the Disney Channel.) She then recalled sitting at the assembly with her fellow teachers. She then described the moments during the reading of the nomination. Her friend, Kathy Morehead, kept telling her that she knew it was her.

We asked Mrs. McKnight if she remembered who nominated her, and she stated that she did. It was the mother of a student who was appreciative of her work. Mrs. McKnight helped a young student who needed some extra help with his work. Mrs. McKnight helped the student with his work after class.

During our conversation, we wanted to learn what Mrs. McKnight was up to now. It turns out Mrs. McKnight isn’t a teacher anymore. Instead, she works for Wood County Schools. When she left Hamilton Middle School, Mrs. McKnight worked as an Instructional Coach. She then transitioned to an Innovation and Improvement Specialist. In this position, she works with teachers and schools to help them better improve the curriculum for students.

We had a lot of fun catching up with Mrs. McKnight. We encourage you to watch her entire interview posted above. Tammy McKnight set the bar high for the 99 winners who were to follow. We appreciate her time, and we’re so glad that she stopped by to talk to us.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law