Meet 2022 Crystal Apple Winner Deb Molle!
As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, NBC15 is excited to announce our Crystal Apple winners, including Mrs. Deb Molle from Mineral Point! The Crystal Apple award recognizes teachers who touch the lives of students in extra special ways. NBC15 received almost 650 nominations from 164 schools in southern Wisconsin.
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Mrs. Molle is in her last year of teaching at Mineral Point Elementary School. She’s been a teacher for 36 years, and has been at the elementary school for 34 years. She’s taught every grade except for kindergarten and fourth grade.
While she loves every grade she has gotten the opportunity to work with, she loved 3rd grade the best. Molle started her career teaching third graders, and that’s how she will end her career.
“I’ve always loved Mineral Point. I love the community, I love the teachers, I love these kids. I love all the kids I’ve ever had and to retire is super hard, because I want to leave when I still love it, and I still love it,” she said.
Molle has created quite the legacy. She’s become an instrumental member of the community, and is an integral part in the Pointer Pantry. The pantry is a program that helps nearly 100 kids in the community. It’s designed for students who are at risk for food. Each week, the members make out gift certificates so families can get food staples that they need, such as bread, eggs, milk, and cheese.
There are about 25 families in the program.
“We don’t want anyone to ever go hungry and come to school and feel like they haven’t had a meal. We want them to feel safe, and fed and like we care about the whole person and not just teaching,” Molle said.
She also spends time with the Oak Savannah Project, something she helped continue on after former teacher Don Hawkins left. She and her students harvest and plant oak tree seeds, and when they begin to sprout, they put them back into the forest.
Her legacy within the community also extends to her family. She inspired her three daughters to become teachers.
“I had been in the classroom with my parents since I can remember and I never really considered anything else.” said Kelsey Del Ponte. Del Ponte is in her eleventh year teaching.
She currently teaches high school English at Muskego High School.
“She’s a pillar of the community, that’s what she is. I don’t know how they’re going to fill her shoes next year, just because she does so much without people ever knowing it.”
Megan Cooley is currently a Lancaster High School special ed teacher. This is her thirteenth year teaching.
“My first memories are riding our big wheels around the hallways at my parents’ schools while they were setting up their classrooms and as soon as we could we were setting up bulletin boards. Every memory we have is in the public schools and so like Kelsey, it was never a question.”
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