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2022 NBC15 Crystal Apple Honorable Mentions

Published: May. 6, 2022 at 6:30 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 10:29 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - In 2022, NBC15 is honoring five Crystal Apple awards and naming 10 honorable mentions to recognize teachers in Southern Wisconsin.

2022 Crystal Apple Honorable Mentions

  • Debbie Shell and Jeff Ladwig, Prairie Ridge Intermediate School: The pair was nominated as a duo! Both are fourth grade teachers at Prairie Ridge Intermediate School. Debbie was nominated for being a mentor who helped build up other successful teachers because of her guidance. Jeff was nominated for his role in organizing many enriching activities, including an overnight bike trip for students. They started teaching in the same year, 1989, and are both retiring this year.
  • Emily Utzig, New Century School in Verona: Utzig is a combined kindergarten and first grade teacher. She was nominated for helping her young students take on service projects to give back to the community and for teaching them about citizenship and the importance of veterans.
  • Larry Gundlach, New Century School in Verona: Gundlach was nominated for instilling a love of learning and exploration through innovative lessons like underwater mapping using snorkeling gear in the school’s pool and shipwreck hunting on Lake Mendota.
  • Elizabeth Hansen, Portage High School: Hansen, a social studies teacher, was chosen for her work to create a free store in the school called “The Market.” It provides students, staff and the community with free produce, non-perishables, toiletries and other supplies.
  • Laurie Considine, Lewiston Elementary School in Portage: The fifth grade teacher, who is retiring this year, was nominated by her class for her kindness, compassion and humor. They highlighted how she calls “Fireball!” as the kickball pitcher.
  • Anna Acker, Token Springs Elementary School in Sun Prairie: Acker, an art teacher, was nominated for her efforts involving the students in community art projects. This includes the Sun Prairie Children’s Museum, where she created a mosaic mural of hundreds of small tiles designed by her students.
  • Kimberly Hillary, Mount Horeb High School: The school librarian was nominated for her diligent work in adding new books to meet the needs of the students. She was also nominated for her collaboration with other teachers on their lessons to create meaningful opportunities for students.
  • Courtney Norton, River Valley Middle School: Norton is a special education teacher. She was nominated for working tirelessly to help her students succeed, including by dropping off resources at the students’ homes to make sure they don’t fall behind.
  • Barbara Bielec, Biopharmaceutical Technology Center Institute: Bielec was nominated for her ability to challenge her students to embrace the learning process. She even creates original jingles to help her students remember difficult concepts.

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