2023 NBC15 Crystal Apple Honorable Mentions

Published: May. 12, 2023 at 6:18 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - In 2023, NBC15 is honoring five Crystal Apple award recipients and naming 10 honorable mentions to recognize teachers in Southern Wisconsin.

2023 Crystal Apple Honorable Mentions:

  • Amanda Dedo – Sandburg Elementary, MMSD: Dedo is a physical education teacher, who was recognized for her work to provide students with exposure to different types of exercise. For example, she acquired 100 skateboards for her students. She collected donated bikes fixed by local students and distributed them to students. She also organizes candlelight hikes.
  • Tammy Smith – Cambria-Friesland School District: Smith is a special education teacher, who had around 50 nominations celebrating her long career of helping students with varying abilities. Smith is retiring after 39 years in the classroom. We thank her for her patience, dedication and commitment, and wish her a wonderful retirement!
  • Rebecca Mai – Cassville High School: Mai is a Spanish and social studies teacher. She is being recognized for her many contributions to the community. She organized a Wall of Honor at the high school for veterans in the community and has been selected to participate in a 10-day trip to Jerusalem to tour a world-renowned Holocaust museum, as well as share the experience with students.
  • Danielle Hardyman – Darlington Middle School: Hardyman is seventh grade science and math teacher. She is being honored for coordinating “Rosie Bags” to give to those in need and for her “Power of the Red Chair” project that built a bridge between the school and the community, engaging many local businesses in celebrating their school spirit.
  • Marsha Rear – Belleville: Rear, a 4k teacher, was nominated for her positive attitude and energy she brings every day to her class of 4 and 5-year-olds, as well as the way she supports her colleagues through the “Sunshine Committee” she created at the elementary school.
  • Jennifer Schwandt – Milton West Elementary School: Schwandt is a special education teacher. She was nominated for her ability to use every minute of every day to see the potential in each child whom she works with and help her students see themselves as capable and able learners. She leads a team of special education assistants and works hard to help all staff members understand how to best support her students. Schwandt is retiring this year, congratulations on a long career!
  • Stephanie Balch – Jackson Elementary School, Janesville: Balch teaches students with emotional and behavioral disorders. She was nominated for the way she makes her students feel like a part of her family, entertaining them in her home, giving them clothes and even taking them on vacations.
  • Bill Conway – Parker High School, Janesville: Conway is a history teacher. He was recognized not only for leading students through growth as historians, but as his nominator put it, more importantly leading them to be kind and empathetic humans.
  • Kristen Sporakowski – Reedsburg High School: Sporakowski is the choir director and Reedsburg’s competitive show choir team director. She received 30 nominations detailing how she inspires students to keep music in their lives.
  • Courtney Klapoetke – Bartels Middle School: Klapoetke is a special education teacher for students in grades 6-8 in Portage. Her nominator called her their building’s miracle worker. Part of her efforts to help her students starts early every morning. She creates a coverage schedule, so any missing staff member’s role is covered.

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