2020 Crystal Apple honorable mentions

2020 Crystal Apple Honorable Mentions
2020 Crystal Apple Honorable Mentions(NBC15)
Published: May. 5, 2020 at 6:21 PM CDT
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This year NBC15 is honoring five Crystal Apple awards and naming 20 honorable mentions to celebrate 25 years of recognizing teachers in Southern Wisconsin.

NBC15 received more than 650 nominations from 65 districts for the 2020 Crystal Apple Awards.

2020 Crystal Apple honorable mentions
  • Penny Bohringer: Teaches second grade at Boscobel Elementary. Nominated for her hands-on teaching style and efforts to promote learning in a fun way for students at home.
  • Kate Grabow: A kindergarten teacher at Our Redeemer Lutheran School in Delavan. She was nominated for encouraging students in both their strengths and weaknesses so they can develop confidence.
  • Kerrie Rashid: Teaches kindergarten at Lodi Primary School. She was nominated for helping kids develop a love of school early on and surprised her students with personalized yard signs telling them how much she misses them after school closed during the pandemic.
  • Nicole Sander: An elementary special education teacher at Highland Community Schools. She was nominated for her work to secure multiple grants to add new technology and a robotic therapy dog that her students can talk to, read to, and play with.
  • Sarah Gorres: A third grade teacher at Yahara Elementary in DeForest. NBC15 received a letter from every student in her classroom talking about how she makes them feel special.
  • David Holmquist: An English teacher a Craig High School in Janesville. His students created a book with 40 nominations describing his positive personality, and his efforts to make sure students enjoy learning.
  • Jennifer Schrab: Teaches third grade at Jefferson Elementary in Janesville. She was nominated for connecting her students to the world and together helped to donate items to children at a school in Africa.
  • Jody Smithback: A fourth grade teacher at Sullivan Elementary in Palmyra. She was nominated for promoting hands-on learning and leading multiple after-school projects and clubs.
  • Jane Danley: She is retiring this year after more than 20 years as a bilingual resource teacher in Madison. She was most recently at Nuestro Mundo Community School.
  • Melissa Hernandez: Teaches First grade at Elvehjem Elementary in Madison. She was nominated for diving into research around the science of reading and making sure all her students are on track in learning to read.
  • Katherine Tuinstra-Scherek: She is the music director at Jefferson High School. She was nominated for not only focusing on academics, but also on students’ well-being. She is retiring this year.
  • Mackensie Wade: Teaches at Milton West Elementary in Janesville. She was nominated for building a foundation for lifelong learning among her students and helping one in particular with the grief process while teaching their classmates on how to be kind to a struggling friend.
  • Jeffrey Behrens: He is the band director at Richland Center High School. He was nominated for giving his students opportunities to perform at larger venues, like the State Capitol and State Education Convention.
  • Ann Beier: Teaches fourth grade at Mount Horeb Intermediate School. She was nominated for teaching her students to strive for peace and understanding through her "peace program."
  • Susie Belzer: Teaches art at Rockwell Elementary School in Fort Atkinson. She was nominated for using her Facebook and YouTube channel to share art lessons as soon as schools closed due to COVID-19.
  • Marsy Koca: She teaches eighth grade at Gordon Olson Middle School in Mauston. She was nominated by 11 students for making her classes a positive learning environment.
  • Gale Chartier: Teaches first grade at Stoner Prairie Elementary in the Verona Area School District. She is retiring this year after 30 years in the classroom.
  • Rick Evans Teaches history and government at Clark Street Community School in Middleton. He was nominated for addressing each student's needs individually and bringing his personal passion for music and songwriting to the school's guitar shop club.
  • Wendy Judd: She teaches kindergarten at Sunset Ridge Elementary School in Middleton. She was nominated for starting the "Do Something Good Club" which provides students with an opportunity to give back to the community.
  • Amy Weber:A fifth grade teacher at Glacier Creek in Cross Plains. She was nominated for finding ways to connect virtually to the community of the classroom.
Thank you to all of our Crystal Apple nominees, especially during these troubling times amid COVID-19 and for finding ways to reach out and inspire your students.