ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Prairie Elementary's Appel named Worthington's Teacher of the Year

WORTHINGTON -- A Prairie Elementary teacher was presented with the 2017 Education Minnesota Worthington Teacher of the Year Award Monday afternoon in the Worthington High School Media Center.

3309221+042517.N.DG_.TEACHEROFTHEYEARweb.jpg
Mary Appel smiles after being named the 2017 Education Minnesota Worthington Teacher of the Year Monday afternoon in the Worthington High School Media Center. (Tim Middagh / Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON - A Prairie Elementary teacher was presented with the 2017 Education Minnesota Worthington Teacher of the Year Award Monday afternoon in the Worthington High School Media Center.

 

Mary Appel was nominated by her colleagues for her enthusiasm and dedication to her students and co-workers. Worthington Middle School teachers Judy Heitkamp and Jody Diemer-Madsen were also recognized Monday at the ceremony for their commitment to educate children.

 

Krista Van Note, the 2016 Education Minnesota Worthington Teacher of the Year, introduced Appel to the audience with remarks made by Appel’s colleagues.

ADVERTISEMENT

 

“Mary goes above and beyond every day to meet the needs of all her students,” Van Note read to the audience. “She continually motivates students by recognizing and building on their success.”

 

Appel said she didn't discover her passion for education until she went to college. She explained that if her parents hadn’t convinced her to pursue a bachelor's degree, she would have opted to go to cosmetology school.

“Once I started getting into my education classes, I really enjoyed it,” Appel said. “I discovered I love kids, and I love helping them to learn new things. It's so exciting when they start understanding things.”

 

Prior to coming to Worthington, Appel taught kindergarten and special education in Jackson and Fulda. She then came to Worthington as a special education teacher in 2005, and after 10 years in that role began teaching kindergartners.  

 

ADVERTISEMENT

“I thought it (teaching special education) was a lot of fun, but the only thing that I didn’t enjoy was the paperwork - it became very overwhelming,” Appel said. “So once I started teaching kindergarten, I loved it.”

 

Appel recalled feeling anxious when she first got hired, since her previous experiences were in smaller schools. She said her colleagues, though, helped her adapt and succeed as a teacher in the district.

 

“I had wonderful mentors at the kindergarten level that made everything run very smoothly,” Appel said.

 

She added that working in the district has not only been a great work experience, but an opportunity to build friendships with her co-workers as well.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

“This is my favorite job because I have a team of 13 other teachers that teach some form of kindergarten and we have an amazing team,” Appel said. “It’s so fun. We work with them and we don't only get along professionally, but we also do things out socially.”

Appel also coordinates and leads after-school programming for kindergarten students, teaches summer school and mentors new teachers joining the district.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
What To Read Next
A resolution looking to allow the legislature to consider work requirements on the newly-expanded Medicaid program is one step closer to the 2024 ballot.
Navigator CO2 Ventures is hoping to streamline the application process in Illinois as they add an additional pipeline to the mix.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the Wednesday, Jan. 25, crash.
Testimony to the top House committee from a convicted attendee of the Jan. 6 rally focused on the "inhumane" treatment of Jan. 6 defendants. The committee rejected a resolution on the matter 12-0.