Southport - This week's Golden Apple award winner teaches Exceptional Student Education at Southport Elementary. Joan Gilder works with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders all in one classroom. Parents and colleagues say she has an uncanny ability to understand what each of her students need, emotionally and academically.
Para-professional Connie Jones has worked alongside Joan Gilder in an ESE classroom for a decade. "She has a real special ability to understand their needs and how to meet their needs. That can come from nowhere but the hearts of an ESE teacher," said Connie Jones. "She helps us on all of our work and makes learning fun," said student Brianna Barnes.
Mrs. Gilder says knowing she has an impact on students lives keeps her coming back every morning. "I'm lucky to have a wonderful class and supportive parents, just to know that you are touching the lives of the students you work with," said Mrs. Gilder. "She is respected by the students, she is respected by the faculty members, and she is also highly respected by the parents of the students that she teaches," said Assistant Principal Emily Jones.
"In our class we really do try to meet individual needs and that really makes the job interesting when you try to get a concept through or meet the needs of that kid that you are working with," said Mrs. Gilder.
Congratulations to Joan Gilder, this week's Golden Apple award winning teacher. "I'm really happy for her," said student Kayla DuBoise. "It's such an honor, it was really a surprise and it really touches me. I think of all awards this one really means the most because it comes from your students and the parents," said Mrs. Gilder.