Panama City - This week's Golden Apple award winner is a 2nd grade teacher at Waller Elementary School in Youngstown. Mrs. Bertie Broaddus teaches an inclusion class. That means her students have what she calls "learning differences." She has valuable insight into what they need, since she had special learning needs as a child as well.
"My saying is if you see it, you hear it, you say it, you touch it, you are going to know it," said Mrs. Broaddus. In her class, colorful kites are the final product of a math lesson on measuring. "Growing up, when I had teachers that did a lot of hands-on, I learned a lot more, when I had teachers that just lectured I didn't learn as much that year. I grew up wanting to have a classroom with hands-on for almost every project."
Students and colleagues agree, she succeeded. "She does lots of fun things. She lets us play games," said student Abbie Williamson. "She is the best teacher we have every had," said student Gracie Bagwell. "She is just an awesome teacher, loves her children, works hard everyday," said Laura Costello, the classroom para-professional who works so closely with Mrs. Broaddus.
"She is a pusher too, she will push to the limit," said Waller Elementary School Principal Peggy Bunch. For example, when it came time to compete in a reading contest, colleagues say Mrs. Broadus took the reigns. The result, Waller Elementary won. "She definitely deserves this award because of the time and the effort and the love that she puts into teaching," said Bunch. "She is one sweet teacher," said Gracie.