BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - This week's Golden Apple winner is a home run. He coaches varsity baseball and teaches special education. Congratulations to Coach Emory Horne at Blountstown Middle School.
Every now and then, a teacher comes along with the true power to change a student's life. That's what Coach Horne has done for autistic student Kevin Frye.
"When he first came it was a struggle just to get him out of the car, to get him from his mom and get him into the classroom," explained Horne. "He wouldn't talk a whole lot."
Horne has worked with ESE students for nearly a decade now. He had an idea how to get Kevin to come out of his shell.
"He always wanted to talk about baseball with me," remembered Horne. "Then I invited him to come with me one day. He started getting involved. He would flip me balls. All the kids took to him. He's got a special place in their heart, too."
This honorary coach knows what the team needs to do to win.
"We do we're going to hit some ground balls," said Kevin.
Kevin isn't the only student Coach Horne has won over.
"He's hilarious, he's cool, he's the best teacher," said Jacob.
"He's funny. He lets us do fun stuff sometimes," said another student Brionna. "I make all the errands for him, and makes sure he looks good. Like he is right now with khakis."
Brionna made sure Coach Horne looked his best for the T.V. cameras.
"I just want to be able to work as long as I can in this career right here," said Horne. "It's something I love and I never want to leave it. I want to be able to give to them all that I can and hopefully they can give to others."
And if you love what you do, work doesn't feel like work.