This week's Golden Apple winner is Lark Keen

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - This week's Golden Apple winner uses a soft-spoken approach to win over her first graders. Congratulations to Ms. Keen at Hutchinson Beach Elementary.

For two decades, Ms. Keen has taught first grade at Beach Elementary.

"I enjoy working with first grade because they love school and want to come and they love learning," exclaimed Keen. "I like them knowing how much I care about them."

First grade is a time to continue developing academically but it is also a time for teachers to instill life lessons in their students.

"The first one is to be proactive and to put first things first," said Keen." That we want to think first to understand and then to be understood."

Experience has also taught Ms. Keen the softer approach is often best.

"I think over the years I've learned that the calmer you are they calmer they are," said Keen in her soft but strong voice. "And so if I raised my voice and get all excited, that only made them get all excited. "

This week Ms. Keen's classroom has some special additions. Ten caterpillars who are beginning to emerge from their chrysalis's as butterflies.

And just like how the caterpillars turned into butterflies... Ms. Keen hopes that with her help, her first graders will eventually blossom into leaders for our society.

If you'd like to nominate a teacher for the Golden Apple award click the "Golden Apple" tab.