Wayne Mitchell of Waller Elementary is this week's Golden Apple winner

YOUNGSTOWN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President, once said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."

This week's Golden Apple winner's patience and calm demeanor are just part of what makes him a great pick.

Congratulations to Waller Elementary's Wayne Mitchell.

One of Mr. Mitchell's second graders had some thoughtful words for her teacher.

"I hope you're going to be the best teacher every year and tell us if you like the Golden Apple more and I love you, Mr. Mitchell. You are the best teacher more than ever," Natalee Swearington read from a picture she drew for him.

The "best teacher more than ever" attributes his recognition to his students.

"I think it's more the connection you make with the kids than anything about your teaching," Mitchell said.

This isn't his first time winning the Golden Apple.

"When I was first hired in '95, I believe it was somewhere around April," he recalled.

Mitchell received the Golden Apple during his first year of teaching at Waller Elementary and he has been teaching there ever since.

In fact, he is a product of Bay County himself.

"I made my way through Gulf Coast and FSU in three and a half years," Mitchell explained.

He learned the building blocks in his own backyard and now he's passing them on to his students, not just by teaching polygons and shapes in class, but by tutoring outside of class too.

You could say he shapes his students.

"He used to help me with tutoring and tutoring is something that helps me learn," student Dylan Griffin said.

When asked about his award and about teaching at Waller, Mitchell said, "It feels good. I can't think of any other place that I'd rather be."

If you would like to nominate a teacher for the Golden Apple, click on the Golden Apple tab on the homepage of our website.