Santa Rosa Beach - This week's Golden Apple award winner teaches 4th grade at Bay Elementary in Santa Rosa Beach. Ms. Daniel is in her 22nd year of teaching, but it's her first year at Bay Elementary. It hasn't taken students and parents long to recognize she is something special.
In Ms. Daniel 4th grade classroom every student has rock star status and they feel the same about her. "She encourages us to learn and helps us if we don't get the stuff she is trying to teach us," said Brody Holley, who nominated Ms. Daniel. "Every day she teaches us in different ways even though we don't know we are learning but we are," said 4th grader Ian Zimmerman "Ms. Daniel is one of the best teachers I have ever had," said student Juliette Dumas.
While her teaching career spans more than 2 decades and many grade levels, this is Ms. Daniel's first year at Bay Elementary. Colleagues are thrilled to have her. "You go in the classroom and it's a very positive and upbeat atmosphere. The children are engaged, they are moving around and they are learning," said Bay Elementary School Principal Dianne Hicks.
Building strong readers and writers is a top priority for Ms. Daniel. "Making sure that the learning is relevant to the students, and meaningful to them and picking activities and lessons that they can relate to, bringing real life experience and engaging them on many different levels," said Ms. Daniel about her goals.
She also emphasizes parent involvement, communicating with them often and encouraging participation because she knows it benefits her students. "I love seeing the growth process and especially when kids have that light bulb moment when they understand a skill that maybe they've struggled with all year."
Congratulations to Ms. Daniel, this week's Golden Apple award winning teacher.