Panama City - This week's Golden Apple award winner teaches third grade at Tyndall Elementary School. Mrs. Rosemary Jones looped with this year's class, meaning she had the same students as second graders last year. That makes the student-teacher bond that much stronger.
Well into their second year together, students in Mrs. Jones' room are more than just classmates. "We are a family and being part of our family, when one of us has needs we all do," said Mrs. Jones. That's why they rallied around third grader Dane Turnmeyer, who was born with a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart. "I had to get half a heart because my other heart wasn't working good," said Dane. "We decided we all wanted to get behind Dane when he was doing the Heart Walk," said Mrs. Jones.
Together they helped raise more than $800 for the American Heart Association. It's just one example of how Mrs. Jones invests in her students. The class garden is another example. "That is kind of an analogy for her teaching. They are the seeds that she is planting. She is trying to create the optimal environment that the children can learn and grow. She is just a treasure to have," said Assistant Principal Carolyn Dehner. "I had a hard time learning in school and I wanted to make it as fun and adventurous as possible. For us to be detectives and go about learning in a fun way. To make it exciting and something they will want to do for the rest of their lives," said Mrs. Jones.
Congratulations to Mrs. Jones, this week's Golden Apple award winning teacher. "She is nice and kind," said third grader Tara Messick. "I love what I do, and I love these kids," said Mrs. Jones.