Hiland Park Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Wins Golden Apple

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Pamama City - This week's Golden Apple award winner teaches kindergarten at Hiland Park Elementary School. Mrs. Debbie Miles has been teaching kindergarten for two decades. NewsChannel 7's Meredith TerHaar spent just a little time in Mrs. Miles' classroom and was so impressed by how much these young students already know about things like sentence structure and spelling.

Over the course of her 20 year teaching career, Mrs. Miles has seen kindergarten requirements become increasingly challenging. "Kindergarten is so much more academic," she explained. What hasn't changed: her desire to spark a love of learning in her students. "I want them to leave my classroom loving to write and loving to read. Anything I can do to help them develop that passion," said Mrs. Miles.

You can see it all over their faces, their focused determination is evident as they form words, write sentences, and read. "I like her because she helps us read things," said kindergartner Abigail Moschella, whose mother nominated Mrs. Miles for the Golden Apple. "What is your favorite thing to do in your class?" asked Meredith. "Write sentences," answered fellow student Myles Capers.

"She has a wonderful reputation for being caring, and loving, and very gentle with the children, but firm in her own special way. She has high expectations but always takes a moment to take care of children with special needs," said Principal Patti Fowler. One strategy she has found very effective is teaching in groups. "By breaking them up and putting them in different literacy centers we can focus on what they need. When that light bulb goes on, their self confidence is glowing. I realize this is what it is all about," said Mrs. Miles.

Congratulations to Mrs. Miles, this week's Golden Apple award winning teacher. "Good job Mrs. Miles," said Abigail.