Hiland Park Elementary School First Grade Teacher Wins Golden Apple Award

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Panama City - This week's Golden Apple award winner teaches first grade at Hiland Park Elementary School. Ashlyn Pate says she had a wonderful elementary school experience thanks to her teachers, now she's hoping to provide the same thing for her students.

Reading; it's a crucial skill Ms.Pate works hard to help her students master. "I really want them to be able to read well. That is a big thing in first grade, being able to read and feel successful," said Ms. Pate. Reading stations, teacher reading time, lots and lots of reading takes place in these four walls...and math too! "I like doing math," said Patrick Agro, whose mother nominated Ms. Pate for the Golden Apple. "She is a really nice teacher and I like the same things that she does," said student Anna Waggoner.

Ms. Pate continues a legacy of strong teachers. "I had really good elementary school teachers that gave me positive experiences in school and just really instilled a love of learning at a young age." In Ms. Pate's classroom each child is treated like an individual. "They are little people in our classrooms and they have different personalities and they have different styles of learning," said Ms. Pate.

For this young teacher, just two years into her career, the Golden Apple was a surprise. "I really feel honored I didn't expect it. Like I said I haven't been teaching very long, I just feel honored that they would nominate me."

Students and colleagues alike say it's well deserved. "She is a really great teacher and I am glad I have her this year and I really love her," said student Emily Larson. "She really does stand out, I would love to have my children or grandchildren in her class," said Asst. Principal Carol Ann Whitehurst.

Congratulations to Ms. Ashlyn Pate, this week's Golden Apple award winning teacher.