Panama City - This week's Golden Apple award winner teaches math at Rutherford High School. Mrs. Karen Harrell was nominated by senior, Katie Hyland, who writes: "Mrs. Harrell has always believed in me and helped me through math. She is very patient and motivating, she is willing to teach every student and those that are not her students. I have had many teachers and have not had a better one than Mrs. Harrell."
As head of Rutherford's math department, Karen Harrell helps direct math instruction for not only her students, but every student at Rutherford High. "Students don't learn the same way that they used to, it's not the same type of classroom. So we have to be learning all the time and be ready to present to students the math content in the way that they will learn it best," said Mrs. Harrell.
Students say it's her patience in the classroom that sets her apart. "She takes time to go over anything we have questions about, over the test, anything that we really have trouble with," said 11th grader Patrick Robinson. "She has helped me through math. I am one who has struggled a lot in math, she has really helped me and other students," said Katie Hyland, who nominated Mrs. Harrell. For Katie, having Mrs. Harrell boosted her math confidence, and allowed her to dream big. She hopes to become a pediatrician one day. "I used to have C's and after her class I started getting A's."
"Ms. Harrell is an outstanding teacher. She goes above and beyond with her kids and her students. She works after school with them, she creates programs for them to help them. She is always looking to improve her instruction," said Rutherford principal Coy Pilson.
"The biggest thing I like to do is give students opportunities for success in my classroom. It's a safe environment to be wrong. A lot of students are afraid of being wrong, in my class they can say what they think, answer questions the way they think, and they are not going to be berated or put down if they are wrong," said Mrs. Harrell.
Congratulations to Mrs. Harrell, this week's Golden Apple award winning teacher.