Panama City - This week's Golden Apple award winner teaches Exceptional Student Education at Callaway Elementary. Parents and colleagues say Mr. Kessler's students take great pride in being one of "Kessler's Cool Cats."
In Mr. Kessler's Exceptional Student Education class you are not just a student, you are a "Cool Cat." "He has a group of students that really appreciate being in his classroom because he treats them like family and makes them feel very welcome in the classroom," said Tim Keiffer, the principal of Callaway Elementary.
For Kessler, teaching is a dream he'd shelved for 3 decades while engineering and selling plumbing pump stations, finally pursued teaching four years ago. "The rewards are great, every day is a new day," said Kessler.
Now he teaches 3rd, 4th and 5th grade ESE all in one classroom. "He has a very diverse group of students and he makes sure that he addresses each of their individual educational needs according to the program guidelines that he has to follow and he does it in such a way that makes the students feel special and not different from other students," said Mr. Keiffer. "He teaches us new things that we don't know and he helps us with our work that we don't get," said student Josean McKinney.
His ultimate goal for each child is to help them enter a mainstream classroom. "With an ESE classroom the gains aren't tremendous but every little one is significant," said Mr. Keiffer. Congratulations to Mr. Kessler, this week's Golden Apple award winning teacher.