Vernon - This week's Golden Apple award winner runs the Ag department at Vernon High School. Donna Keith began her teaching career in the English department. But when Vernon High needed a new Ag teacher, she jumped at the chance. Her students say they are glad she did.
The shrill hum of a power saw is the sound of learning in Ms. Donna Keith's class. She might not look like your typical ag-tech teacher, but ask about that and she'll tell you "my girls are the best woodworkers I have." And what better rolemodel for these young women. They say her positive attitude and energy set her apart. "She is really hyper. She is just fun to be around," said student Caiti Vaughn.
Student Loretta Tillis nominated Ms. Keith. "She is really fun so I thought I might as well give it a shot. She deserves it," said Loretta.
From the workshop to the great outdoors, many students say Ms. Keith's classes are their favorite. She has even helped some of them chart a course for the future. "I want to be a forester because of her," said Chase Hewitt, the student president of FFA. "There are just magic moments with those kids that just happen and you can't predict it. You will be having a really rough day and you will have an interaction with a kid and it will melt your heart," said Ms. Keith.
She says she loves teaching students practical, life skills. "This is the only class you can take hunters safety in, learn how to handle a gun, safety" said Preston. "It's a wonderful process to watch them learn that their food, clothing, and shelter is grown through agriculture. Also they realize that agriculture is not just farming, agri-business is a huge industry," said Ms. Keith.
Congratulations to Ms. Keith, this week's Golden Apple award winning teacher. "No job is too big or too small for Ms. Keith. Nights and weekends, trips for FFA, she is one of our most devoted teachers," said Vernon High Principal Brian Riviere.