Congratulations to Gail Best for winning the Golden Apple

Gail Best wins the Golden Apple. (WJHG)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG) - Gail Best has spent the last 35 years in education. She's taught in Bay and Washington counties and even worked for the Department of Education in Tallahassee.

"I love seeing the light come on in their eyes, I love seeing them go, 'oh you tell great stories,' because I try to connect everything to something that they can understand," Best said.

She's the third grade language arts teacher at Vernon Elementary School.

"Well she tries hard to make everything fun even if sometimes we don't want to do it, and she's the best because it kind of goes with her name," student Caiden Jenkins said.

Best says she's a little old school when it comes to teaching, but she keeps students engaged with stories and home-cooked treats. She says she hopes her students leave fully prepared for the next step.

"I want my kids to leave independent," Best said. "I want them to leave confident. I want them to leave believing that they can do anything they set their minds to do."

It's a bittersweet time for this Golden Apple winner. After more than three decades in the classroom, best will retire at the end of the year.

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