The Golden Apple Goes to Christy Giambra

Published: Nov. 3, 2016 at 10:03 AM CDT
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While local charter schools must still follow Florida state educational standards, they're free to do so in more flexible ways.

This week's Golden Apple Award winner lets her students' senses of humor and developing love for learning run the classroom.

Fun is the name of the game in Christy Giambra's fourth grade class.

"When they get to this age, they get very chatty," she laughed.

But in here, that's a good thing. These North Bay Haven Charter Academy students learn and grow through sharing ideas.

"She does a lot of group work, so we're working together a lot," Pherson Gant, a fourth grade student, said.

"They have a really special ability to be super creative and carefree and not worry about what people think yet," Giambra said.

The charter school format fosters that learning environment.

"Yes, we have to teach all the standards, but we have a lot of flexibility to do it in the way we see best," Giambra said.

"My favorite part is almost everything," Averie Brannon, a fourth grade student, said. "I like being in the class. I like being around my teacher, 'cause she makes everybody laugh and she's really nice."

A feeling reciprocated between teacher and students.

"Fourth grade is my absolute favorite," Giambra said. "It has always been my favorite. It's where I've wanted to be. I love the content areas of fourth grade."

There's Florida history, Latin and Greek roots, and students develop a love for their favorite subjects.

"We just get started on our morning work, and she comes up with different ways to make it fun," Pherson said.

"Seeing the light bulb come on when they learn something new, and just really being able to teach and engage them in a fun and active way, so they will have these experiences and these memories for years to come," Giambra said.

If you'd like to nominate a teacher for the Golden Apple Award, click the "Golden Apple" tab here on our website.