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Southern Ill. teacher wins Golden Apple Award

A Heartland teacher received the Golden Apple Award.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:43 PM CDT
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TAMMS, Ill. (KFVS) - An Illinois education foundation honors a select group of teachers for the impact they have in the classroom.

One educator in southern Illinois was honored Monday afternoon, May 9 for improving her students’ lives in and out of the classroom.

In an assembly in which the entire Egyptian School District attended, chants of “Ms. Miller” rang through the gymnasium.

“Ms. Miller is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had in my life,” said Anyai Blake, Egyptian High School junior.

Elissa Miller knew she was nominated for the Golden Apple Award out of hundreds of teachers.

The Golden Apple Award is meant to honor and recognize outstanding teachers for their roles in lasting effects on students.

“She absolutely deserves it,” said Brendon Tedlock, Egyptian Highschool freshman.

When Miller arrived for class on Monday, a big surprise waited in front of the entire school district. Miller was announced as 1 of 10 in the entire state of Illinois to receive the Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching.

“I’m really excited for Ms. Miller because she’s helped me on this great journey, you know just getting through high school and honestly if it wasn’t for her I would of probably never passed math,” said Ayanna Kimmins, Egyptian High School senior.

Millers’ entire family joined in on the surprise at school. She was thrilled to have them in attendance and also to be able to represent southern Illinois with this award.

“You don’t get recognized very often in the southern whole half of the state,” said Miller.

Miller teaches more than math to her students. She also wants to help add to their self esteem.

“Well, my goal is that they feel better about math class, better about math than they did when they came, better about themselves than they did when they came and that they enjoy math class itself,” said Miller.

Miller received $5,000 cash and a spring sabbatical provided by Northwestern University at no cost.

She said winning the award is nice, but it is not going to change her style in the classroom.

“Well, I feel like I’m still going to show up tomorrow and do the same job that I’ve been doing, no matter what. But it is nice to be recognized,” said Miller.

As she impacts many students, all of her classes share the same caring attitude towards her.

“Keep doing great things, I love you,” said Kimmins.

Miller was chosen as a Golden Apple Award winner out of 400 nominations of 9th to 12th grade teachers across the state.

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