Anne Reese holds up oversized coins – pennies, quarters, nickels and dimes – while students name the value of each coin. She asks students to add them together and they excitedly shout out the amount of money shown.
Five minutes later, she’s passing out papers, weaving in and out through groups of desks and answering random questions about who is teaching P.E. that day or what to do with a late library book.
Meanwhile, Reese is relaying instructions to a fresh, wide-eyed student teacher that has been assigned to her classroom.
Reese is an expert at multitasking.
That’s why she, among others, was recently named a recipient of the state PTA’s Golden Apple awards.
“I was completely surprised, and a little embarrassed, too,” said the seven-year teacher. ”I didn’t expect it.”
Each year, Utah’s PTA and television station KUED recognize outstanding educators, volunteers and school PTA groups who go above and beyond. State winners are selected from a group of nominees submitted by individual schools throughout the state.
“KUED has a strong commitment to education in Utah,” says Michael Dunn, general manager. “This recognition is a reminder of how everyone benefits when a talented teacher or school volunteer enriches the life of a child.”
"I'm honored. What a very nice way to thank someone for volunteering," said Jamileh Jameson, who volunteers at both Wasatch Junior High School and Oakridge Elementary. "I have an incredible school community. Just being nominated was thanks enough but the truth is there are lots of fabulous people doing amazing things and helping beyond what's asked of them everyday in our schools. They do the little things and big things without being asked. They see a need and step up. They are the glue that keeps our schools and communities strong.”
Three Granite District Schools were also recognized for the efforts: Beehive Elementary, Involvement; Magna Elementary, Advocacy; and Olympus High School, Development.
Other state winners include:
Anne Reese: Howard R. Driggs Elementary
Cheryl Hughes: Alta High School
Sue Jones: Oak Canyon Jr. High
Pam Hansen: View Mont Elementary
Rod Bullock: Park Elementary
Jamileh Jamison: Wasatch Jr. High
Ulises Fernandez: Midvale Middle School
Involvement: Beehive Elementary
Advocacy: Magna Elementary
Development: Olympus High School
Spirit of PTA: Jana Carling: Greenville Elementary
Outstanding School Administrator:Comment on this story
Dr. Vallen Thomas: Foothill Elementary
Matt Watts: Mount Jordan Middle School
Golden Apple award winners will be recognized later this month during KUED’s annual Golden Apple awards telecast. PTA groups will be recognized at a ceremony in May.
Angie Manzanares is a former teacher and journalist. She currently works for the Granite School District as a public relations specialist. Her hobbies include photography, graphic design, dancing, and screaming at Jazz games.