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Rhinelander teachers surprised with award nomination

Story By Morgan Johnson
Local News Published 05/04/2021 4:24PM, Last Updated 05/05/2021 11:22AM
Rhinelander - 19 teachers in the School District of Rhinelander had the look of surprise on their faces Tuesday, when they were presented with a nomination for the Golden Apple Award.

"I am feeling extremely honored," said JoEllen Lieck, one of the nominees.

Lieck is a teacher at Central Intermediate School.

"I didn't expect this," said Lieck. "I really appreciate the honor."

Created by the Rhinelander Partners in Education (PIE), the Golden Apple Award program honors teachers.

"We wanted to recognize all of the teachers in the district that are doing an outstanding job, that are nominated by other staff, parents, or students in the School District of Rhinelander," said PIE President Amy Vanney.

And in a year when nothing was normal, Vanney felt it was necessary.

"I think teachers can go unappreciated sometimes with all they do for students," said Vanney.

At least one teacher received a nomination from almost every school in the Rhinelander School District.

Another nominee was Ann Edwards, a first grade teacher at Pelican Elementary.

"I tell this class every day and they know that I've never had a group of kids that makes me so excited to come to school every day," said Edwards.

Especially when she didn't know what to expect at work.

Just down the hall from Edwards, is Shawn Belanger, a favorite for the kindergarteners. Belanger was also nominated for the Golden Apple Award.

The 19 teachers will be narrowed down to just four, who will receive the award, at a later date.

The full list of nominated teachers is below:

JoEllen Lieck-Central Elementary School

Benjamin Fronk-Crescent Elementary School

Tania Kennedy-Crescent Elementary School

Tara Perlberg-Crescent Elementary School

Beth Westfahl-Crescent Elementary School

Jesse Richter-Crescent Elementary School

Sarah Cirilli-James Williams Middle School

Kim Bowman-James Williams Middle School

Mark Jacobson-James Williams Middle School

Kayla Goranson-James Williams Middle School

Amanda Jorata-James Williams Middle School

Kristin Guyette-NCES - Northwoods Community Elementary School

Ann Edwards-Pelican Elementary School

Shawn Belanger-Pelican Elementary School

Taylor Kloehn-Rhinelander High School

Angie Zastrow-The YMCA Youth Development Center

Abbie Cline-YMCA of the Northwoods Virtual Learning Room

Derek Lemmens-James Williams Middle School

Mary Dean-Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School
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