We have had an incredible week highlighting the efforts of some of the top teachers in Nebraska. And finally, we've reaching the grand finale.
In choosing the 5 Golden Apple Award winners, our committee read through a lot of nomination letters. And I really loved how every so often the first line just grabbed me. When I read, "She practically changed my life without even knowing it," I knew that this was going to be a story I needed to tell.
Debbie Vasa found early in her life that she was born to teach, "I was raised in the South and taught bible school when I was 13 years old and decided that I loved it and I never changed my mind about being a teacher."
Pound Principal Chris Deibler couldn't be happier about that decision, "14 years ago, when you guys were just born probably, Pound Middle School needed a science teacher and I knew where to find one."
That important hire has been very beneficial to hundreds of kids over the years and no one is more grateful than Megan Mandeville, "Long story short, I was getting bullied and Mrs. Vasa, she was talking about how she never got bullied because she stood up for herself. She reached out to me without even knowing it and I guess it's just another thank you for helping me with my math just a billion times."
Interestingly, Mrs. Vasa doesn't even remember uttering those words of wisdom, "I suppose I said the right thing at the right time and that's gratifying, I'm glad I helped."
Megan reads from her nomination letter, "I was afraid to fight back and what she said I will never forget, it's hard to put into words the courage she gave me, but no one taught me how to stand up for myself. She practically changed my life without even knowing it."
Mrs. Vasa says the first class she ever taught is 53 years old this year. Congratulations on a long and successful career Mrs. Vasa!