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LHS Golden Apple Winner: The ripple effect of a teacher

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 10:56 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Everyday, teachers prepare, teach and grade. Students come and go. But a teacher’s impact can have a ripple effect. That’s the case with our January Golden Apple winning teacher. Lacey Kinning’s moto is: Once you’re my student, you’re always my student. And she’s making a difference in the halls of Lincoln High School.

A trip to the principal’s office led to some good news for Mrs. Kinning recently. Lincoln High principal, Mark Larson, surprised her on a Zoom call.

“I have some friends with me, and they are actually not from the district office,” Larson told her. “This is Taryn Vanderford, and Taryn is from 10/11, and has some Lincoln High connections herself. But they are here today to present you with a pretty special award.”

Taryn presented Mrs. Kinning with the Golden Apple Award from 10/11 NOW and Doane University.

“We get quite a few nominations, and yours was chosen by the committee here,” Taryn said. “You were nominated by a former student, Sona Buchholz.

Sona has been nominating Mrs. Kinning for seven years to win an award in education. Kinning is a Lincoln native, who’s been teaching for eight years, seven at Lincoln High. Just returning to the classroom from maternity leave, Kinning was happy to see her science and Foundry students.

Kinning said she teaches kids like a mom. “A lot of the students, especially our Foundry kids really respond well to that. Just that extra kind of love and pushing, and they know that I can be hard on them, too,” said Kinning.

The Foundry is a new program for students at LHS who are off track for graduation, or students who may need something a little different than the traditional seven periods. Helping these students get back on track means so much to Mrs. Kinning.

“To see them walk the stage, I mean, it’s just so awesome to see that because it’s life-changing stuff,” said Kinning. She feels it’s so meaningful to help a student get to graduation who might have dropped out and not graduated.

And the students in the Foundry program seem to really appreciate Mrs. Kinning’s efforts. Some said she’s hard-working, and makes a difference in helping kids graduate.

Larson said, “The other cool part of this story that really brings it full circle is, Sona, the student who nominated Mrs. Kinning is in school, in college to be a teacher right now.” He added that it’s just another picture of the ripple effect by educators who are planting seeds all of the time.

And that’s why former LHS student, now Nebraska Wesleyan student, Sona Buchholz nominated Kinning.

“She has built relationships with her students that could last a lifetime,” said Buchholz. “They are so connected with her, and she is so caring about each and every one of them, that it’s amazing.”

Buchholz told Mrs. Kinning that she would not give up on her... “because she did not give up on me!” Seven years is what it’s going to take, but we did it.”

Congratulations to our January Golden Apple winner...Mrs. Lacey Kinning from Lincoln High School.

Doane Univeristy
Doane Univeristy(WOWT)

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