Rural Columbus teacher receives 10/11 Golden Apple Award

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Sponsored - Each month throughout the school year, it is 10/11's honor to present the Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching.

And the recipient for March can be found at a country school located 12 miles north of Columbus.

Her name is Annette Sonntag of St. John's Lutheran School and she's been serving as both principal and teacher at St. John's for the past 13 years. Annette says, "It's been an amazing growth for me. You know when you get to be a certain age you never stop growing and you never stop learning and I just love what I've learned from the people, how giving and how much they bring everybody into the family."

After four decades in the teaching business. Mrs. Sonntag has decided to retire at the end of this school year. And Janet Janssen, who works in the school office, decided that this would be a great time to honor her co-worker, "Annette, it's been a blessing to have you as our teacher and principal for 13 years here at St. John's and because of that I nominated you for the Golden Apple at Channel 10 and 11 and the good news is you have been chose as their March award winner and I'd like to present you with the Golden Apple Award."

Annette was pleasantly surprised, "Wow, thank you so much, it means a lot to me."

Annette was born and raised in Freeport, Illinois and she comes from a long line of Lutheran educators, "My grandpa was Lutheran pastor and my great grandpa was a Lutheran school teacher in st. Louis."

Throughout her 40 year career, the Concordia University graduate has taught everything from math to music, but for her, the most important thing she's taught her students along the way, is how to care for one another and how to live lives that make a difference.

The 10/11 Golden Apple Award, sponsored by Doane University College of Education is given to educators each month of the school year to educators who've had an outstanding impact in local schools.