Heart. With it, a teacher creates a classroom brimming with excitement for learning.
And this week's Golden Apple Winner not only has heart, she has...the 'Kinder Harts.'
Kindergarten holds a special place in many people's hearts... and one teacher has helped shape hundreds of young minds in preparation for the future.
With a loving smile and a heartfelt laugh, Deb Hart has built a classroom where young minds look past the weekend to when they can return on Monday, earning her the Golden Apple Award.
Tom Bruels, the superintendent and tasked with elementary principal duties for St. Clair Public Schools, says, "She finds each student's strength and she emphasizes that strength."
"She's a perfect person to have working with young students because they look forward to coming to school."
Deb Hart, a kindergarten teacher for the St. Clair Public School for the past 28 years, says, "One of the things I always do and everybody around here knows this, when I talk about the days of the week when they come I saw it's Marvelous Monday, Terrific Tuesday, ..."
"I had one student who was sicker, really sick, and his mom said, 'She just won't miss fabulous fun Friday.'"
Deb has taught for 28 years...
Hart says, "I have the best job in the world."
...and in that time has been to her students' graduations, their weddings, and has even taught former students' children.
But after this school year, she will step away from teaching.
Bruels says, "But we don't look forward to having her leave at the end of the year because there's going to be large shoes to fill."
Yet retirement may not be the end of her teaching...
Harts says, "Maybe next year I can give back and volunteer here at St. Clair."
...giving her heart to the students she deeply cares for.
Hart says, "I always call my class the 'Kinder Harts'...they feel like they're special because they are a 'Kinder Hart.'"