This month's first golden apple award recipient hails from Mankato East High School.

With the help of five students' nominations, Jeffrey "JJ" Helget, a biology teacher,  received his first Golden Apple award.

Helget began teaching at the school last year and says that being nominated by his pupils makes this recognition extraordinary.

Helget said "It's just something nice, I mean you work hard, you know this is my 10th year teaching. It's kind of what you work for and it's also kind of special because your students recognize you as being someone that's either special to them or inspires them. That's kind of the cool thing about it."

Students marveled at the hardware and explained why they felt the need to vote for their instructor.

Junior Natalie Chisel said "He's really enthusiastic, he keeps the class moving and really interesting to listen to, keeps us hard working." "

Junior Abdul-Aziz Haji said "He's very helpful and keeps the class positive and I look forward coming to his class every day."

Although the class was excited for the honor, it remained business as usual as Helget assisted students with their work.

Assistant Principal Rob Danneker said "JJ is an asset to Mankato East High School, you know, before we even talked about curriculum planning, instruction, assessment. JJ builds relationships with students and that's what makes him so invaluable to us and our purpose here at Mankato East."

Mankato East is beginning to own an orchard, for around a dozen teachers have been chosen for the Golden Apple award within the last few years.

You can nominate a teacher from your school on our website, by clicking on the Golden Apple under our "News" tab.

- KEYC 12