MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Ashley Fries is a wife, mother of two, outdoor sports enthusiast and a kindergarten teacher at Franklin Elementary School in Mankato.
Having spent more than a decade in the classroom, she now has a more specialized role as a Kindergarten Intervention specialist.
She treasures working with this age group.
“Their joy for school, their excitement for school, they love their teacher still, so that’s the best part. Just making those connections with the kids," Fries said.
The connections she makes with her students run deep, so deep, in fact, it compelled a parent to nominate her for the Golden Apple Award.
“That’s so sweet. That little boy finds me every day after school and has to give me a hug before he goes," Fries said. "He actually asked for one of my school pictures. He has it on his dresser at home.”
Fries says she really enjoys helping them in the classroom, but also preparing them for life outside the classroom.
“Sometimes it’s a thing as simple as hanging up a coat in the locker or tieing their shoes or getting their gym shoes on, to learning letters and sounds, every day is an a-ha moment with kindergarten, that’s why I think I love it,” Fries added.