Mankato East teacher, coach receives Golden Apple Award

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 7:16 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2021 at 7:17 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — This month’s Golden Apple goes to an educator who not only is being recognized for her work in the classroom, but also in the pool.

“The girls are really going through a lot right now,” said Emma Noren, this month’s Golden Apple award recipient.

Losing two team members in the past year, the Mankato East girls’ swim team is staying afloat this season, buoyed with the help of coach Emma Noren.

“I suffer from anxiety, so this is very personal to me. With everything we have gone through as a team, with losing one of our divers and one of our coaches. So I want to make Mental Health a focus this season and for seasons to come,” Noren said.

Notes of appreciation line her office, recognizing her efforts in and outside the pool.

“I’ve created stress relief or little mental health packages,” Noren added.

Part of that mental health care package is a journal, evidence that Noren says shows that these girls have lots to say...

“The girls will write for like five or 10 minutes, it’s kind of crazy circling around and seeing how much they are writing. The girls are going through a lot, but it’s been cool to do that and check in with them once a week.”

Noren is only in her second year teaching health and physical education at Mankato East High School, but it’s obvious to those who know her that she teaches these students so much more.

“It makes me feel amazing,” she stated. “It’s been a tough year and a tough couple of months with everything we’ve gone through as a school, and I’m a new teacher, so it’s like ‘oh my gosh, now I get to celebrate.’”

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