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Golden Apple awarded to Prairie Winds Middle School teacher

Michelle Matthews, a teacher in the resource room at Prairie Winds Middle School, says each day is full of surprises.
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 5:51 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2022 at 6:56 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Michelle Matthews, a teacher in the resource room at Prairie Winds Middle School, says each day is full of surprises.

Today’s surprise, though, was receiving KEYC’s Golden Apple award, one surprise she said she never saw coming.

“It’s wonderful, I’m overwhelmed. I didn’t ever think I would receive an award. I mean, the rewards, obviously, are daily with the kids – seeing them make growth and progress – but to be recognized is great,” Mathews said.

Armed with an elementary education degree, Mathews says she found her niche early in her career when she served in special education.

“I just loved seeing the kids and what they are able to do. We oftentimes follow our kids for three, four, or five years, unlike a gen ed teacher who only has them for a year,” Mathews stated.

Mathews and the team around her say the ultimate reward is getting the students caught up in their classes, so they can gain the confidence they need to be successful in school.

“It is fun to see the kids, the relationships you build with the kids, the kids that come back to visit when they are in high school or after they graduate, and they say, ‘I remember when I had you!’ It is a very rewarding job,” Mathews added.

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