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Franklin Elementary’s Drea Brown receives Golden Apple Award

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 8:08 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2022 at 8:21 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — This week’s Golden Apple Award winner has shown some resilience inside and outside of the classroom.

Lisa Cownie introduces us to Drea Brown, who taught first grade for the first time this year at Franklin Elementary in Mankato.

For Brown, a sudden job shift added up to the biggest challenge of her career so far.

“Budget cuts. I was doing intervention here for many years and our principal last year said we need a fourth section. But we are cutting so many other position, so I lost my position and he said we need an extra hand and we think you are the one. My heart dropped and my stomach flipped a little bit because this is not at all what I envisioned doing,” explained Brown.

Having her own classroom for the first time, Brown worried about things like classroom management, but shortly after meeting those in her charge, she knew what she had to do.

“I’m trying to create the atmosphere for them to feel loved and respected and safe,” Brown said. “It’s been hard because, well, they have tough lives sometimes. It’s hard to be a 6 or 7-year-old and have all of these people have certain expectations of you.”

She is not exactly sure yet about what role she’ll play next year at Franklin Elementary School, but says her supporting cast this year has helped her grow right along with her students.

”I’ve been teaching for over 10 years, but this has all been brand new to me. Having all of these parents being so kind and loving to me and sharing their kids with me has been amazing. I love them all,” Brown said. “We keep a really open dialogue between us, If there are any problems here I share with them because we are a team. Teachers and parents are a team.”

Visit KEYC.com/Community to nominate a deserving educator for the Golden Apple Award.

Congrats to Drea Brown, Golden Apple Award recipient.>

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