Abby Turgeon has been teaching 5th grade for most of her 13 year teaching career, and she loves the challenge that comes with it.

"It's fun to kinda help them navigate through that, and kind of switch from learning how to read, learning how to do math to taking those things and applying them to other things," Turgeon said.

While she isn't new to teaching fifth grade, she is new to Mankato. This is her first year teaching at Jefferson Elementary School.

"It's kind of a little nugget," she said. "I'm just really happy to be a part of this tiny environment where we get to know everybody so well."

Getting to know everybody is exactly what she's doing. She said building relationships with her students is the best part of her job.

"You can't ask kids to do anything unless you get to know them and understand where they're coming from, and I think learning goes best with laughter and humor," she said.

"We talk a lot about that, the importance of that here at Jefferson and in Mankato Area Public Schools, building positive relationships with kids, and she's really really good at that," Principal Scot Johnson said.

It's this connection with her students that earned Mrs. Turgeon the Golden Apple Award.

--KEYC News 12