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Golden Apple recipient gives students options when learning

Wilder Elementary School fifth-grade teacher, Sarah Yonts, teaching inside her classroom. (WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- If there's one word to sum up Sarah Yonts' teaching style, it might be "options."

The fifth-grade teacher at Wilder Elementary School in Green Bay recognizes there's almost always more than one way to make the grade.

"It's really good work in a classroom when you give kids a variety of ways to achieve the same goal," she said.

On this afternoon, Mrs. Yonts split students into small groups. The lesson was to research an issue each student felt strongly about, and then present it to other members of the group. She used an animated cartoon as an example.

As for what motivates students, Mrs. Yonts says it's a two-part formula.

"I genuinely believe that all kids want to learn. They want to be successful. Even the kids who outwardly may look or seem difficult to work with, kids are motivated when they feel you're invested in them, and when they can be invested in themselves," Yonts said.

Fifth-grade student, Carly Umentum said, "She makes everyone feel like they're part of the classroom and she treats everyone equally."

And even though some of the lessons learned from today may be forgotten in the years to come, there's a good chance the bond between Mrs. Yonts and this group of fifth graders will not be.

"I'm going to miss her but I'll probably come back and visit," said fifth-grade student, Tyler Dorner.

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FOX 11's Tom Milbourn, Michelle Melby and Mike Murad kicked off the nomination period for the 24th annual Golden Apple Awards in October. Nominees were announced in January. Recipients were surprised with their awards in March.

This year's Golden Apple Awards ceremony is set for April 19. It will be broadcast at 6 p.m. April 20 on CW 14, and 5 p.m. April 23 on FOX 11.

The Golden Apple Awards are a program of the Greater Green Bay Chamber, with support from major sponsors.


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