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Golden Apple recipient keeps students active in the classroom

Stephen Engels, a biology teacher at Green Bay Southwest High School does a demonstration with students during class. (WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- One of this year's Golden Apple recipients says he likes being on his toes, and always having something to do.

He's a special education teacher at Southwest High School in Green Bay who has an incredible connection with his students.

For 14 years, Stephen Engels has a knack for hands-on experiments.

"I really felt like I was making a very big difference in the lives of few people, rather than making a small difference in the lives of many,” Engels said.

That impact is evident when you talk to his students.

"He's my favorite teacher of the day. I love coming to his class and he teaches really well,” said Roberto Servantez, sophomore.

"I think he's the greatest teacher ever. He's really fun and makes us all happy, generally,” said Brenden Colson, sophomore.

Sometimes the lesson takes them outside of the classroom, like a hunt and search for bacteria.

"I think what stands out the most is that he knows how to get the schooling done while still having fun,” said Brandon Grovogel, sophomore.

"My students, keeping moving is huge. And that's why science is cool for them, because there's always an opportunity for them to get up and move around in the classroom,” said Engels.

"He can act like a kid sometimes, but he makes us smile and laugh. I look forward to going to his class a lot because it cheers me up, most days,” said Drex Rodgers, sophomore.

“It's very rewarding," Engels said. "I think every teacher is doing it for the feeling it gives you to let you know that you've made an impact in students' lives. You're something that they carry with themselves for the rest of their lives."

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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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