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Golden Apple recipient shares passion for learning with students

Inside Golden Apple recipient Michelle Loewenhagen's second-grade classroom at Valley View Elementary in Ashwaubenon. (WLUK photo)

ASHWAUBENON (WLUK) -- Michelle Loewenhagen is a teacher from Valley View Elementary in Ashwaubenon whose passion for life and learning is being passed on to her students every single day.

Hearing students say "I like coming here" is music to any teacher’s ears, and in Loewenhagen’s second grade classroom, it's a common tune.

"It’s the best job in the world!" Loewenhagen said. "It’s so rewarding. It’s challenging. I love coming to school every day and getting their hugs and seeing the smiles, and just seeing their faces when they learn something new.”

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Her goal is to make the classes engaging and relevant, applying their learning to the real world.

“We actually do a very big community field trip that talks about producers and consumers, and then we get out into the world and see how it actually works," Loewenhagen recounted. "Even at 7 and 8, it’s important for them to know that what we’re doing every day has a purpose for their entire life. Whether it’s things that they are learning, or just those skills that they need: working together, collaboration, being able to negotiate are important.”

And with so many students comes different obstacles for each child.

"I think it’s very important for me to learn my students -- both their learning styles, and them individually. I do that in a variety of ways: just talking to them, having a conversation," Loewenhagen said. "It allows them to be more engaged, and for them to be excited about learning."

As the school year draws to a close, she remarks on how it’s kind of bittersweet, saying, "I don’t want them to go, but they’re ready to go. They’re ready for third grade.”

But she’ll still take their hugs and smiles when passing in the hallway.

Loewenhagen says she wouldn’t have found success in the classroom if not for the team of wonderful teachers all around her at Valley View Elementary, as well.

FOX 11's Tom Milbourn, Michelle Melby and Mike Murad kicked off the nomination period for the 25th annual Golden Apple Awards in September. Nominees were announced in January, and the Teachers of Distinction were named later in the month.

The full list of recipients was announced in February.

This year's Golden Apple Awards ceremony is set for April 18. It will be broadcast at 6 p.m. April 19 on CW 14 and at 6 p.m. April 22 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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