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Golden Apple recipients make students feel included

Special education teachers at the Kewaunee School District, top row, L-R, Carrie Siebold, Dave Chaudoir, Sandy Morton and Nick Rusboldt. Bottom row, L-R, Katie Krohn and Jason Rohr. (WLUK)

KEWAUNEE (WLUK) -- A team of special education teachers in Kewaunee is working to prepare students to succeed both in and out of the classroom.

It's a busy morning in the school store at a Kewaunee grade school as students make their purchases.

"We need to make sure that we're preparing our students both academically, socially and with skills they can take with them into their lives as they grow up and leave high school," said special education teacher, Katie Krohn.

Working in the school store is just one way these teachers in the special education department are helping their students plan for the future.

The approach: pair academic work with work students can do around school.

Grace Wessel works at the school coffee shop.

Each morning, her teacher helps her with orders and then they deliver coffee around school.

Wessel hopes to one day open her own shop.

"You can just practice here, and then when you're going to open your own shop, you can make coffee of your own," Wessel said.

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Inside the classroom, the special education students are blended into regular classes.

Kewaunee schools are inclusionary, meaning the special education students are fully included into the classes.

The result? Increased academic skills, social skills and a boost in confidence.

"If you had a student that struggled when they were little with social skills and now you see them in high school hopping around and talking to everybody, it just makes everything so worth all of the time and effort you put into everything," said special education teacher, Sandy Morton.

Special education teacher, David Chaudoir, says, "It's great to see our kids successful in the community."

As for the students, they show up to class excited and enthusiastic about learning from their teachers.

"They're funny and they have a lot of cool math games they play with us," said student, Blake Kroll.

It's that bond between the teacher and student that has helped these students succeed in the future.

And the future of these students is what brought David Chaudoir, Katie Krohn, Sandy Morton, Jason Rohr, Nick Rusboldt and Carrie Siebold here.

"I think that's probably why all of us got into this profession, is to impact students' lives and that's pretty much what it's all about," said special education teacher, Nick Rusboldt.

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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