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Golden Apple teacher provides hope

Inside Golden Apple recipient, Larry Laraby's classroom at Preble High School in Green Bay. (WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Teachers can make a huge, positive impact on their students.

Larry Laraby is an alternative teacher, who helps his students stay in school and graduate.

They says he gives them hope for their future.

"I love Mr. Laraby, he's my favorite teacher,” said junior, Selena Dickenson.

The Green Bay Preble High school instructor is the kind of teacher everyone wants to have.

"Because he helps you with a lot of stuff. He really connects with you more than any teacher here,” said Dickenson.

"He cooperates with his students. Not like as a teacher but somewhat as a friend,” said senior, Kenny Lane.

"Just his personality. You can just go up to him, and he's just the chattiest guy ever. He's so cool,” said sophomore, Mia Quasius.

"He's someone you can walk to and just talk about something that's going on in your life. And he actually listens and gives his thoughts and opinions on what you should do,” said Javier Ortiz.

Mr. Laraby also believes deeply in his students, because he was once in their shoes.

"I love working as an alternative teacher. I love working with at-risk students,” Laraby said.

In February, when we surprised him with a Golden Apple award, he says he was shocked.

And part of it was his own thinking.

"That's not the kind of award an alternative teacher would get. Often times, it would go to those teachers that teach AP courses, or honors courses,” said Laraby.

But his students say no one is more deserving than the man who's been bringing them up to the blackboard for two decades.

"He actually made me think that like, not all teachers were bad. I felt like none of them really cared about what a student had to like, what they were going through. But he's different,” said Ortiz.

After all these years in the classroom, Mr. Laraby still describes teaching as a love affair. He says he never tires of having an impact on the students.

"What I really wanted to do was have a positive impact on the world; to do something that mattered. On most days, I go home and know that what I did mattered,” said Laraby.

This Golden Apple instructor says being a teacher has given him an amazing life, one that he wouldn't change for anything.

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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