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Miscoe Hill’s Caterina Manser Receives District Golden Apple Award

Caterina Manser, 6th Grade ELA Teacher at Miscoe Hill School, was the recipient of the first Mendon Upton Regional School District Golden Apple Award. She was presented with the award at the January 25 School Committee Meeting.

Miscoe Hill 6th grade English Language Arts teacher Caterina Manser has been chosen as the recipient of the first Mendon Upton Regional School District Golden Apple Award.

A new program in the district this year, the Golden Apple Award was developed to "acknowledge and celebrate excellence" in the Mendon Upton district. Parents had the opportunity to nominate a staff member who has made a positive difference in their child's life, either past or present, during the months of November and December.

The first award was presented during the January 25 School Committee Meeting by Golden Apple Award Subcommittee member Diane Duncan.

"Tonight is the start of something that I think is really great in our district," said Duncan. "[The Golden Apple Award] helps our district to stay focused on the good; to focus on those staff members, those stories of success that collectively make our schools outstanding."

Duncan announced that the Committee had received over 50 nominations for the Golden Apple Award for the first time and were "blown away" by the stories parents had to tell about the positive impacts staff members have made on families.

"Their stories were moving, heartfelt, impactful. It gave all of the members of our school committee a glimpse into all of the 'good' that is happening across our district on a daily basis and made choosing one overall recipient of this award a true challenge," she said.

Manser was surrounded by colleagues, members of her sixth grade team, and even current and former students as Duncan presented the award and read excerpts from the "multiple, lengthy" nomination forms she received.

"I am forever indebted to her for her recognition of my son's needs, her concern for his educational development, her sensitivity to his emotional well-being and her insightful communication with me," read one of the nominations.

"She connects with all of her students. She gets to know their challenges and then helps them adapt and adjust in a kind and engaging way," read another.

Repeated phrases such as 'going above and beyond' and creating a 'community' feel in her classroom were read by Duncan before the Golden Apple award was presented to Manser.

"Rina [Manser] is truly an outstanding educator and as if that's not enough, she is one of the kindest people I know," said Duncan. "We applaud her dedication, creativity and pursuit of excellence."

After the award presentation, Manser stated that she was "excited" to have learned that she was chosen as the first Golden Apple Award recipient, and was happy she was able to receive her award in the company of collegagues, parents, and students. "It was nice to have them there with me," she said.

The Golden Apple will be awarded again in June, with nomination requests coming to parents in the spring. Duncan said that she hopes news of the first Golden Apple Award will excite parents to become a part of "spotlighting the good" in the Mendon Upton Regional School District.


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