WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — She says she has seen the stories on 7News, but she never thought that it could happen to her.
The Woodsdale Elementary School teacher believed the Golden Apple Award was reserved for other teachers more deserving than her.
I just never have to worry about her not doing exactly what needs to be done every single day. For me it’s just relieving and she’s just the best and we love her.Ashlea Minch, Principal, Woodsdale Elementary
Woodsdale Principal Ashlea Minch considers Stephanie McKenzie to be her right-hand woman.
Principal Minch says runs a lot of her ideas by this special education teacher to get her take.
She truly values McKenzie, who always goes above and beyond.
She is a teacher who goes without a plan. She goes without a lunch most days. She puts all of our students needs ahead of her own. She’s definitely deserving of the Golden Apple Award.Ashlea Minch, Principal, Woodsdale Elementary
This is an award that means a lot to me and I have seen it on the news. It’s something that you think about, but your think to yourself that is never going to happen to me. So, I am very grateful and appreciative of this award, and am kind of in a state of shock right now.Stephanie McKenzie, April’s Golden Apple Award Winner
She chooses kindness everyday and she puts her “kiddos” as she likes to call them first.
Honestly, I treat them as I would treat my own kiddos at home and I just always think that they are somebody else’s kiddos, but while they’re here at school, they’re always my students.Stephanie McKenzie, April’s Golden Apple Award Winner
Principal Minch says it wasn’t surprising when she found out McKenzie was spending her own money, $50 dollars a month-to be exact, out of her own pocket, for a separate learning platform.
It’s an online program that walks students through how you deal with your emotions and what are some better strategies if you do get overwhelmed or upset. So, I went ahead and purchased it with my own money because I felt it was something that we needed, and they could use and they loved it. So, I just kept doing it. Whatever works.Stephanie McKenzie, April’s Golden Apple Award Winner
She wears her heart on her sleeve. There’s never a day that goes by that I don’t doubt she has the students best interests at heart. She’s loyal. She’s loving. She never misses work.Ashlea Minch, Principal, Woodsdale Elementary
I love doing my job so I just come in and do my job every day to the best of my abilities often times second-guessing myself. Did I do enough today? Am I doing enough in school? Am I doing enough for my students and so I never think of myself as a superior teacher or a great teacher. I just do what I love to do every single day.Stephanie McKenzie, April’s Golden Apple Award Winner
McKenzie shows her students genuine love and compassion day in and day out.
She says she has formed a mutual respect with her students and says they know that she is always rooting for them, rallying around her kiddos in their corner.
She always shows the students who she loves them first and that’s how she gets them to learn for her. She teaches them to love and to be kind and then they understand that when she loves them, they’ll learn for her better.Ashlea Minch, Principal, Woodsdale Elementary
I always tell people that I’m very dedicated teacher, and that I would do anything and everything from my school and my students and that I just truly in my heart want to students to have the best experience that they can while in a school setting. And they’ll feel like this is a place where they’re safe and they learn and they love being here.Stephanie McKenzie, April’s Golden Apple Award Winner
McKenzie says she also wants her students to know that if you can give your own personal best each day that is what really matters.