NEW MARTINSVILLE, W.Va. (WTRF) — A group of parents at New Martinsville School say their children wouldn’t be where they are today if it weren’t for their kiddo’s teacher.

7News Anchor Rebecca Little caught up with the special education teacher who is the apple of her students’ eyes and definitely deserving of May’s Golden Apple Award.

Meet Christy Stickler.

She is a Special Education teacher to kids grades 1 through 4 at New Martinsville School.

It doesn’t matter how much she has on her plate curriculum-wise daily.

Stickler still manages to make one-on-one time for her students and it shows.

We get to learn our kids and their wants and their needs and the things that they like. In here it changes sometimes from minute to minute. You just have to be ready for whatever comes your way.

Christy Stickler, Golden Apple Award Winner

Take 9-year-old Aaidan, for example, who has been diagnosed with autism. Aaidan’s mom, Nancy Nine says surely because of his teacher that her son can now write legibly and read grade-level books. Even his speech and his vocabulary have improved exponentially.

He’s using four letter sentences which is really huge for him. He’s writing legibly and that’s been a really hard thing for him. His communication, his reading grade on grade level, his vocabulary is above grade level. So, he’s doing amazing and it’s because of these teachers and this school.

Nancy Nine, Aaidan’s Mom

Stickler sends pictures to all the parents of their precious little ones doing projects or some sweet snap shots of classroom cheer during holiday parties.

She believes communication is key, texting or emailing parents to keep them informed.

Aaidan’s mom says she doesn’t miss a beat.

With my son having autism he’s verbal, but he can’t home and tell me how his day went at school. It’s essential as far as what he ate at lunch or if he had snacks to make sure that he’s eating right, what he worked on at school, how he’s doing, what he’s struggling with, what I can to help him at home. It’s essential without that communication I’m really at a disadvantage as a mom of what to do to help him.

Nancy Nine, Aaidan’s Mom

Stickler says she is blessed, but can’t take all of the credit.

She attributes the student’s success in the classroom to her teaching aides.

Julie Ledergerber, who according to Stickler, helps every single day to make the students feel loved and valued.

I’m glad I can make a difference in these kids. Seeing that the lights come on in their eyes to know that they’ve learned something each day even if it’s just just something minor. When they get it, it makes you feel the greatest.

Julie Lederberger, Miss Stickler’s Teaching Aide

I appreciate them big time. They are my soundboard. We bounce ideas off of each other when something is not working and we say we okay what do we need to do we do. We can always talk with each other about things. Change things if we have to to suit the child.

Christy Stickler, Golden Apple Award Winner

Stickler provides prizes as an incentive to motivate the students in hopes of encouraging them to reach their potential, another shining example of why she is so award-worthy.


Even though he has autism, he has so much opportunity to learn and to grow and advance because I want him to have the opportunities that other kids have. So, just to see him where he is at now, it means everything to me.

Nancy Nine, Aaidan’s Mom

Parents and students can agree that there aren’t enough words in the English Dictionary to describe how wonderful Ms. Stickler is.