August 2012 Winner - Tamara Mills:(Newton County Elementary School)


Meridian Family of Stations -

Meridian Star Article

By Terri Ferguson Smith

It was an emotional moment and a surprise for fourth grade teacher Tamara Mills when she learned she was selected as the first Golden Apple Teacher of the Month.

The Newton County Elementary School language arts teacher has been in the classroom for 16 years, but she was never more surprised than when a group of well-wishers descended upon her class to present her with the honor.

"I was very surprised and I'm very humbled by all of this because I don't think I do anything different than anybody else," Mills said. "I'm just very humbled."

First through the classroom door was her husband, daughter and son. On seeing her son, who she said can be a "mess," her immediate thought was: "Oh no, he has really done something.'"

"I had no idea that I had been nominated," Mills said. "I had no idea that any of this...what was happening."

All was revealed soon enough, however, when Kay Thomas of Meridian Community College presented her with the "Golden Apple" trophy and a voucher for $1,000 in school supplies.

Bo Pittman, CEO and president of MUNA Federal Credit Union, along with Frank Besecke, CEO and president of First Mississippi Federal Credit Unions; Abria Jamison, FMFCU; and Dennis L. Florreich, president and CEO of Meridian Mutual Federal Credit Union were on hand to present a $300 check.

"Dennis and I have been married to teachers for a long time, so we understand what it's like to try to operate under the budget restraints that you have," Pittman said. "We at the Meridian Area Credit Unions want to present you with this check to help out in any way you see fit for you and your classroom."

Michael Reed, owner of The Meridian Family of Stations, and Crystal Dupre', publisher of The Meridian Star, told Mills she was nominated by a fellow teacher and the selection process was difficult, but in the end, they knew she was the right pick.