March 2013 Winner - Beth Lang:(Poplar Springs Elementary)


Meridian Family of Stations -

Meridian Star Article

By Terri Ferguson Smith

A teacher's efforts to help a student with special needs has won her the Golden Apple Teacher of the Month award.

Beth Lang, a kindergarten teacher at Poplar Springs Elementary, has been teaching for 19 years; 14 of those in kindergarten. She was honored in a surprise ceremony Tuesday at the school.

Claire Hasselle, whose daughter is in Lang's class nominated her for the Golden Apple award. Her daughter Katie has has cerebral palsy and is also hearing impaired. She went to Magnolia Speech School in Jackson for four years and just this year mainstreamed into Poplar Springs, Hasselle said.

"We were really nervous about how the transition would go for her, how the kids would receive her and how her teachers would handle the challenges," Hasselle said. "The minute I met Mrs. Lang, she didn't see any of it as challenges. She turned it into an opportunity to teach these kids how to serve each other and how to love each other."

Her daughter has flourished under the care of Lang, Hasselle said.

"This classroom is an environment of giving and love. It's amazing. Her energy level is through the roof with positive energy. She goes above and beyond to take care of her students during school and later on," Hasselle said. "She has called me at night, on weekends, because she thinks of an idea that might supplement Katie's learning. She's always thinking of ways her students can be benefited. It's for all of her students. She's always trying to find ways to intrigue them, to excite them about learning. The kids are in love with her. You can tell it when you walk in the room."

Participating sponsors of the Golden Apple Award read nomination letters each month and make the selection. The winner gets a "Golden Apple" trophy and a voucher for $1,000 in school supplies, a $300 check and the chance to be named the Golden Apple Teacher of the Year in May. The winner also will have the opportunity to nominate a graduating senior for a scholarship.

"It was really humbling. I was really caught off guard but I'm so pleased that our school has been recognized and that so many community stakeholders have given of their time and funds to help support education in Meridian," Lang said after receiving the award.

Dr. Alvin Taylor, superintendent of Meridian Public Schools said Lang is known to be a loving instructor.