December 2012 Winner - Dawn Powell:(Newton Elementary School)


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Meridian Star Article

By Terri Ferguson Smith

It takes a special person to teach kindergarten students and one such instructor has been singled out as the December recipient of the Golden Apple Award.

Dawn Powell, a kindergarten teacher at Newton Municipal Elementary School, was surprised to learn that she had earned the award recently. The recognition comes with a Golden Apple trophy, a $300 cash prize, a $1,000 gift certificate for school supplies, and a chance to be named Golden Apple Teacher of the Year.

Among those at a school assembly to honor Powell was State Sen. Terry Burton of Newton.

"I went to school here a long time ago," Burton said. "I have loved this school for a long time and it's a real honor today because of Dawn's recognition. I recognize how hard it is for all of you teachers out there. My dad was a teacher, coach and administrator. I know exactly what you go through and I hope you understand that you do make a difference."

Dan Reid, principal of Newton Elementary, said Powell loves her students.

"She takes care of them just like they're her own and we really push for support of our students that need that extra attention," Reed said. "You have to have a passion for what you do because you're taking on babies at an early age that you have to teach and train. You have to love children."

Fellow teacher and friend Gina Gordon nominated Powell because of her dedication to her students.

"A kindergarten teacher needs to be loving because kindergartners are a different type of student," Gordon said. "They come to school not only needing a teacher, they need a mother and a nurse. Ms. Powell is very loving. She's very motherly. When they need a hug, she hugs them."

Powell worked as an assistant teacher in kindergarten for four years and has been a certified teacher for 16 years. She said she always believes in their abilities.