April 2022 Winner - Ashley Shier:(Northeast Lauderdale Middle School)


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Meridian Star Article

Northeast Middle's Ashley Shier is more than just a seventh grade English teacher.

She's also a bus driver, yearbook sponsor and coordinator for the school's 22-student media team.

Shier, who was named the April 2022 Golden Apple Teacher of the Month, said her days are busy, but doing what she loves makes the time fly by.

"My days are pretty long, but it's enjoyable," she said. "Otherwise, I wouldn't keep doing it." Having extracurricular activities on top of her regular teaching duties gives Shier the opportunity to build relationships with her students and help them grow in ways that wouldn't be possible in the classroom.

"I know that my job is to be a teacher and they're a student, but getting to connect with them on an actual human level and getting to know their human interests and what they're doing outside the classroom…" she said. "It's just building those connections that are not necessarily teacher, student. It's hey - we're all human and let's get to know each other."

Shier also uses her classroom time to help students build relationships of their own. As an English teacher, she said teaching students to make inferences, both in literature and life, is a crucial life skill.

"I tell them constantly it's not English," she said. "It's real life skills."

With her media team, Shier helps her students learn to apply those life lessons to their cyber lives as well. In a digital world, she said, students need to understand nothing goes away.

"I just make sure that my students know that everything you put out there can be kept forever," she said. "Somebody has access to it, and with our media team being the positive force that the community sees for our school, they are held to a higher standard."

Shier said being named the Golden Apple Teacher of the Month was a great experience because students took the time and effort to nominate her. With only one teacher selected each month, she said it was extra special to win.

"The fact that it's coming from my students, that means even more," she said.