KINGSTON, Ill. (WTVO) — A little rain on Thursday didn’t dampen the spirits of Kingston Elementary students because one of their teachers earned recognition by the Golden Apple Foundation.
Maddi Bodine is a special education Pre-K teacher and now, a Golden Apple award winner for Excellence in Teaching.
Her students spent the morning making congratulatory banners for her.
“I think this is a great ending to a really tough year,” Bodine said at the surprise party. “The adaptation of hybrid learning and remote learning, and just the uncertainty of health and well-being of our whole world, that kind of weighed on a lot of us, as educators.”
“Every rough day, every day that I went home and felt really defeated, like I wasn’t doing a good job, this just made up for it. It just reminded me there is so much good,” she added.
Bodine was chosen out of more than 700 nominations this year.
The Golden Apple Foundation said her passion and commitment to her students was what made her so special.
“She ensures students, that sometimes are forgotten, know that they are loved and feel loved at the same time,” said the Chicago region’s Golden Apple president Alan Mather. “She understands they have gifts and builds on those gifts, understanding every child can learn.”
“I just want to say thank you so much to whoever nominated me,” Bodine said. “Just knowing that you believe in me enough and thought that I was even worthy.”
The Golden Apple process in Boone and Winnebago counties was put on hold this school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last years five winners will be honored this June at a special ceremony in Rockford.