Quincy second grade teacher Denys Stark was awarded the WGEM Golden Apple Award for September.
Stark is in her eighth year teaching at Quincy’s St. James Lutheran School.
“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” Stark said. “There’s something amazing about coming and spending the day in the classroom. No day is ever the same.”
Parent Trina Vogel had a daughter in Stark’s classroom last year and nominated her for the Golden Apple Award. She says Stark’s love of teaching shows in everything she does.
“The things that Mrs. Stark does just makes learning fun and engaging. It gets the kids more involved and interested in what she’s teaching,” Vogel said.
Stark’s students say they have a lot of fun in her class.
“She’s really funny. Sometimes she just changes into a different voice and makes us all laugh,” second grader Eli Schell said.
“A really good teacher,” student Austin Rakers agreed.
Stark uses endless creativity in her classroom to turn even an ordinary grammar lesson into something special.
“When they are doing conjunctions they play like they are doctors, and they get to wear little surgical masks and gloves and they cut the word apart,” St. James fifth/sixth grade teacher Deb Bowles explained.
Student say sometimes Stark flips the school day schedule upside down.
“When we are supposed to do our spelling test in the afternoon we usually do it in the morning,” Schell said.
Stark is also known for incorporating herself into her lesson plans.
“I’ve dressed up as Mrs. Frizzle when I was reading the Magic School Bus book to them. When I teach science we talk about fish and I wear a fish hat. It’s little things, but it keeps their attention,” Stark said.
Stark creates a creative learning environment that all makes perfect sense to her students.
“A lot of times will get up and dance and sing around, but it gets their attention. And, they are gaining knowledge at the same time as having fun too,” Stark said.