LIBERTY, Ill. (WGEM) -- Liberty Elementary School teacher Tennille Gimm was awarded the WGEM Golden Apple Award for March.
Gimm said she is in her 21st year teaching.
"When I was younger, I kind of struggled to learn to read up until about third grade, and I had an amazing third grade teacher," Gimm said. "It was always my dream to be in third grade because I felt like, for whatever reason, that's when they catch on. That's when you can really take them to the next level."
Gimm is now living her dream as a third grade teacher.
"She'll make it fun, and when anyone asks a question, she will answer it and give an example," said Liberty Elementary School third grader Mason Hocking.
"When we do projects, she'll help people," said third grade student Audrina Tuters.
Aimee Hannel's daughter Cadence is a remote learner in Gimm's class.
The pair nominated Gimm for the Golden Apple by creating a book naming the top ten reasons why Gimm deserved the award.
"I've got a glimpse into her classroom through the videos that she shares with my daughter and I see her in a whole new light this year. I've always thought highly of her, but she just shines so bright and soars when she is in her element with her kids," Hannel said.
"She's loving, caring, fun. She's smart," said third grader Grady Edgar.
Whether they are in the classroom or learning virtually, Gimm said building relationships with her students is paramount.
"I really strived to get to know her first and did some activities, just to build that relationship before we even started anything. And I try to make it fun for her and as interactive as we can," Gimm said.
"She would sit and talk with Cadence and make sure she is understanding the content and she's gotten to know lots about Cadence, she knows our pets and everything else," Hannel said.
A heart of gold now with an apple to match.