Local teacher honored

A local teacher has been honored for her outstanding work with her students.

Katie Olson, a special education teacher at Sunset Heights Elementary School, was presented with the Golden Apple Award earlier this month. The award, sponsored by Allied Insurance and WHOTV, receives nominations and picks one teacher each month to recognize with the award.

Olson, who has been teaching for three years at Sunset Heights, was surprised when she received the award on March 11. She said the school was called to an assembly, but she wasn’t sure what it was for. When the award presenters spoke to the school, Olson didn’t expect that she was this month’s winner.

“When they called my name, I was shocked,” Olson said. “That was about the only word to describe it.”

Olson was nominated by one of her third grade students. In the student’s letter, they said Olson was nominated because she helped to improve their academics and behavior tremendously. The student also said Olson uses creative teaching methods and shows personal attention to all of her students. Olson said she credits those compliments to a hands-on approach to learning.

“With my students, it’s really important that you don’t just do the lecture style teaching,” Olson said. “We do a lot of applying it to the real world and using manipulatives and actual things to help them learn.”

Olson said she’s also had a lot of help from other teachers. She partners with her peers and teaches her class along with other groups. Olson said she’s learned a lot from the veteran teachers she’s worked with at the school and thanked them for their help.

“I have a great bunch of students and the staff at Sunset Heights has been amazing,” Olson said.

She also thanked the parents of her students for their continued involvement with their education at Sunset Heights.

The award ceremony is set to be broadcast on WHOTV channel 13 on March 28 during the station’s morning show between the hours of 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. For more information on the Golden Apple Award, go to whotv.com/goldenapple.