Thanks to the Golden Apple award WDEF News 12 has recognized dozens of Tennessee Valley teachers for the outstanding work they do in the classroom.
But we haven't yet recognized a principal.
Now we honor a McMinn County principal who treats all his kids like one of his own.
Mike Simmons is this week's Golden Apple Award winner...
One moment in the organized choas of the Athens Jr. High cafeteria... and you realize it takes a special person to keep everything in check.
That man is Principal Mike Simmons, "I've always enjoyed the teaching process. I've always enjoyed being in school."
Five days a week Mr. Simmons keeps an eye on more than 400 7th, 8th, and 9th graders...Correcting when he needs to, but usually giving a pat on the back, "They're at an age when they need to have adults around them that really care about them, understand them, listen to them."
That understand has one Athens grandmother taking notice.
Linda Kornilieff reads from her Golden Apple nomination letter, "Mr. Simmons goes above and beyond for his kids."
Kornilieff has sent two grandchildren to Athens Jr. High, this year her granddaughter Saralyn's in the ninth grade, "What you see is what you get with Mr. Simmons. He's genuine, he's sincere, he's kind, and he cares. He truly cares about the kids at this school. His heart is in it. He truly does care for them."
Kornilieff says each child is treated with respect.
Mr. Simmons says that's what he tries to do... He says these kids are old enough to know when they've behaved poorly and young enough to learn to do better.
He says when you attack the behavior, and not the child, the behavior can be corrected, "Sometimes you don't see the rewards immediately, but anytime you're in the process of making decisions that changes the life of someone it's very rewarding. It's a very exciting profession."
Kornilieff reads, "Hats off to you Mr. Simmons. You get my vote for the best principal in McMinn County."