It's not always a bad thing to have a teacher twice.
For one group of Walker County kids it's been a plus.
There's a unique relationship between teachers and students.
But at Gilbert Elementary one special teacher says her kids feel more like family.
Dianne Richardson is this week's Golden Apple Award winner.
In Dianne Richardson's classroom every student is involved and paying attention... The 3rd grade teacher knew she this was her calling in the 1st grade.
"I went to school and that's what I did," she says.
Today these kids are working on their Young Authors writing project. Richardson says the reading and writing skills she teaches her children are the foundation for how well they will learn.
Richardson says, "We want to make sure that they're on track 'cause we want them to be successful in both middle school and high school."
That attention to future success is just what one Gilbert Elementary parent needed.
Loir Baker said in her nomination letter, "Everyone of the students have different needs and she is willing to go the extra step to help each and every one of them."
Baker should know. Her nine year old Isaiah Harris also had Ms. Richardson in the first grade. So did several of the other students. Baker says you can tell how much the teacher cares about the kids in her class.
Baker, "You can tell they're not scared to ask a question. 'Cause the confidence in the kids, you can tell they know she's there to help them and wants them to learn."
Isaiah says she helps a lot.
The 3rd Grader says "She's a real fun teacher."
Ms. Richardson loves the extra time she's spent with these kids.
Richardson says, "We're more like family."
She wants to nurture their little brains and help them learn and grow.
Richardson says, "They're just totally different people academically, socially, emotionally. They're just growing up on you and it's fun to know that you've been a part of that."