High School is hard enough... But when students know their teachers care, somehow it gets a little better.
At Heritage High School one special teacher gets involved in her kids' lives.
Michelle Petteys is this weeks Golden Apple Award winner...
Spanish teacher Michelle Petteys asks her class, "Necessitan la lista nueva, si?"
The Spanish II class is a fun, interactive environment where each student gets to watch their vocabulary grow.
Petteys calls, "Repitan... El hombre, la mujer..."
The 16 year veteran teacher says Spanish is great and she loves sharing it with her kids, "Some kids love Spanish, some kids hate it. But if I can reach one or two kids and share the culture and share the language and make some other key people enjoy it like I do then it's worth it."
At least one student says Ms. Petteys' passion for the language and her students is a win-win.
Senior Jill Justus reads from her Golden Apple nomination letter, "She provided me with the tools I needed to succeed in her class because she is so committed to helping her students exceed."
But Jill says it's more than that. Ms. Petteys is also the 2011 Class Sponsor, a teacher who's been an actively involved with this year's graduating class from the beginning.
Jill says Pettey's encouragement and excitement has been a major inspiration to her students both in class and out, "It makes it so much easier to have fun and learn at the same time and have a teacher that cares and you know that she cares."
Ms. Petteys says being involved with her kids is half the fun, "Teaching is so much more than teaching a subject and being in the classroom everyday. There's so much more to it and I love getting to know the kids."
Ms. Petteys even had some of this year's seniors in middle school.
She says it's been her joy to watch them grow, "I love the kids. I truly believe I'm doing what I was put here to do."