Macomb teacher honored with Golden Apple Award - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Macomb teacher honored with Golden Apple Award


MACOMB, Ill. (WGEM) -- WGEM continues to honor local educators for their hard work and dedication in the classroom with the Golden Apple Award.  Wednesday, we surprised a Macomb teacher who is making sure her students are learning lessons well beyond the classroom.

Once a month, students in Mrs. Terri Burnham's fourth grade class from St. Paul School in Macomb take part in the "Adopt a Grandparent Program".  That's where students take part in an activity with the residents at The Elms Nursing Home and simply spend time with them.  It's something Mrs. Burnham helped start eight years ago.  And it's leaving a big impact on her students.

Grayson Miczo, is one of Mrs. Burnham's 4th grade students.  He says,  "I like coming because I can learn about their stories and their past and their points of view.  It's really fun and it makes me feel good.  I look forward to it every time."

Mrs. Terri Burnham says, "It's a very mutual relationship because they feel like they're helping my fourth graders and my fourth graders feel like they're helping them.  So it's really a blessed relationship." 

But little did Mrs. Burnham know that after their time at The Elms Wednesday, we would surprise her back at school for her 31 years in the classroom.  Mrs. Burnham has spent 23 years at St. Paul.  And it was one of her former students, Christy Foster, who nominated her.  And Foster's daughter is now in Mrs. Burnham's class.

Foster says, "She's been a big influence on my life.  She was one of my favorite teachers in sixth grade. And she's also made an impact so far on my daughter and I was praying she wouldn't retire before my daughter got to have her too." 

Mrs. Burnham started out as principal at St. Paul's in 1984, but decided to leave after getting married.  She returned in 2003, when a teaching position opened up.

Burnham says,  "I was going to do it for a year, and that was ten years ago.  So it's been wonderful.  I love being able to be here and be with the children.  I liked it when I was principal but the classroom is where my heart is."

Fourth grade student Anna Inman says, "She's really fun and creative and she's an awesome teacher."

Grayson Miczo adds, "I think she likes helping the community.  She's a very good teacher.  She's very nice and she really likes helping the community." 

From the "Adopt a Grandparent Program", to the "Can Project", where students collect cans to raise money for a class trip and donate the rest to local charities, Mrs. Burnham is teaching her students life lessons well beyond the classroom.

"I think it's important they realize that even though they're only nine and 10 years old, they can make a difference.  That they can make a difference in a person's life.  And I want them to realize that they are privileged children and that they can help others that aren't.  And they love it.  9 and 10 year olds are perfect for that because they want to have a purpose.  They want to feel needed.  I just feel blessed to be here at this school where I can use God everyday and share my faith with them.  It's important to me and I think to model that for children is important." 

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