Quincy teacher wins Golden Apple

Friye with apple
Friye with apple(WGEM)
Updated: Sep. 24, 2021 at 3:43 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Quincy pre-school teacher Dee Friye was awarded the WGEM Golden Apple Award for the month of September.

Friye has spent her entire 30 year career teaching preschool at Quincy Early Childhood and Family Center. In 2014, she transitioned to the special education pre-k classroom.

“I think I just felt like they needed extra help and I wanted to be able to help them learn and grow,” Friye said

Fellow special education teacher Crystal Johnson nominated Friye for the WGEM Golden Apple Award. Her son is also a former student of Friye’s.

“She’s super energetic. She will do anything for her kids, she has the most compassionate heart ever for her kids, and you can see it any time you walk into that classroom you can see it,” Johnson said.

Johnson says Friye goes above and beyond for her students every single day.

“When my son was in the hospital she came to the hospital and brought him an little gift to cheer him up. It’s not just in the classroom, it’s the whole atmosphere,” Johnson said.

Johnson says Friye is able to adapt and innovate new ways of teaching to meet each child’s individual needs and achieve success.

She herself learned additional sign language in order to teach Johnson’s son.

“He only knew about 5 coming into preschool, and now he’s at about 200,” Johnson explained.

“It makes me feel really proud that I’m able to help them grow and learn, and you know we accept the little bitty steps, they are big steps for us,” Friye said.

Parents and co-workers agree Friye has the ability to combine creativity and compassion to help her students learn and overcome challenges.

“The kids love Miss Dee and I think they feed off of her joy and excitement for life and learning,” Quincy ECFC Speech/Language Pathologist Beth Hayes said.

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