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Hamilton teacher wins Golden Apple

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:24 PM CST
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HAMILTON, Ill. (WGEM) - Hamilton Elementary School’s Alisha Grothaus was awarded the November WGEM Golden Apple Award.

Grothaus has spent more than 15 years in Tri-State classrooms. The last nine years she has spent teaching kindergarten at Hamilton Elementary.

“Part of what drew me into teaching was just being able to use creativity,” Grothaus said. “And so, here in kindergarten, it takes my love of creativity and my love of children and makes the perfect combination.”

Grothaus’ kindergarten students, like Emily Sikes and Ja’Kyrah Robinson, said her creativity makes the lessons come to life.

“We’re putting stuff in order on the turkey,” Sikes said.

“She dressed up in an apple... for the very first fall,” Robinson said.

During remote learning last school year, Grothaus was looking for a way to keep her kindergartners’ attention.

“I started out with just some hats and some headbands that I made, and it kind of turned into I was reading the Scarecrow’s Hat and I dressed up as a scarecrow and the kids were super engaged,” Grothaus said.

The day Grothaus received the Golden Apple she was wearing a sparkly skirt and giant gold bow.

“My bow matches the Golden Apple,” Grothaus remarked.

Each day the students, like Sikes and Gracie Nelson, are excited for something different.

“A cheetah and a spider dress,” Sikes said.

“She dressed up like a spider and fire,” Nelson said.

Grothaus’ fun costumes are just the latest example of how her creativity comes through in her lesson plans.

“Anything that I can do that would be above and beyond to get them engaged I’m going to do it,” Grothaus said.

“She lets us do fun crafts,” Nelson explained.

“We get to make turkeys, and we made soldiers, and we made a spider,” Sikes said.

Grothaus uses creativity to help create a love of learning.

“What they have gone through the past few years, my number one goal this year is to get students to love learning,” Grothaus said.

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