Only five teachers can say they've got this year's Golden Apples. Over the next five weeks, we'll profile each winning teacher. This week, we start with Guilford High School's Mr. Michael Lantz.
You could feel the excitement in the room when Mr. Michael Lantz was shocked and surprised, as he received his Golden Apple Award. After 13 years of teaching economics and geography, his hard work has paid off.
"My first year of teaching, I taught with someone who I was very close with who had won it the year before," Lantz says. "And I thought that first year that it would be really cool and a goal of mine to one day have this."
His dream of earning the Academy Award of teaching started back in high school. With inspiration from one of his favorite teachers, he knew his career would be in the front of the classroom.
"Since I was a sophomore in high school, I had a teacher that really meant a lot to me, and I wanted to be him and do what he did for kids," Lantz says, "the things that he did for me and my classmates. I wanted to be that guy."
His electric smile and eagerness to better himself as an educator stands out, immediately. But while he's a winner, he isn't letting the gold go to his head. He stays humble with help from his wife and keeps his students first.
"This whole process makes me think I'm not there yet. I'm not done yet. I got a lot of work to do. But maybe I'm on the right track."