Rockford Lutheran's Mrs. Bethany Pitman was greeted by family, friends, and a shiny golden apple, when she was presented with her Golden Apple Award for 2013. After six years of teaching, and now a prestigious award under her belt, she's made it her mission to help her students understand and enjoy school.
"I struggled with a lot of subjects except for English and History, and so I know what it's like to sit there and not get it," says Pitman. "So I wanted to help kids that don't get it and become a teacher and help them feel successful."
On this day, she felt the success, as she joined four other teachers in the area in earning a Golden Apple Award. As an English teacher at Rockford Lutheran, Pitman couldn't help but rave about the school as a whole. With it being the first and only place she's ever taught, it's home.
"It's a phenomenal place to work," she says, nearly tearing up.
With a home, comes family, and that's exactly what her award day included. Her husband took time off from his medical school match day to come and surprise her, and her school family, her students, made sure she knew she was loved as well.
"Oh my kids are awesome," Pitman says. "The kids here are phenomenal. We've been so blessed with the kids we've been given here at Rockford Lutheran."
To keep her 8th and 10th grade students learning, she focuses on one-on-one reading workshops and the importance of English in today's world, proving to the kids that the subject still matters. Pitman credits her award to her fellow teachers and faculty. Without them, she says it wouldn't have been possible.
"It's a team here and all the faculty and staff work together which is what helps teachers and kids to be successful," she says. "So it's a family here and the Lutheran family is a great place to belong."
Make sure to watch 13News at 5 next Friday to see our next Golden Apple winner, East High School's Kathryn Linden.