Golden Apple Award Winner: Tom Freesmeier - – Rockford’s News Leader

Golden Apple Award Winner: Tom Freesmeier


When you're a student in Thomas Freesmeier's social studies class at Harlem Middle School, you're not just a student but a member of the audience. 

A self-proclaimed 'big kid,' he will do anything to gain his students attention. Matt Cascio, the school's principal, has seen it first hand. "Tom is an entertainer. And loves to entertain. He will do just about anything to get the kids attention."

The 8th grade teacher who plays guitar and also raps, he thinks of his class like a performance. Freesmeier says, "I'm not a good rapper, but I love doing it. If you couldn't sell tickets to your lesson then what are you teaching?" 

It's how he engages students to learn. "It's that entertainment that I try to sparse throughout the week, the unit, the lesson that draws that engagement and makes them wanting to come to class," said Freesmeier. 

Eighth grade student Grace Biggers nominated Freesmeier this year because of the passion he sparked in her. "Before this year, social studies was really not my thing," said Biggers. "I love this class. He really tries to connect with us."

An entertainer in the classroom, inspiring students love for learning.  

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