Lee Swartzfager of Corry Area High School is this weeks Golden Apple Award Winner. Mr. Swartzfager was nominated by Nina Ugino. Nina wrote: What can I say about Mr. Swartzfager? Actually, I believe the real question is what cant I say about him? I have never seen a person dedicated to their job or students in my life and I am thrilled to say Ive been blessed enough to have this fine educator teach me. Ever since I was a kid I have always had a really hard time in school. Learning was always really difficult when I was growing up, so by the time I was in his class I was at the point where I was beyond ready to give up. I had quit caring about my education, but there was someone who stood in the way of that, Mr. Swartzfager. He never gave up on me; no matter how stubborn or difficult I was he was there to hand me my pencil and shows me what to do. I used to think that I was going to be a nobody, going nowhere real fast last year. I would just sit there through my classes doing nothing and not caring that I was doing nothing. Then Swartz (his nickname) told me exactly how I would end up if I kept sitting through my classes doing nothing. He told me that I could do math and when I would reply saying, "Im dumb or Im not smart enough," he would tell me that I am actually really intelligent, I just dont try. Also, he told me not to be afraid to ask for help, and he was right. He helped guide me and show me that I really am intelligent and just have to try without giving up when something is hard. The year he taught me was the best teaching experience in my life, because I learned so much, not just in math, but real life lessons. Ive been able to go to him in times of distress and just talk to him. He would tell me his outlook and show me the brighter side of things, which always gave me hope. Although, I dont have Swartz as my teacher this year I still find my way back to his classroom to ask him for help, because I dont get something. He will just smile, nod and I will venture back to my seat in his classroom once again for homework help. Because of the many words and lectures this man has given last year I have raised my grades tremendously and I have never seen my parents so proud of my grades in my life. Mr. Swartzfager has helped influence my decision on what I want to do with my life after high school. I want to go to college at Edinboro University to become a teacher and influence others the way he has influenced me!
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