One thing we know about Golden Apple Award winning teachers is that they inspire students to love learning, and some to become exceptional teachers themselves.
That is the moral of this week’s story.
Harbor Creek High School chemistry teacher Gina Schilajew worked in a chem lab before deciding to be a teacher. She loved math and chemistry as a student. Now, 15 years in the classroom, she is still thrilled by sharing her passionate for this math-based science.
“You just want to share what you love and what you know, and try to spark that interest.” Schilajew said.
This week’s Golden Apple Award winning teacher was inspired by another Golden Apple Award winner.
“My hero at North East is Phil Sarver. He’s also a chemistry teacher.” Schilajew said. “I think about him every time I’m in front of a class. I want to teach just like him. He changed my life.”
Now, she’s changing the lives of her students, one at a time.
“That’s really important during this awkward school year. She’s working very hard, and I just wanted to recognize her. She’s a fantastic teacher and fantastic person.” said Brooke Korb, student nominator.
We asked what’s the secret to making a difference?
“Humor, excitement, coffee helps sometimes, at least for me in the morning, connecting as much as possible.” Schilajew said.
“She makes chemistry fun. She brings it to life. To be able to breath life into it, that’s definitely a gift.” said Mary Jo Melvin, Ph.D.
Congratulations to Gina Schilajew, this week’s JET 24 and Edinboro University Golden Apple Award winner.